May 5 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 5, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Sanofi to Begin Human Trials of COVID-19 Treatment Sanofi, in parntership with Regeneron, has announced it will move forward with human trials of its COVID-19 treatment beginning in June. The drug, Kevzara, is usually used to treat arthritis, but has garnered attention after earlier trials showed the drug’s promise in severe infections. Read more in The Street.
  • UMass Researchers Creating Rapid, Affordable Diagnostic Test – The University of Massachusetts Amherst is developing a new test for COVID-19 using a “smart swab.” Should it receive approval, the test would function similar to a pregnancy test to provide results in as little as five minutes while still remaining affordable and accessible. Researchers are hopeful the science used to create the test could even be used in future viral outbreaks. Read more from MassLive
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital Designs New Protective GearBrigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has designed a new face shield designed which has helped the hospital combat a shortage in protective equipment. The hospital has also provided a free design for other facilities to copy. The face shield provides more protection than traditional models and was produced with the help of local manufacturers. WHDH has more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • SNHU Releases Online Learning Transition Resources – To ease the transition to remote instruction, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has released a collection of free resources for instructors. A leader in online education, the school is also partnering with business owners to provide free guidance and training on workplace safety during the pandemic. Read more from The Manchester Ink Link
  • Tufts University Launches Virtual Series on Pandemic Lessons – A new video series featuring Tufts University faculty seeks to explore the effects of COVID-19 on a variety of issues, from data privacy to international diplomacy. “Lessons from a Pandemic” delves into the ways in which the pandemic has changed individual lives, the workplace, and the world, and the considerations stakeholders must take into account in their responses to the virus. Read more.

Community Response

  • WCVB Raises More than $3 Million for Greater Boston Food BankWCVB’s fundraising campaign, Project CommUNITY, raised a record-setting $3 million to support the Greater Boston Food Bank. The money raised through the event is the equivalent of more than 9 million meals for local communities and families in the Boston area. Read more from WCVB.
  • Eastern Bank Donates Additional $5 Million to Vulnerable New England Populations – To aid communities most affected by the pandemic, Eastern Bank has committed $5 million to organizations across New England. The funds come after the bank previously donated $3 million, and will be allocated to directly support families or organizations providing resources for child care workers, immigrants, domestic violence victims, and more. Read more in MassLive.

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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