June 3 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 3, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Partners HealthCare Increases Testing Capacity – As its health centers and hospitals prepare to resume full activity, Partners HealthCare is ramping up its COVID-19 testing procedures and capabilities. Partners has been testing all patients, regardless of symptoms, but is now expanding to regularly test all admitted and ambulatory patients daily, as more are admitted to the network’s facilities. WBUR has more.
  • BU Launches New Studies on COVID-19 Discrepancies – Researchers at Boston University (BU), with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are studying how COVID-19 affects individuals differently. The university has received more than $38 million from the NIH to fund this and other studies, including research on understanding and mitigating the spread of the virus. Read more from The Brink.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • City of Boston Adds $5 Million to Rent Relief Fund – The City of Boston is allocating an additional $5 million to its fund to help tenants pay rent with. The fund, established in order to provide assistance to low-income renters financially strained by the pandemic, provides up to $4,000 in aid to eligible tenants. The city is supplementing the Rental Relief Fund to prevent a surge of evictions when the moratorium on evictions ends. Read more in the Boston Globe.
  • AT&T Launches Initiative to Boost Broadband Speed for Employees Working from Home – As business operations remain largely remote, AT&T is launching a new service to offer those working from home faster and more secure internet access. AT&T Home Office Connectivity will provide improved internet service as well as flexible options for remote work for a post-pandemic workforce. FierceTelecom has more.

Community Response

  • AARP Expands Community Action Grants in Vermont – The Vermont chapter for the AARP has expanded its community grant program to support nonprofits and organizations that respond to the needs of their communities and residents. Grants ranging from $500-2,000 will be given to selected grassroots organizations around Vermont. The Milton Independent
  • Bank of America Pledges $1 Billion for Disadvantaged Communities Impacted by Pandemic Bank of America has committed $1 billion over four years to support historically underserved populations affected disproportionately by the pandemic. The initiative will fund economic mobility and development organizations as well as public health programs to address the long-term effects of systemic prejudice. The Hill

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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