May 13 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 (May 13, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • GE Collaborates to Develop Patient Monitoring Tool for Healthcare Facilities General Electric (GE), in partnership with Microsoft, has launched new software to help health systems monitor COVID-19 patients remotely. The service allows healthcare staff to significantly reduce both exposure to the virus and use of protective equipment while caring for infected patients. TechCrunch reports.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • WPI Awarded Grant to Study Impact of Pandemic on College Students – Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have received a $200,000 grant to study how the pandemic is affecting college students. The grant, from the National Science Foundation, will be used by professors across disciplines to measure the effects—from improper learning conditions off-campus to the sudden switch to remote instruction—of the pandemic on students. Read more.
  • Old Sturbridge Village Featured for Online Programming Old Sturbridge Village was highlighted in the Worcester Business Journal for its transition to online programming in the wake of sudden closures. To continue interaction with visitors, Old Sturbridge Village has expanded its online offerings and educational materials. The museum now offers online lessons on playing 19th-century board games, preparing a garden, and more. Read the article here.
  • New England Aquarium “First Responders” Continue to Care for Inhabitants – Despite remaining closed to visitors, staff at the New England Aquarium has remained on duty, caring for the institution’s 20,000 animals. These “first responders” operate in shifts to remain safe while still caring for the needs of the animals and maintaining educational programming. Read more from WGBH.

 Community Response

  • Novo Nordisk Providing Free Insulin Supply to Patients Without Insurance Novo Nordisk is offering a free 90-day supply of insulin for patients who have lost their health insurance due to a change in employment. In addition, Novo Nordisk has launched a series of other affordability options to assist those suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Read more.
  • Boston Beer Company Repurposing Expired Beer into Hand Sanitizer – As parts of its beer supply expires due to decreased demand, Boston Beer Company is repurposing the expired beer into ethanol to produce hand sanitizer. The brewery has been working with state and local officials to sell the product and is donating the profits to aid restaurant workers. CNBC reports.
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Donates $4.7 Million to Worldwide Testing Efforts – Takeda Pharmaceutical has donated $4.7 million to support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its efforts to distribute and conduct COVID-19 tests in 119 countries. Funds will be directed toward member states in need of testing, safety equipment, and public health guidance from the agency. 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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