June 30 Bi-Weekly Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

**NOTE: After over three months of daily Round-ups of NEC member COVID-19 response, we are transitioning to provide twice-weekly updates, based upon the volume of new information available.  Please check our blog on Tuesdays and Fridays for a summary of how Council members are taking action to respond to the pandemic and its ongoing economic impact on our region.**

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 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 the June 30, 2020 roundup:

Medical Response

  • Harvard Study Reveals Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx AmericansHarvard University released research detailing the years of life lost due to COVID-19, which found disparities between racial and ethnic groups in the impact of COVID-19. Using newly available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which proved key to the findings, the analysis revealed vast differences in COVID-19 mortality rates between racial and ethnic groups. Read more here.
  • New Hampshire Medical Professionals Stress Masks Will Save Lives – According to Dr. Michael Calderwood of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, now is not the time for Granite Staters to stop wearing masks, saying that “this is time for personal sacrifices to benefit the greater good.”  Joining in this sentiment is University of New Hampshire Associate Professor of Health Management Semra Aytur, who said “if at least 50% of people wear a cloth face covering all the time, it reduces the spread to a reproduction number of 1.” A University of Washington study estimated that over 33,000 lives could be saved by Oct. 1 if the whole country adopted wearing face masks, including potentially hundreds in N.H.  Read more in the New Hampshire Business Review.


Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • UMaine Partners with Jax Labs to Provide Testing as Campuses Reopen – As the University of Maine (UMaine) will partner with fellow NEC member The Jackson Laboratory (Jax Labs), as well as ConvenientMD, to provide comprehensive testing as the university prepares to welcome students back to its campuses this fall. ConvenientMD walk-in clinics at all seven UMaine campuses and the School of Law will conduct the tests, and Jax Labs will test the samples.  Read more in the Portland Press Herald.
  • UMass Amherst to Allow Students Return to Campus – The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced that it will allow students to return to campus in the fall, while holding most of its classes online. In making this decision, the university considered public health issues, the safety of older faculty and staff and the neighboring towns, along with the desire of many students to return to campus, said Chancellor Subbaswamy. Read more here.
  • University of Hartford Offering up to 50% off Tuition to International Students Who Can’t Get Visas Due to COVID-19 – The University of Hartford, which has enacted voluntary furloughs and pay cuts in response to COVID-19-related financial losses, is offering up to 50% off tuition to international students who can’t get visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but agree to take courses online next semester. Read more here.
  • Dartmouth to Open Campus to Half of Student BodyDartmouth College has announced that it plans to bring about half of its undergraduate student body back for each term starting this fall. All undergraduates will have single rooms or live in two-room doubles Students can choose to enroll in remote learning off-campus. Students arriving on campus this fall will get tested for COVID-19, and quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Read more here.


Community Response

  • Rockland Trust donates $320,000 in COVID-19 relief grants – Two charitable foundations associated with Rockland Trust recently donated $320,000 44 organizations across Rhode Island and Massachusetts to help individuals and businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank’s two affiliated charitable foundations are Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation Inc. and Rockland Trust-Blue Hills Charitable Foundation Inc. Read more here.
  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation Pledges Additional $900K in Grants – The Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced that it will offer an additional $900,000 in grants to support COVID-19 recover efforts in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. The latest grant offering brings the foundation’s total commitment to COVID-19 relief to date to nearly $2 million.  More here.
  • Travelers Championship Raises 1.6 Million for Charities – Over the weekend the Travelers Championship raised more than $1.6 million to support over 100 charities, including bolstering COVID-19 relief efforts in the state by supporting local health care outfits. Read more here.
  • New Balance Donates to Covid-19 Grants – New Balance Foundation announced a second round of funding as part of its pledge to donate $2 million in non-profit grants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After an initial distribution of $500,000, organizations have received a combined total of $1.25 million in New Balance Foundation COVID-19 grants. The grants provide emergency and supplemental support to organizations including human service agencies providing food, shelter and aid to under-served populations; youth-serving agencies helping families with food, counseling, physical activity, and virtual learning; and health organizations and cultural institutions. Read more here.
  • UNH Survey Center Tracks COVID-19 Attitudes – The Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has been conducting surveys tracking the views of New Hampshire residents on a variety of COVID-19 topics.  Within the past week, the team at UNH polled such topics as support among New Hampshire parents for sending their children back to school; support for absentee voting in the state because of COVID-19; approval or disapproval of the President’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis; and support for public activities in the Granite State broken out by political party.  Read more at the UNH Survey Center webpage.

Stay tuned for more updates twice a week, 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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