June 10 Daily 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.  Each day, 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 daily 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 newly-released Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is today’s (June 10, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Beth Israel Accelerates Vaccine DevelopmentBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, is accelerating trials on its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after strong performance in preclinical tests. The potential vaccine now moves to testing on healthy patients who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. BIDMC’s vaccine is one of five the President has said is most likely to be effective. The Boston Globe reports,
  • MGH Study Explores Origins of U.S. Outbreak ­– Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have published a draft of a new report tracing the beginnings of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, especially in the Boston area. The report concludes that, in Greater Boston, most infections came from Western Europe. Read more from WBUR.

 

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Eversource Offering Virtual Home Energy Assessments Eversource Energy is adapting to restrictions on in-person services by providing customers with remote home energy assessments. The service will offer customers with phone or video consultations, then deliver the necessary equipment for the homeowner to make efficiency upgrades while limiting personal interactions. The Greenfield Recorder has more.
  • Comcast Offers Free Internet, Suspends Service Disconnections – Comcast is continuing to offer free internet access and unlimited data to low-income families facing financial strain due to the pandemic. In addition, the network provider has pledged to halt service disconnections through the end of June. The Burlington County Times reports.

Community Response

  • UMass Medical School Donates $80,000 to Provide Technology Access to Local Students in Summer Learning – The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School has pledged $80,000 to local students without access to internet or computers for summer learning sessions. Students in Worcester, MA, where the medical school is located, will receive the equipment with funds raised by the school’s students and faculty. MassLive has more.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Donates Protective Equipment to Healthcare Workers Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont has donated more than 100 pieces of protective equipment to staff at a Vermont hospital. The insurer also donated meals for the hospital staff and is covering the cost of their own protective mask-sewing campaign. Read more in the Vermont Businesses Magazine.

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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