Foundation Sponsor COVID-19 Resources

4/6/2021

Sonpor Resources

As the spread of COVID-19 continues, the NCSL Foundation is sharing sponsor resources and organizational efforts focused on combating the crisis. If you would like to share your information on this webpage, please contact the foundation staff.

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  • Alzheimer's Association
  • Amazon
  • America's Health Insurance Plans
  • American Bankers Association
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American Hotel & Lodging Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Financial Services Association
  • American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
  • American Gas Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Institutes for Research
  • American Institutes for CPAs
  • American Public Power Association
  • American Optometric Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield 
  • BSA | The Software Alliance
  • Change Healthcare
  • Comcast
  • Computing Technology Industry Association
  • Consumer Date Industry Association
  • CVS Health
  • Deloitte
  • Edison Electric Institute
  • Ernst & Young
  • Esri
  • FOCUS
  • Gilead
  • Google
  • HIMSS
  • IBM
  • International Code Council
  • Intuit
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • LexisNexis State Net
  • MAGNA
  • MAXIMUS
  • McKesson
  • Merck
  • Mortgage Bankers Association
  • MultiState
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • National Association of State Procurement Officials
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • National Retail Federation
  • NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
  • Novartis
  • Nuclear Energy Institute
  • NWEA
  • Online Lenders Alliance
  • PepsiCo
  • Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
  • PhRMA
  • Qualtrics
  • RELX Inc.
  • SAS Institute
  • Sanofi
  • Share Our Strength
  • Siemens
  • Sourcewell
  • State Farm
  • Stateside Associates
  • Target
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is releasing important guidance urging policymakers to implement new policy solutions to address the dramatic and evolving issues affecting nursing homes and assisted living communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more from the Alzheimer’s Association: Improving the State Federal Response to COIVD-19 in Long-Term Care Settings and Media Coverage of COVID-19 State Responses.

In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association called on the federal government to show greater urgency to protect the health and safety of residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings. Read more about the association’s rapid point-of-care testing solution.

The Alzheimer’s Association has new resources available highlighting the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. These materials rely on data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that show that deaths due to Alzheimer's and dementia are significantly higher than average:

  • Background Information: Describes how the statistics are calculated and provides possible explanations for the elevated number of dementia deaths.
  • State-by-State Table: Provides number and percent or dementia deaths above average by state in table format.
  • Map: Visualizes the percent of dementia deaths above average by state.

New Reports of Impact of COVID-19 on Long-Term Care Staff: Across the country, nursing homes are seeing dangerous testing lags or are not utilizing point-of-care tests, hindering efforts to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Recent news coverage highlight the current impact of community spread on long-term care communities:

Long-term care facilities account for about 1% of the U.S. population, but represent 40% of COVID-19 deaths. It remains critical that state governments adopt and implement the Alzheimer’s Association’s Long-Term Care Policy Recommendations including prioritizing rapid testing, PPE and strike teams to not disrupt care to people with dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association is working with policymakers to identify and implement new policy solutions that address the immediate and long-term issues impacting care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraged by recent CMS and CDC efforts to enable visitation, reuniting residents with their families and reducing the harmful impact social isolation has had on these individuals. As more families move toward this important milestone, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends families and long-term care settings remain diligent in following proven COVID-19 protocols. For people living with dementia who are at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, it is especially important to continue to take extra precaution to protect these individuals.

Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic has continued to magnify the crisis in long-term care. Please consider checking out this NBC News piece - America now knows that nursing homes are broken. Does anyone care enough to fix them?

Using electronic health record data from 61.9 million American adults, researchers at Case Western University found the risk of contracting COVID-19 was twice as high for people in the study with dementia than for those without it—while among those in the study with dementia, Blacks had close to three times the risk of being infected with COVID-19 as did whites. The findings were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association on Feb. 9. The New York Times coverage - People With Dementia Are Twice as Likely to Get Covid, Huge Study Finds.

Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian adults expect and experience more barriers when accessing dementia care, according to two new national surveys released recently as part of the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

This year’s special report—Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s—examines perspectives and experiences of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native and White Americans with regard to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. The special report also finds that half or more of Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian American caregivers say they have experienced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient. Read the full report at alz.org/facts

The Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map series includes promotion of health equity as a guiding principle to accelerate progress against dementia across all communities. This includes addressing disparities such as those mentioned above, rebuilding trust among populations that have experienced structural and systemic injustices (including among Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans), and embracing the unique strengths of communities to advance health and well-being.

2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures also examines the impact COVID-19 is having on people living with Alzheimer’s. According to the report, there were at least 42,000 more deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2020 compared with the previous five-year average—a 16% increase. Learn more at alz.org/publichealth-covid19.

In addition to the special report on race and ethnicity as well as COVID-19 data, 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures provides the latest national and state-specific statistics on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, cost of care, and caregiving. Updated state-specific fact sheets are available for each state and the District of Columbia. Download the full report, find infographics, and other quick facts at alz.org/facts.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

As the health care partner to one in three Americans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies continue to work hard to ensure our members can get the care they need. Very early on, BCBS companies committed to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as expanded telehealth and made prescription refills easier to obtain. To date, BCBS companies have collectively committed more than $7 billion to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes financial support for members, medical professionals and practices, and communities. BCBSA recently created a pilot program along with Americas Health Insurance Plans to ensure that the most vulnerable seniors have access to vaccines. Here are examples of how the 35, independent and locally operated plans are at work in the communities they serve.

In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield made an announcement on waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment. BlueCross BlueShield is committed to supporting its members, communities and health care workers in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak. As a system of 36 independent, locally operated companies, it is uniquely positioned to provide critical relief to each of the communities it serves, as is has for over 90 years. 

Comcast

Comcast will increase access to and speeds of internet services to support Americans through the coronavirus pandemic. Read more about its efforts. In addition, Comcast Extends 60-Days of Free Internet Service to New Internet Essentials Customers.  Originally set to expire on June 30, the free offer will now be available through the end of this year. In addition, Comcast Extends Free Public WiFi Access to Everyone For the Remainder of 2020.  This includes free access to 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020. To read more, visit their website.

Comcast has a blog post by Tony Werner, president of the Technology, Product, Xperience organization within Comcast Cable. In the post, Tony provides an overview of the key factors that powered our network’s performance during this unprecedented surge.

Gilead

Since the outset of the pandemic, Gilead Sciences has worked closely with global health authorities to respond through the appropriate use of Veklury® (remdesivir). Veklury is a nucleotide analog invented by Gilead. Veklury has broad-spectrum antiviral activity both in vitro and in vivo in animal models against multiple emerging viral pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In the United States, the FDA approved Veklury on Oct. 22, 2020 for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients ≥12 years old and weighing ≥40 kg requiring hospitalization for COVID-19. We believe Veklury will continue to be effective against recently emerged variants of SARS-CoV-2 including both the UK and South Africa strains, based on an initial analysis of available information.

Read more about Gilead’s Response to COVID-19 and their efforts to Supply Veklury® for COVID-19.

Google

As public health authorities ramp up COVID vaccination efforts, Google is committed to continuing to do its part. Besides its focus on providing authoritative information about vaccines across its platforms, Google published new initiatives, product features, and a commitment of more than $150 million to promote vaccine education, outreach and equitable access. Read more.

Share Our Strength

This year, 1 in 4 children in the United States could face hunger because of the coronavirus. Millions of vulnerable children lost the healthy meals they depend on as the coronavirus closed schools nationwide. Before this crisis, millions of hungry kids relied on school for food. For many, it was the only food they might get on a given day. With classrooms closed, schools and local nonprofits are struggling to reach kids with the meals they need. And with many parents out of work, more children in the United States may be facing hunger than ever before.

No Kid Hungry is a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. After 25 years of successfully investing in local nonprofits and helping find the best approaches to eradicating poverty and hunger, Share Our Strength launched No Kid Hungry in 2010. As a child hunger organization, ending childhood hunger is our primary focus, though Share Our Strength continues to invest in and develop other campaigns.

No Kid Hungry has a plan to make sure children get the food they need, both through emergency response during this crisis and during the coming school year.

Our experts are working with schools, school districts, state agencies and policy makers to share the lessons we are learning about how to ensure children and families receive the nutritional support they need, while leveraging policy levers and federal resources to support state and local school nutrition budgets, including which areas of the CARES ACT can be utilized to fund nutrition programs.

In addition, with many members of the restaurant community, many of whom are longstanding champions in the fight to end child hunger, feeling the impact of COVID-19 acutely, Share Our Strength has collected resources and opportunities to advocate in support of their recovery.

American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association (ABA) made an announcement concerning efforts by the banking industry to help people who are unbanked or underbanked. ABA is calling on all banks to offer Certified BankOn Accounts at every bank. BankOn accounts were developed by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) and include key protections for customers including a prohibition on overdraft fees and access to bank branches as well as the full slate of online and mobile services and debit-card access. ABA is working with bank-technology partners to ensure that all banks can offer these accounts.   

BIO

BIO represents the major global biopharmaceutical companies involved in developing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. BIO created a website called COVID Vaccine Facts.org as part of our effort to educate the public and policymakers about COVID vaccine development, as well as answer questions about vaccine safety. The content on this website serves as an educational tool to link people to third-party scientific and evidenced-based information related to the vaccine development process, along with the safety, efficacy, availability, and affordability of Covid-19 vaccines.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

In response to COVID-19, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has recommended state priorities to expand access to care and pharmacy continuity. NACDS is urging governors and their state teams to ensure continuity of patient care during this pandemic by removing needless barriers and restrictions. As the situation evolves, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores website will stay up to date—please refresh your browser to ensure you are viewing the most current version.

PepsiCo

PepsiCo will be providing enhanced benefits to all U.S.-based employees and additional compensation to U.S. front-line employees during this crisis. As CEO Ramon Laguarta said, "With COVID-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it's important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times. We couldn't be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators." To read more on these enhanced benefits and additional hiring opportunities, read this PRNewswire article.

PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation made an announcement on their global relief efforts to assist those affected by the virus. In addition, they will provide a $7 million initiative to increase medical and economic aid to communities of color across the country. This investment comes as unemployment and COVID-19 infection rates among Black and Latino communities continue to spike.

With the election fast approaching, PepsiCo will help employees stay connected to the communities where they live and work by partnering with organizations to provide information about registering for, and participating in, the upcoming election:

  • PepsiCo has joined Time To Vote, a business-led, nonpartisan effort that works to ensure employees across America don't have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck.
  • The company is also working with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations that work to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the U.S.

PepsiCo is also partnering with When We All Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to increase voter registration, to host hybrid food and voter registration drives. Specifically, it will be supporting “Fuel the Vote” events in Detroit and Milwaukee, cities it is  also supporting through its COVID-19 relief efforts with the National Urban League and UnidosUS. More information about these events can be found here.

You may also see some of the company’s brands support more nonpartisan voter education efforts, like the Pepsi “Unmute Your Voice” campaign with Rock the Vote—available in English and Spanish—that was announced during MTV’s Video Music Awards ceremony. 

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) affirms its commitment to support federal, state and local public health agencies, as well as the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and to collaborate with health care providers, first responders and others. PCMA also commits to working closely with businesses, labor unions and government programs to ensure working families, seniors, individuals with disabilities and others get the prescription drugs they need in a timely and cost-effective manner, including at home. To help facilitate access to our nation's nearly 70,000 retail pharmacies, PCMA's companies are actively providing information to RxOpen, a central hub created after Hurricane Katrina to help ensure uniform, consistent supply-chain information is provided to stakeholders.

In addition, pharmacy benefit managers are already working with patients to address early refill needs and provide other resources. While COVID-19 itself is a new public health challenge, our companies have substantial experience in helping mitigate prescription drug access concerns in the event of natural disasters, including floods, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes. We have learned from previous regional and global health care events, such as Zika, Ebola and the H1N1 virus. We prepare annually for recurring health care events, including the influenza season. PCMA commends the work of state legislators around the country to address this pandemic and stand ready and willing to share our expertise. COVID-19 is yet another reminder of the need for robust private-public partnerships to facilitate the health and well-being of every American.

Amazon

Amazon's Dave Clark, senior vice president of Worldwide Operations, made an announcement on the enhanced safety measures Amazon is taking in its operations network and Whole Foods stores. Additionally, Amazon has hired over 80,000 people out of the additional 100,000 positions that opened up on March 16 to continue to serve its customers. Read the announcement.

America's Health Insurance Plans

Public-private partnerships are essential to overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. From the beginning, health insurance providers have been working with federal, state, and community leaders to ensure there are no barriers to testing, treatment and vaccines. That includes supporting our frontline health care heroes. Supporting families, communities, and businesses. Covering COVID services at no cost to patients. Expanding access through telehealth. And offering COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to the patient. With the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative, health insurance providers are vaccinating 2 million seniors in communities that are most at-risk and underserved. Together, we will overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Read more about the America's Health Insurance Plans' COVID-19 related resources:

American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has developed the ACC COVID-19 Hub to provide clinical, operational and policy guidance for the global cardiovascular care team. ACC started urging policymakers to expand telehealth solutions as a mechanism to enhance social distancing and prevent community spread in early March. ACC continues to stress the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies to enable caregivers to safely help patients on the front lines, along with continued telehealth flexibility; liability protection for clinicians during this public health emergency; and essential support for the medical workforce, practices and institutions to maintain patient access.

American Federation of Teachers

The American Federation of Teachers released a detailed road map that, in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, charts a path to safely and responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our communities. The 20-page, science-based "Plan to Safely Reopen America's Schools and Communities" sprung from an intense collaboration of public health professionals, union leaders and front-line workers to prepare for what happens next in the period between flattening the curve and truly eradicating the virus.

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers facilitated a conversation with Senior Petrochemical Advisor Jim Cooper highlighting the important role of petrochemical manufacturing in the fight against COVID-19. In the interview, Cooper covers the industry's role in the production of masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectants and other important health care products.

American Gas Association

The American Gas Association is committed to supporting communities across the country and is providing its industry members with resources and information on how to best adapt to the ongoing crisis.

Bank of America

Bank of America announced it will be giving $100 million to support local communities in need as the world faces unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus. The funds will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, increase access to learning as a result of school closures, and provide support to the world's most vulnerable populations. Read more about it.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is working with researchers, medical experts, hospitals, policymakers, community leaders, businesses, families and more to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. This includes investing in research to investigate the cardiovascular implications of coronavirus, providing funding and supporting the Ad Council’s nationwide coronavirus vaccine campaign aimed at encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, making our COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry available to all hospitals and health systems across the U.S. at no charge, and advocating for policies that ensure families, communities and local officials are equipped to handle the pandemic and promote good health.

For science-based information and answers, visit https://www.heart.org/coronavirus and https://www.heart.org/vaccine.

American Institutes for Research

A team of researchers from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has developed a set of Q&As related to COVID-19 that are written in plain language for someone with only a middle-school education. These have gone through cognitive testing, review by an emergency room physician, and are available in English, Spanish and simplified Chinese.

AIR will also be holding a series of distance learning webinars and social emotional learning strategies (SEL) podcasts.

Distance Learning Webinars:

  • On March 2, the REL Midwest and Region 9 Comprehensive Centers (funded by the U.S. Department of Education and operate by AIR), hosted a half-hour webinar on distance learning on "Shifting Classroom Practices to a Virtual Environment." View the recording.
  • On March 26, the REL Midwest and Region 9 Comprehensive Centers (funded by the U.S. Department of Education and operate by AIR), hosted a half-hour webinar on distance learning on "Shifting Classroom Practices to a Virtual Environment." View the recording.
  • On April 8, the REL Midwest hosted a webinar on "Research-Based Resources, Considerations and Strategies for Online Learning." View the recording.

Mental Health Supports for Students Using Social Emotional Learning Strategies:

"Creating a Well-Rounded Educational Experience: Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning": This free four-hour, self-paced online course from AIR was designed as an introduction to SEL for educators who endeavor to create a well-rounded educational experience.

American Institute for CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs is working around the clock to get information into the hands of its members as quickly as possible. Understandably, in doing so, its first priority is to provide members with high-level overviews, then to create tools and resources to support the new information. Find more information on its resource page, and please be sure to check this website on a regular basis.

American Public Power Association

The American Public Power Association is tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy sector. Its COVID-19 webpage includes daily digests related to energy policy, webinars and public policy actions at the state and federal levels.

AT&T

As AT&T responds to COVID-19, the health and safety of its employees and customers remain its top priority. The work they do is critical to millions of people and companies around the world. They are committed to being there when their customers and colleagues need them most. In times like these, people everywhere are seeking to stay connected to those they care most about as well as to news, information, education and even entertainment. Keeping its customers connected is a top priority for AT&T—it is what the company has always done and what it will always do. That's why AT&T has taken steps to help customers who are having economic hardships as a result of COVID-19: It has donated $10 million to expand distance learning initiatives and has offered free smartphone devices to public safety agencies on FirstNet, the nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Please visit AT&T's COVID-19 Response Page for the latest information on how the company is assisting its customers and communities during the pandemic.

BSA | The Software Alliance

BSA | The Software Alliancehas assembled a COVID-19 response page highlighting its global and regional members' efforts during the crisis. In addition, BSA's foundation, Software.org, has listed a variety of software resources for educators, business and government.

Change Healthcare

Change Healthcare launched a COVID-19 Updates and Resource hub to help health care providers maintain workflow efficiencies and business continuity. Examples include 1) helping laboratories get new tests and codes to providers administering COVID-19 tests, and 2) helping radiologists work remotely to diagnose imaging data of COVID-19 patients. In particular, Change Healthcare is also providing resources for health care providers to access benefits provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, such as advanced Medicare payments, on its CARES Act Assistance page.

Consumer Data Industry Association

The Consumer Data Industry Association is providing COVID-19 resources on its webpage.

Computing Technology Industry Association

During this difficult time, we are aware that many of our communities are working from home in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19. With the increase in online activity, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) wants to ensure that you and our community members have information on how to stay safe online. Here are a few best practices and resources to better ensure good cyber hygiene.

CVS Health

CVS Pharmacy is administering the COVID-19 vaccine based on state and local jurisdiction eligibility guidelines in a limited number of locations. Over the coming weeks and months, CVS Health is prepared to play a prominent role in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public. You can find more information here.

Find more information about:

COVID-19: Vaccine information

CVS offering COVID-19 vaccine in select stores

Deloitte

Deloitte created a resource highlighting how COVID-19 will impact the technology-reliant business world today. You can read more about Deloitte's COVID-19 resources on its website.

With all of the focus on safe reopening, Deloitte is assisting several states with setting up their contact tracing systems. This brief video provides additional information on its solution. The solution will be deployed in Texas. In addition, the Center for Government Insights published Executing the COVID-19 Recovery, which is a guide to help states in reopening and restoring their economies. Deloitte also has a Staying safe: Sustaining your organizational cyber hygiene amid COVID-19 disruption guide.

Deloitte has created a GovConnect Public Health Transformation Platform designed as a suite of case management and analytics solutions, built on Salesforce, that help government leaders and public health officials make better real-time decisions about complex and rapidly changing public health crises such as COVID-19.

As you know, states are grappling with how to best utilize funds from the CARES Act and other federal action for their unprecedented level of needs. Deloitte is receiving calls from state clients every day asking which CARES Act funds can be used to support specific projects. To help states address these challenges, Deloitte has developed an approach to federal funding that focuses on the states’ objectives and minimizes risks. Deloitte’s approach combines COVID-19 funding compliance with a Strategy Engine tool to efficiently align expenses to the optimal funding streams for reimbursement, while minimizing risk of deobligation. Read more.

Edison Electric Institute

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has updated resources and guidance from the Department of Energy on critical infrastructure employees and the Electricity Subsector Coordinator Council's Assessing and Mitigating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). These resources and more can be found at EEI's website. In addition, EEI is helping its members by suspending electricity disconnects. Read about it.

EEI has been proactive in fighting scams and fraud. Many electric company customers throughout the country are being targeted by impostor utility scams. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of opportunities in times of disruption. Customers should be on the lookout for suspicious emails, phone calls or persons impersonating business employees or charitable organizations. For more information about how customers can protect themselves from common scams, visit Utilities United Against Scams.

EEI has launched "The Current," a podcast focusing on electric sector issues around the COVID-19 and the industry's response. The first episode features Scott Aaronson, the vice president of security and preparedness at EEI and the leader of COVID-19 response efforts. He and EEI's Brad Viator discuss what the electric industry is doing to respond to the COVID-19 crisis to ensure electricity is available as America moves to working at home.

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has additional updates on their COVID-19 response.  

  • An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the Electric Power Industry. The letter urges EEI’s workers to lead by example and to serve as role models in its communities by following CDC guidance on personal hygiene, social distancing, and, the use of masks or face coverings. 
  • The ESCC Resource Guide: Assessing and Mitigating the Novel Coronavirus, Version 9 is now available and includes information about contact tracing, testing, and reentry issues. 
  • Giving Back: EEI Member Companies Help Their Customers and Communities. This month's issue of Electric Perspectives magazine showcases the mission-essential role of our workforce and the depth and breadth of member companies' COVID-19 response. They also highlight ways their members are supporting their customers and communities.  

Esri

Governments worldwide have trusted geographic information system (GIS) technology to support decision making, resource allocation, and civic engagement during the COVID-19 response. Now moving into the recovery phase, organizations are using GIS to tackle equitable and speedy testing, treatment, and vaccine distribution. Most jurisdictions already have access to GIS through Esri’s ArcGIS software. Your organization can leverage the free tools, solutions, and data Esri has made available today. Explore these resources to get started:

In addition, Esri has created Map-Based Apps to Help Fight Food Insecurity Caused by COVID-19. 

FOCUS

The research team at FOCUS, a Leonine Business, is maintaining a COVID-19 Resources website, including daily headlines and various 50-state charts. This information can also be sent to your inbox via its COVID-19 E-mail Briefing. All of FOCUS' resources are updated throughout the day by its staff of experienced analysts and researchers. These tools are developed with state government affairs and policy professionals in mind and are evolving daily based on client requests and emerging issues.

IBM

IBM provides information on two COVID-19 blockchain solutions. The first is the RAPID Supplier Connect solution that provides a trusted source of supplier information. The second is the Emergency Medical Response Platform (EMRP) solution that assists in the rapid deployment of health professionals to COVID-19 hot spots.

International Code Council

The International Code Council has developed resources to assist building and fire safety departments in continuing to serve their public safety mission. Housed on the Coronavirus Response Center, resources include documents on considerations for code departments as they shift to remote permitting, plan review and virtual inspections. They also include health and safety considerations for code officials and structures used for temporary health care use.

Intuit

Intuit teams have created three new tools to support small businesses and consumers during these unprecedented times. By partnering with the U.S. government and leveraging its platform capabilities, Intuit has launched three new offerings—Intuit Aid Assist, QuickBooks Capital for Paycheck Protection Program and TurboTax Stimulus Registration—to help consumers and small businesses better understand and potentially access billions of dollars through the recently passed federal aid and relief programs. You can help raise awareness about these free resources by sharing them on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is addressing efforts in making a COVID 19 vaccine, “Tackling COVID-19 Through Testing, Treatment and Vaccine Distribution.”

LexisNexis State Net

RELX/LexisNexis implement Risk Solutions Contact Tracing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage includes an on-demand webinar and other materials on contact tracing.

MAGNA

MAGNA developed a Smart Start-Up Interactive Playbook for getting back to work in the "new normal" as businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a framework for restarting office locations and facilities with a consistent response and strategy throughout the company, while protecting employees and making sure everyone stays safe, healthy and confident about returning to work.

MAXIMUS

During these unprecedented times, the demand on government to respond to citizen inquires and support is surging rapidly. MAXIMUS has responded by rapidly standing up turnkey contact engagement centers with both on-premise and home-based agents. Its solution offers 24/7 service, including inbound and outbound contact and communications services by phone, email, text, SMS and other channels; workforce management; call and screen recording; and quality assurance and training. It also has the ability to help support creation and content for delivering contact scripts. MAXIMUS is supporting state unemployment insurance agencies as well as various agencies within the federal government. Read about MAXIMUS' efforts.

In addition Maximus is also closing the Gaps on COVID-19 Contact Tracing.

Merck

Merck announced it's taking a number of new steps to support patients in the United States who may have lost their jobs and insurance coverage. Merck also issued a press release that discusses its participation in the scientific efforts to combat COVID-19.

MultiState

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MultiState has been tracking state and local government activity in its COVID-19 State and Local Policy Tracker Landing Page and Policy Dashboard. These resources are one-stop shops for timely, accurate information on the state and local government response to the pandemic, and they’ve evolved over time as governments moved toward reopening and vaccine distribution. All policy activity relating to the pandemic is housed in one central location to ensure wide accessibility for the business, policy and public health communities. Additionally, all this information is updated daily by our team of experts. 

MultiState’s resources report on and analyze executive orders, emergency declarations and regulatory guidance documents issued by all 50 states and 200 local governments. The following information is housed in the Policy Dashboard, but we’ve also created separate resources on topics of interest:

MultiState’s analysis and reporting are used by hundreds of organizations, businesses, associations and agencies to help them respond to and navigate the pandemic. Bookmark the following links for easy access and daily updates:

National Association of Chain Drug Stores 

In response to COVID-19, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has recommended state priorities to expand access to care and pharmacy continuity. NACDS is urging governors and their state teams to ensure continuity of patient care during this pandemic by removing needless barriers and restrictions. As the situation evolves, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores website will stay up to date—please refresh your browser to ensure you are viewing the most current version.

To reopen the nation successfully and to suppress future COVID-19 outbreaks, NACDS is urging government actions supporting three key objectives that are crucial for the health of all Americans, and especially for those who are left behind economically and medically. These actions, described in a report, relate directly to testing, contact tracing and vaccines or treatments.

American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) quickly mobilized its public awareness, advocacy and clinical resources in support of its members and their practices in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. AOA launched several resources, including a COVID-19 Crisis Response hub, #AskAOA COVID-19 webinar series and a guide on ER Cost Saving during COVID-19. These resources are designed to actively provide the latest information and guidance to doctors, deliver critical practice support, and offer advocacy updates as AOA works to ensure optometry's full recognition in federal crisis relief and the recovery that will follow. AOA's priority is to support the health and safety of the public and the optometric community, and the association will continue to assess the situation and update recommendations accordingly.

National Community Pharmacists Association

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) represents over 21,000 pharmacy small-business owners and their quarter-million employees across the country. Pharmacists are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and in many places they are the only accessible health care providers. NCPA is working with policymakers to tap into the capabilities of community pharmacy and empower pharmacists to play an even bigger role in America's fight against the coronavirus. NCPA's Coronavirus Resource Center is the hub where neighborhood pharmacists can find the latest information, best practices and resources to help them continue to safely serve their communities.

National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation launched Operation Open Doors, which contains a variety of resources for retail and restaurant businesses to track state and local ordinances and public health orders dealing with COVID-19. There are also shared best practices and practical guidance for businesses to implement safety and health measures. 

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

NCTA created a two-pager detailing how the cable industry in total is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes links to the NCTA COVID Response page and network performing dashboard, both found on the NCTA website. Additionally, you can visit an NCTA blog highlighting cable's continued support of schools during COVID. 

Novartis

In the face of a global crisis, Novartis has quickly mobilized research and development capabilities, medicines, clinical trials expertise and philanthropic aid to address the coronavirus pandemic. Read its infographic for more information.

In addition, AveXis, a Novartis Company, has entered into a manufacturing agreement with Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital to produce a novel genetic COVID-19 vaccine candidate called AAVCOVID. Please see the press release. Additional information on Norvartis' COVID-19 response can be found on its website.

Nuclear Energy Institute

The Nuclear Energy Institute is closely tracking the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and assisting industry stakeholders on how to prepare for its impacts.

Online Lenders Alliance

The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) urges all financial service companies to work with consumers during the current health and economic crises. OLA members have led the way, implementing numerous measures to assist consumers, including waiving fees, freezing interest, providing flexible payment plans and due date adjustments, and allowing consumers to skip payments. Its members are committed to working with their customers to help them make it through this difficult time. Find more information on how FinTech lenders are helping consumers.

PhRMA

PhRMA is sharing resources regarding the dynamic work its industry is doing here and globally to change the trajectory of the coronavirus. It is inspiring work that illustrates an unprecedented amount of collaboration between its companies and health authorities here and abroad.

Qualtrics

Qualtrics launched a free online source called "Public Health: COVID-19 Pre-Screen & Routing." The premade intake survey can help the public triage its needs before calling into public health departments, and a premade offers visual accounts of trending information and volume of requests. Learn more about it.

The Qualtrics' Back to Business for Communities solution helps you understand the current state of public health risk in your community and takes a fact-based approach to managing when and how to ease restrictions. The company has identified the five most critical steps for public health risk assessment and management. Find more information by reading COVID-19 Contact Tracing & Reporting System, or using the contact tracing demo and reading the Crushing the Curve COVID-19 Tracking Scheduling & Testing Solution, or using the assessment, scheduling and testing demoQualtrics’ has more  information for the public sector and on education in the testing and contact tracing. This link provides a video on their COVID-19 higher education solution. 

RELX Inc.

RELX Inc. is using the graphic link below to provide resources on COVID-19.

Sanofi

As the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world, Sanofi is at the forefront of multiple initiatives to fight the disease, while also carrying on the daily business of making and delivering medicines for patients. The company is studying two of its existing medicines as potential treatments for COVID-19 and leveraging its expertise to develop a new vaccine, measures that could have both an immediate and a lasting impact. Read about its response. Sanofi has also assembled a COVID-19 response page highlighting its global and regional members' efforts during the crisis.

SAS Institute

The SAS Institute assists government clients in predicting pandemic-driven demands on health care systems, including virus trends, risk scenarios and health care resources. It can also work with its retail clients to adapt to new buying behavior by helping to predict and plan demand for short-, mid- and long-term needs. Find SAS' resources on its website.

In addition SAS is using advanced analytics and link analysis to help uncover hidden patterns in the spread of COVID-19.  Read more information about their efforts.

Siemens

Siemens announced that its Healthineers are developing a SARS-CoV-2 serology (COVID-19 antibody) test. Antibody testing is vital to efforts to expand diagnostic and disease tracking capabilities and has been identified as a critical element in the development of plans to reopen states and communities across the United States.

Siemens' health business has received Emergency Use Approval from the FDA and is ramping up shipment of the antibody test from U.S.-based facilities. The test is highly accurate with a demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 99.8% specificity in identifying SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. You can read the press release and their guide. For more information about Siemens USA and its support of cities and states in COVID-19 response, visit its website.

State Farm

State Farm's Good Neighbor Relief is returning a $2 billion dividend to State Farm Mutual auto insurance customers. On average, most customers will see a 25% policy credit. Customers do not need to take action. Credits will be applied automatically. For more on State Farm's efforts, visit its newsroom website and read this infographic.

National Association of State Procurement Officials

The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and its cooperative purchasing arm, ValuePoint, is actively gathering updates, including ordering information, from its contractors. The updates are focusing on items currently in high demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic (masks, gloves, gowns, cleaning supplies, etc.) as well as on ValuePoint contracts that entities can use to help facilitate the work-from-home option.

NASPO also has a public-facing COVID-19 resource page, which includes the cooperative purchasing division's contract updates, emergency declarations by state (including emergency procurement code), as well as partner resources and webinars.

NASPO is pleased to share “Assessing State PPE Procurement During COVID-19: A Research Report,” a joint study conducted by NASPO and academics from five universities using over 100 hours of interviews with state procurement staff, suppliers and other state officials. NASPO is honored to share our members’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and use the report’s findings to continually develop best practices for disaster management and the support of state operations.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts published a collection of research on the fiscal and economic challenges states will face in the coming months. This includes a short series detailing steps state leaders can take to reduce the harm of fiscal distress, as well as analyses exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state budgets.

As the pandemic continues to shutter businesses and disrupt the national economy, the number of debt collection lawsuits may continue to grow. A report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that lawsuits brought by a company with an attorney versus an individual who often has no legal representation are increasingly dominating state civil courts. Less than 10% of defendants in debt collection lawsuits studied from 2010 to 2019 had counsel, compared with nearly all plaintiffs.

American Hotel & Lodging Association

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) compiled a list of state and local policy relief options to save jobs and launched the Hotels for Hope initiative in partnership with lodging associations across the country. Through this initiative, more than 6,500 hoteliers have offered their properties to aid state and local efforts in combating the COVID-19 public health crisis. Read the press release.

Stateside Associates

Stateside Associates has created a "State and Local Government Responses to COVID-19" report, which includes state legislation and executive orders related to paid leave proposals, mandated business closures, appropriations for state responses to the outbreak, and executive actions such as the creation of task forces and declarations of emergency. Selected agency, regulatory and rulemaking actions are also being included as they are announced or emerge. We are also identifying those legislatures that are suspending activities as a result of the crisis. Read the report.

Target

Target has created a package of operational resources for small businesses and retailers to use to ensure a safe operating environment for customers and employees. The SAFE retail toolkit was created using insights from Target's own pandemic response efforts. The toolkit isn't just a report or summary of best practices—it also includes sign templates and guides for employee health screening, benefits examples, cleaning checklist protocols, and social distancing and safe employee measures.

Walmart

Walmart has been providing COVID-19 testing since March 2020 in partnership with federal and state governments, labs, and insurance companies. Today, they continue to provide testing with Quest Diagnostics at sites across the country. Walmart is administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible patients at more than 2,700 locations in 44 states and jurisdictions.  The company’s efforts to increase access in vulnerable communities includes creating community vaccination events in partnership with local community leaders and nonprofit organizations, as well as addressing vaccine hesitancy through educational partnerships with AdCouncil, COVID collaborative and others. 

American Society of Civil Engineers

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published a status report on COVID-19’s Impacts on America’s Infrastructure, complete with an overview of 12 infrastructure sectors and the effects the pandemic has had on revenue streams. The 2017 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave our critical systems a “D-plus” and found that many of our networks, including roads, bridges, water systems and more, are past their intended design life and in need of modernization. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing challenges. Fortunately, economic recovery from the pandemic presents a unique opportunity to reinvest in our infrastructure and rebuild America’s economy. The ASCE status report offers legislative solutions for lawmakers looking to jump-start the economy and keep America competitive for the decades to come.

American Financial Services Association

The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) has COVID-19 resources for its members. AFSA has also created a Member Response page highlighting the actions taken by our member companies in their communities and for their customers.

Sourcewell

Sourcewell values service as its top priority and will continue to do so as we navigate these challenging times. These resources can help state and local governments procure hospital infrastructure and emergency response supplies, logistics and transportation, personal protective equipment, technology, and employee benefits.

Ernst & Young

As vaccination efforts shift from the current supply-constrained scenario, states need to develop and adjust their scaling strategies to enable efficient distribution, communications, and vaccine administration. We have distilled five policy considerations from leading practices across the country that can help states systematically achieve their vaccine throughput methodology to diagnose challenges and propose solutions for states as their vaccination efforts expand.

Read more

HIMSS

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS) is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of the health ecosystem, including the COVID-19 response, through information and technology. We work alongside both U.S. federal and state policymakers to maximize the use of information and technology. Reach out to policy@himss.org to learn more.

HIMSS Urges Biden Administration to Maximize Health Information and Technology in COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Health Data Privacy Policy Compliance Challenges in the U.S. Infographic

McKesson

McKesson is honored to play a pivotal role to support the U.S. government during one of the world’s most significant healthcare challenges. First selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Aug. 14, 2020, the company is operating as a centralized distributor for COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supply kits. Under the centralized model, the U.S. government directs McKesson on all aspects of distribution, including where and when to ship vaccines and ancillary supply kits to point-of-care sites across the country.

Hyperlinks related to McKesson’s response efforts:

Inside McKesson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Operation

Rural Pharmacies Providing COVID-19 Vaccinations

Mortgage Bankers Association

Fifteen real estate trade associations representing lenders, property management organizations, and multifamily property owners are encouraging state and local policymakers to allocate or prioritize unspent federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds toward rental assistance. The Mortgage Bankers Association and other organizations have signed a letter that they respectfully ask you to share with the public service members of your organizations as the need for rental assistance is urgent, especially after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sept. 4 national eviction moratorium. Read the letter.

Wells Fargo

In April, 2020 Wells Fargo's CEO Charlie Scharf announced that Wells Fargo would donate all of its Paycheck Protection Program processing fees back to nonprofits serving the small business community – an industry-leading commitment.

To help accelerate the recovery of small businesses, Wells Fargo will donate approximately $400 million in processing fees from the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses keep their doors open, retain employees, and rebuild.  Wells Fargo is donating gross PPP processing fees and is not keeping any portion of the PPP processing fees. Read the press release and FQA.

Wells Fargo launched the Open for Business Fund to distribute funding―approximately $400 million―by creating opportunities for near-term access to capital and technical expertise. The effort addresses the road ahead to meaningful economic recovery, especially for Black, African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American entrepreneurs, among other minority-owned businesses. To date, Wells Fargo has distributed funds to a number of important organizations across the country, including in several in the Western states. Nationally, the company expects these funds will have helped protect 50,000 jobs by the end of 2020.

Wells Fargo also has been focused on helping its customers weather this storm and stay in their homes. Through fee waivers, payment deferrals and other assistance it has helped more than 3.2 million consumer and small business customers. The company also suspended residential property foreclosure sales and evictions, and granted three-month payment suspensions to customers with Wells Fargo Home Lending mortgages and home equity loans who request those suspensions.

More information is available on their COVID-19 resources and support page.