Community COVID-19 Updates
Kendall’s culture and identity are driven by collaboration, and this is one of our most human experiments to date -- how can we share information, work together, and support each other and our community during this fluid and unsettling time?
Our focus is to arm our members with the tools and resources they need to continue to push the boundaries of innovation and support your employees.
That said, we want to be sure you know that we are here for you and want to hear more about your experience and the ways that we can work creatively together to innovate the way we do business at this challenging time.
The Biogen Foundation is donating $10 million to provide immediate relief for communities affected by COVID-19. The funding will be used to address immediate critical needs, with the majority of donations going to support non-profit organizations that are working to address critical issues like expanding testing options, easing the strain on our medical systems, providing training and protection for front line health workers and ensuring people have access to necessities like food.
Bristol Myers Squibb
To help patients that have recently lost their health insurance due to COVID-19, Bristol Myers Squibb has expanded their patient support programs by offering access to all branded BMS medicine for free.
Broad Institute is working closely with the departments of pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and other area hospitals to put Broad's high-throughput genomic capabilities at the disposal of the Commonwealth to enable increased capacity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. They are also partnering with the City of Cambridge on a pilot project to test for COVID-19 in nursing facilities. The goal is to create a system to determine early warning signs of COVID-19. The project will screen residents and healthcare workers to identify any symptoms.
Masks are scarce but Facebook donated masks last week to our law enforcement. This gear is going to police officers, firefighters, community health centers, and hospitals.
Ten years ago, FUJIFILM produced a drug to treat new and reemerging strains of influenza, which could include a treatment for COVID-19. Three Massachusetts hospitals have been approved to launch the first US clinical trial, including MGH.
They are helping people find useful information by working with the U.S. Government, protecting people from misinformation, enabling productivity for remote users and students, supporting relief efforts and government organizations, and advancing health research and science.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson has selected a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate and is expecting a rapid scaling of the manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing a global supply of more than one billion doses of a vaccine. They are planning for the vaccine to become available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.
MassBio is asking every life sciences and healthcare organization to consider how they may be able to help, specifically in donating lab, testing, and diagnostics supplies, personal protection equipment (PPE), and medical and scientific expertise needed to combat COVID-19. Let them know what supplies you are able to donate here.
Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale announced that the creation of the Temporary Emergency Shelter will be covered by matching donations of $250,000 each from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
On March 16, the first participant was dosed in the Phase 1 study of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) against the novel coronavirus, which is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Company reported that the Phase 1 study is proceeding in accordance with the protocol under the direction of NIAID. The Company further reported that while a commercially-available vaccine is not likely to be available for at least 12-18 months, it is possible that under emergency use, a vaccine could be available to some people, possibly including healthcare professionals, in the fall of 2020.
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Pfizer has recently completed a preliminary assessment of certain antiviral compounds that were previously in development and that inhibited the replication of coronaviruses similar to the one causing COVID-19 in cultured cells.
Philips is doubling the production of ventilators within the next eight weeks and is targeting a four-fold increase by the third quarter to meet demand from hospitals overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID-19.
A Sanofi Genzyme drug has the potential to prevent the inflammatory immune response seen in COVID-19 patients' lungs. Patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms will be receiving the drug to see if it can treat the acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Takeda donated $2 million to the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-10. This fund will provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are extremely vulnerable during the current COVID-19 crisis. You can donate here as well. Takeda is also in the race to develop the first approved coronavirus treatment. Their product uses the plasma of people who've developed immunity to the virus to make a medicine to protect high-risk individuals from the COVID-19 virus.
Verizon has invested $2.5 million to make it possible for LISC to offer grants helping small businesses. This will allow them to fill urgent financial gaps until they can go back to normal operations or until permanent financing becomes available.
Resources for Businesses
Joint Statement of MA Business Leaders
The Commonwealth’s business community stands together with a unified voice to advocate for solutions that can provide immediate support and relief to impacted businesses and workers across the Commonwealth, and help them recover in the weeks and months ahead.
Guidance on the Governor’s Emergency Order
Governor Baker has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. The Department of Public Health has issued a "stay-at-home" advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols.
$10M Small Business Recovery Fund
This program is open to small businesses with less than 50 employees who can demonstrate an adverse impact on revenues resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.
Changes to MBTA Services
COVID-19 Response Command Center - last updated 5/26/2020
How to Help
There are many different resources from the state and several foundations set up to support those most vulnerable during this crisis.
CRA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority launched a Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (CRA Small Business Program) applicable to establishments in Kendall Square and East Cambridge. The program will provide eligible retail, food, personal services, and creative for-profit businesses with a grant up to $6,000 per brick and mortar business.
Life Science Cares COVID-19 Response Fund
Life Science Cares (LSC) has put together a COVID-19 Response Fund to support the most vulnerable among us—the homeless, those living in poverty, and students. Many organizations from the Kendall community have already given generously to the LSC COVID-19 Response Fund such as Sanofi, IPSEN, Alnylam, Takeda, Moderna, and Biogen.
Cambridge Community Foundation
The Cambridge Community Foundation has launched two emergency funds as a source of immediate relief for those who need it most. The first being the Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund, and the second is the Cambridge Artist Relief Fund which will meet immediate needs in the arts sector.
Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19
In response to the public health crisis created by COVID-19, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager, Louis A. DePasquale have activated the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund. This will provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing extreme financial hardship caused by the current COVID-19 crisis in partnership with non-profit organizations. Donate today to support those who are most vulnerable during this crisis.
Are KSA events moving forward as planned?
All KSA convenings will occur digitally for the time being. This includes small online gatherings in the weeks ahead to keep us connected and create space for information sharing and mutual support. To be added to the mailing list for these virtual convenings, please email Valentine Philpott.
How can we support Kendall restaurants and retailers during this challenging time?
Governor Baker restricted restaurants to offering only takeout and delivery. Many of these restaurants are doing all they can to stay afloat so they can be here when Kendall roars back to life. For a list of Kendall restaurants who are here to feed you or who will gladly sell you a gift card for future use, please click here.
What non-events programming does KSA have coming up?
In addition to our online convenings, KSA is in the process of building a better www.kendallsq.org to provide global visibility into Kendall and help members plugin across the community. And our transportation advocacy will not slow down even as the T and roads temporarily empty. We all know the congestion will, unfortunately, return, so the KSA team will continue to advocate on your behalf at the State House and connect with transportation advocates across the world to create policies that will support the future.