July 28 Biweekly Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

As our region and our nation continue to grapple with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, The New England Council is using our blog as a platform to highlight some of the incredible work our members have undertaken to respond to the outbreak. Twice weekly, we’ll post a round-up of updates on some of the initiatives underway among Council members throughout the region.  We are also sharing these updates via our social media, and encourage our members to share with us any information on their efforts so that we can be sure to include them in these twice-weekly round-ups.   

You can find all the Council’s information and resources related to the crisis in the special COVID-19 section of our website.  This includes our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar, which provides information on upcoming COVID-19 Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members, as well as our Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page. 

Here is today’s (July 28, 2020) roundup: 

Medical Response

  • Harvard University Researchers Find No Relationship Between Severe COVID-19 Symptoms and Blood Type – According to a new study from Harvard Medical School researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital, blood type is not associated with a severe worsening of symptoms in people who have tested positive for COVID-19. report. These findings, published in the Annals of Hematology, dispel previous reports that suggested a correlation between certain blood types and COVID-19. Read more here.  

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • IBM Launches Watson Works to Address the Challenges of Returning to the Workplace – The IBM Corporation has made its Watson Works Artificial Intelligence (AI) system available to businesses to provide data-driven insight to navigate reopening during the pandemic. The Watson system allows businesses to utilize contact tracing, stagger work times, and even decide when it is safe to enter the workplace. Read more here.  
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston Makes Community Development Advances Available to Businesses and Nonprofits – The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB) has announced that Community Development Advances are temporarily available to businesses and nonprofits that qualify for loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is effective for Community Development Advances disbursed through December 31, 2020, or six months after the last expiration of the PPP. Read more here.  
  • ENGIE Installs High-Efficiency Air Units in New England Hospitals – Air balancing teams from ENGIE North America worked with three hospitals in the northeastern U.S. to install over 100 terminal high-efficiency particulate air units and prepare regular patient rooms for COVID-19 treatment. Read more here.  

Community Response

  • Institute for Community Inclusion Unveils Guidance for Returning to Work – As Boston moves through the phases of reopening, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) has released guidance for workers with disabilities grappling with how to safely return to the workplace. ICI’s guidance contains resources, and well as important considerations for anyone preparing to re-enter the workforce. Read more here.  

Stay tuned for more updates each day, and follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates on how Council members are contributing to the response to this global health crisis.

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