May 15 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 15, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Collaborate on Clinical Trial – Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are partnering on a first-of-its-kind trial in Boston using plasma from recovered patients to treat COVID-19 patients. The treatment is now entering a randomized, double-blind study to evaluate the treatment’s efficacy while it expands to other nearby research centers. Read more from the Boston Herald.
  • MGH Study Shows Spread of Virus in Boston – New results from a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study show a more comprehensive view of how the virus has spread throughout Boston. The study shows that about 10 percent of those tested have been exposed to the virus and offers insight into how public health measures are working to curb the spread of the virus as the country weighs reopening. WBUR reports.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Boston Harbor Now Launches Online Visit Platform Harbor At Home, a new initiative from Boston Harbor Now, allows users to virtually connect to the city’s open spaces. Through online programs from a variety of local small businesses, the platform offers fitness courses, science lessons, and art exhibits from community partners. Read more.
  • Bank of America Offers COVID-19 Bond Bank of America has begun issuing corporate bonds to offset the revenue losses sustained by the healthcare industry, making it the first bank to offer such an option. The funds from the sales will go toward hospitals, manufacturers, and biotech companies working with virus patients or on a treatment. MarketWatch has more.
  • Iron Mountain Offers Continuity Measures Iron Mountain is offering a host of services and resources to allow businesses to continue to manage their data securely and efficiently amid the pandemic. The company is also offering educational materials on workplace continuity and regulatory changes related to COVID-19. Read more.
  • Verizon Donates $7.5 Million to Small Business Recovery GrantsVerizon has donated $7.5 million for small businesses with grants administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a non profit organization that pools donations to support various community development initiatives. The grants will help small businesses offset revenue losses, focusing specifically on underserved communities and microbusinesses, or those with less than 10 employees. Read more from USA Today; the grant application can be found here. Applications for this round of funding are due on Wednesday, May 20.

Community Response

  • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Providing Fresh Food to Families – To help families access fresh and nutritious food, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center has partnered with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) to provide boxes of fresh food for residents in need. The collaboration is expected to help 400 households as the virus increases food insecurity in financially-strained areas. WBUR has 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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