March 24 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 also check our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar for information on upcoming COVID-19 related programming – including Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members.

Here is today’s (March 24, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Southern New Hampshire University Opens State’s First Hospital Overflow Space– A gym at Southern New Hampshire University’s campus in Manchester, NH, became the first “clinical flex area” in the state, holding as many as 250 beds as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increase. The gym will be used by Catholic Medical Center and other area hospitals to accommodate patients who have improved or are not facing complications as a result of infection. The Union Leader has more.
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Develops COVID-19 Test – Dartmouth-Hitchcock has developed and prepared for use its own test to screen for COVID-19 that can produce results in as few as six hours. At present, the team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock can run about 100 tests per day; the number is expected to increase to over 1,000 by next week. Read more in the Union Leader.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • National Fire Protection Association Issues Reminder on Building Safety – As businesses around the world shutter to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued new guidance to officials on the importance of building and fire safety regardless of occupancy. The NFPA stresses that essential safety measures should not be ignored as to avoid adding to the existing strain on emergency services. NFPA also included a list of recommendations to ensure safety even as buildings empty. Read the guidance here.
  • General Electric Partners with Ford, 3M to Produce Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers – General Electric (GE) is collaborating with Ford and 3M to speed up production of face masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers directly working in fields affected by the novel coronavirus. In addition to this commitment to new PPE, General Electric has partnered with Ventech to increase production of ventilators. Investors

Community Response

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Commits Funds, Resources to Massachusetts Resiliency and Nonprofit Organizations –Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) has committed to aiding its community through $300,000 in donations to local non-profits and charities. . Ranging from donations to the Boston Resiliency Fund to launching an online giving platform that enables employees to donate directly to any Massachusetts-based not-for-profit affected by COVID-19, the resources from Blue Cross will be deployed across Massachusetts to provide relief efforts to those in need. Blue Cross will also match all donations dollar-for-dollar. Read the press release here.
  • AT&T Supports First Responders and Crisis ResponseFirstNet, AT&T’s network designed specifically for emergency management and first responder personnel, has utilized its systems to optimize networks, support quarantine zones, and strengthen public safety’s command of connectivity as they communicate vital information. Read 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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