June 16 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

June 16 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 Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is today’s (June 16, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • UMass Lowell Developing Rapid Diagnostic Test – Scientists at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell are creating a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can provide results in only five minutes. The new device, which uses technology similar to an at-home pregnancy test, would aid state and national efforts to track and isolate cases that emerge in the future. Boston 25 reports.
  • Eli Lilly Advances Clinical Trial for Potential Therapy Eli Lilly has begun a phase three clinical trial testing its arthritis drug to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. By limiting inflammation, Olumiant could potentially to reduce mortality or respiratory symptoms in patients. FiercePharma has more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • UnitedHealth Group Offers Remote Vision Care – Insurer UnitedHealth Group is expanding its vision care offerings to members by allowing them to receive reduced-cost care virtually. The new offerings will allow customers to purchase essential eyewear and receive care resources while limiting exposure to the virus. Read more.
  • TRC Companies Publishes Assessment for Business Owners Resuming Activity TRC Companies has released a free online tool to help business leaders assess how prepared their organization is to re-open as states gradually lift stay-at-home orders. The Back to Business Self-Assessment provides guidance on short- and long-term practices to ensure safety across all aspects of business. Read more here.

Community Response

  • Lowe’s Begins Offering $25 Million in Grants to Minority-Owned Businesses – Lowe’s has opened applications for its first round of grant applications for funding under its $25 million commitment to provide relief to businesses owned by people of color. The grants will be used to support these struggling businesses, many of whom faced difficulty in applying for federal assistance. The grant program is part of Lowe’s previously announced $50 million commitment to support COVID-19 relief. Read more.
  • Boston Foundation Announces Community Grant RecipientsThe Boston Foundation has released eight rounds of grants to organizations supporting community relief efforts. Ranging from $50 to $500,000, the Foundation has supported a variety of organizations providing resources and services to communities by the pandemic. Wicked Local Hanover reports.

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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