May 27 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 27, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • UMass Dartmouth Professor’s Viral Blog Shares Concerns, Best Practices for COVID-19 Safety – Dr. Erin Bromage, a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, launched a blog in February to share his concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Originally an exercise for his biology students, the blog has become a popular source of information around the country as Dr. Bromage shares his worries about phased reopening of businesses and advice on life in the pandemic era. Read more from Boston.com.
  • MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Researchers Develop New Ventilator Splitting Technology – Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have invented a new, safer way to split ventilators between COVID-19 patients. The new technique could increase the availability of ventilators, already in short supply amid the pandemic. Design World reports.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • City of Boston Announces $6 Million in Grants for Business Reopenings – The City of Boston has committed $6 million in grants for small businesses as they begin to reopen under strict guidance. The program is designed to support businesses—especially those where employees work in close contact with others—in procuring protective equipment. The Boston Business Journal has more.
  • University of Harford Offers Tuition Break on Master’s Degree Programs for Class of 2020 – The University of Hartford (UHart) is offering graduates 50% off of tuition for 16 graduate programs. The university is offering the tuition decrease as an alternative path for students graduating into an uncertain job market, and expects about 10 percent of the class of 2020 to utilize the scholarship. Read more in the Hartford Business Journal.
  • K&L Gates Podcast Provides Updates on Health Law During Pandemic – Law firm K&L Gates has launched a new podcast to provide up-to-date information regarding changes in health law. The podcast outlines federal and state guidelines, and differences between them, to offer critical information as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Community Response

  • Vermont Teddy Bear Company Producing 125,000 Face Masks for Vermont Communities, Businesses – The Vermont Teddy Bear Company is coordinating the production of 125,000 masks through its existing production capacity. Beyond making the masks in its facilities, the company is providing individuals with kits and equipment to sew their own masks. The masks will be distributed to essential workers and Vermont residents in vulnerable populations. Read more.
  • Lowe’s Increased Relief Support with Additional $25 Million Lowe’s has pledged an additional $25 million in grants, products, and resources for small businesses as they begin to resume economic activity. The donation will provide businesses with protective equipment and grants along with guidance on how to safely reopen. 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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