June 25 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 25, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • BCBSMA Expands Access to Innovative Online Mental Health ProgramBlue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) is expanding access to its virtual behavioral health platform to address the rise in mental health disorders. Learn to Live provides resources and support to those experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of a number of mental illness. Read more.
  • Harvard, BIDMC Study Shows Promise in Relieving “Air Hunger” – A new study published by Harvard University in conjunction with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shows the importance of treating “air hunger,” or severe breathlessness, in COVID-19 patients. The paper debunks the myth that sedation—such as that used for patients on ventilators—eliminates air hunger and offers solutions to truly relieve the often-traumatic feeling of severe breathlessness. Read more here.
  • MGH Establishes COVID-19 Hotline for Area ResidentsMassachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has launched a COVID-19 hotline for patients who have any questions regarding the virus, believe they may have been exposed, or need treatment. In addition to providing advice and offering telemedicine service, the hotline is available in several languages to accommodate non-English-speaking residents of Boston. Read more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • ENGIE Offers Passenger Counting Technology to Transit Agencies to Monitor Density ENGIE North America is providing its Automatic Passenger Counting (APC) service to transportation officials as they resume service. The technology allows operators to monitor passenger capacity and will assist them in enforcing physical distancing guidelines and optimize available space. Mass Transit Magazine has more.
  • Locke Lord Creates COVID-19 Task Force to Coordinate Response Across Industries – Law firm Locke Lord has formed a COVID-19 Task Force to provide advice and updated information to clients. Publications and guidance spanning 35 areas are available as business leaders make decisions amid the pandemic.

Community Response

  • Angel Flight Pilots Deliver Essential Equipment, Services During Pandemic Angel Flight Northeast, an organization that provides free air transport for patients in need of critical medical care, was featured on ABC News for continuing its work to support communities and families during the pandemic. Offering free flights with COVID-19 testing kits, protective equipment, or even families seeking treatment, Angel Flight’s volunteer pilots are traversing the country to provide much-needed relief to those most in need.
  • MassDevelopment Announces $225,000 for Area Recovery Projects MassDevelopment has committed $225,000 in a new round of funding for its Commonwealth Places program, a statewide program now being utilized to assist local economies recover from the pandemic and prepare to serve residents and visitors. As economic activity resumes, eligible areas and businesses will use the funds to safely reopen. The Framingham Source has more.

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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