May 21 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 21, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Dana-Farber Launches New Clinical Trial – Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are beginning trials on a cancer drug’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients. Ibrutinib and zanubrutinib, typically used in treating blood cancer, have been reported to alleviate respiratory distress and lung damage, two of the main symptoms of COVID-19 infection, in both mouse and human trials. The Boston Herald has more.
  • Codman Square Health Center Expands Testing Capacity Codman Square Health Center is offering COVID-19 testing capacity to include more Boston residents. Located in Dorchester, one of the hardest-hit areas of the city, Codman Square Health Center’s expansion of testing aims to track the spread of the virus in communities. Read more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Boston University Announces Plans for Campus Testing – As part of its plan to reopen its campus for the fall semester, Boston University has announced its own testing program for all faculty, staff, and students. The school’s testing initiative provides a vision for reopening campus and allowing students to return. Read more from BU Today
  • NEC Member Educational Institutions Detail Flexibility Plans for Fall Semester ­– Leaders from Boston-area NEC members including Emerson College, Bunker Hill Community College, and Northeastern University outlined their plans for resuming in-person instruction for the fall semester. The leaders all stressed their desire to reopen their campuses while ensuring students, faculty, and staff remain safe. The Boston Globe has more.
  • UMass Proposes Tuition Freeze for In-State Undergraduate Students – The president of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system has proposed a tuition freeze for the university’s in-state students for the upcoming school year. President Marty Meehan suggested the freeze as a way to ensure the system’s programs remain affordable and accessible. Read more from the Boston Business Journal.

Community Response

  • Ocean Spray Donating Products, Funds to First RespondersOcean Spray is donating to healthcare workers with each purchase of a beverage from its new line of products. In addition, the cooperative is partnering with First Responders First, an initiative of the HarvardH. Chan School of Public Health, to provide first responders across the country with products to support their wellbeing. Food Business News has more.
  • PwC Donates $100,000, Materials to Global Communities in NeedPwC has donated $100,000, in addition to laptops and masks, to areas around the world facing the spread of COVID-19. The donation will support vulnerable communities and emergency response worldwide. Read more from Bernews.

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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