March 23 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 will be 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’ll also be 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 23, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Jackson Laboratory Begins COVID-19 TestingJackson Laboratory (JAX) will begin diagnostic testing for COVID-19 at its Farmington, CT, location this week. The lab plans to conduct around 150 tests a day to increase the state’s testing capacity, but is already working to increase staff and equipment to meet growing demand. NBC
  • MIT collaborates with Harvard to Develop App to Map Virus Spread– The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab has developed a new app, Private Kit, in collaboration with Harvard University to track the spread of the novel coronavirus in the user’s region. By sharing their location and status with users in the area, communities and individuals can see If they have come into contact with someone who had been exposed to the virus—without violating privacy. The Deccan Chronicle has more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response 

  • The Castle Group Creates Crisis Response Team– Boston PR firm The Castle Group has formed a task force to address the varying needs and challenges across sectors posed by the spread of COVID-19. Including expert advice from medical professionals, recovery planning, and customizable projections, the task force aims to increase fact-based practice and allow businesses to remain operational. Read more here.
  • MetroHartford Alliance Brings Together Organizations to Provide Support and Resources for Business Community – While businesses both locally and worldwide respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the MetroHartford Alliance is partnering with business organizations to ensure the health of its business community and has developed its own resource page for businesses. The collaboration will feature the Alliance, the Small Business Administration, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, and more. The Hartford Courant has more.
  • Nutter, McClennen & Fish Establishes Virus Task Force – Law firm Nutter, McClennen & Fish (Nutter) has dedicated its own task force to provide assistance and information regarding best practices during the outbreak. In addition to solutions regarding cybersecurity, employment, and more, the task force will provide current virus updates as it continues to impact the business world. Read more.

Community Response 

  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Gives Over $3 Million for Relief Efforts – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has pledged more than $3 million to relief efforts across New England. Funds will be distributed among food banks, local nonprofits, community service organizations, restaurants, and other businesses affected by the developing impact of the virus. Read more.
  • TD Bank Donates Over $500,000 to Support Healthcare Providers – TD Bank has donated $250,000 to community health centers across the East Coast to increase access to care. Additionally, the bank has allocated another $300,000 for local charitable organizations where it provides services, which will be used to fund a variety of causes, from education and preventative efforts to transportation and case management. Read more in Business News.
  • IBM Coordinates with Governments to Provide Researchers with Necessary Computing Power – As researchers race to find treatments for the virus, they must run experiments that could ordinarily take months to conduct. IBM has begun partnering with governments across the world to provide researchers with access to computing systems and power to facilitate this research. VentureBeat has more.
  • Tufts Health Plan Donates $1 Million for Organizations Helping Elderly and Vulnerable Populations – To help some of the groups most at risk, Tufts Health Plan Foundation has committed $1 million to organizations assisting elderly and vulnerable people in New England states. The donation will be used to distribute food, transportation, medical supplies, and other essential services to these groups during the outbreak of the virus. Read more in Providence Business News.

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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