USCIB is pleased to share initiatives that member companies are doing to address the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll be updating this page daily, so check back often for new spotlights.
Member Spotlight: Chevron Develops Innovative Methods to Protect Its Customers and Support Communities in Need
Chevron is working closely with governments and healthcare experts around the world to ensure the company takes appropriate action to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Chevron is working with global partners on a variety of initiatives, such as providing medical supplies to hospitals in Thailand.
At Chevron-operated gas stations, the company has been following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the guidance of international and local health authorities.
Chevron has mobilized local, regional and global teams to address the pandemic’s impact on the company and to proactively address potential risks. Chevron’s priority is keeping its workers, families, communities and customers safe. The company has also made a series of financial contributions to aid the response to this global crisis. Chevron is working closely with governments and healthcare experts around the world to ensure the company takes appropriate action to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Chevron is committed to striking a balance between social distancing and supplying the world with the energy that is essential to slowing the growth of the disease.
At Chevron-operated gas stations, the company has been following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the guidance of international and local health authorities. It has increased the frequency of cleaning at its stations, provided gloves to cashiers and encouraged employees to take advantage of its paid sick leave program to stay at home if they have cold or flu-like symptoms or a fever. All frequently touched surfaces, like countertops, door handles, dispensers, buttons on equipment and self-service food equipment are cleaned approximately every 30 minutes. The company has also recommended that Chevron and Texaco retailers who operate their own stations follow safety guidelines issued by the CDC and World Health Organization.
Chevron is committed to providing customers with quality fuels and products in a safe environment and remains well-positioned to do so.
Supporting Communities in Need
Chevron believes in the power of humanity to solve any challenge. Together with its global partners, Chevron is enacting a series of social investments and support initiatives to help communities and nonprofits address the COVID-19 public health crisis.
In the U.S. alone, the company has donated more than $5 million to local relief efforts in several states including $2 million to match 2:1 employee contributions to U.S.-based nonprofits. Outside the U.S., Chevron is working with global partners on a variety of initiatives, such as helping to fund emergency services in remote parts of Western Australia and providing medical supplies to hospitals in Thailand. To date, Chevron has committed more than $12 million around the world to COVID-19 response efforts.
Learn more about Chevron’s COVID-19 response here.
Member Spotlight: Target Donates $300 Million to the Fight Against COVID
In state and local communities, Target is supporting nonprofits addressing the greatest needs in their area, particularly for vulnerable, underserved and under-resourced communities.
Target is also mounting a global response, supporting organizations that help to provide critical medical equipment and supplies to regions worldwide.
In March, Target announced a $10 million relief effort as part of its $300 million commitment to the team. Since then, Target has been collaborating closely with organizations to align support accordingly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of Target’s $300 million commitment will go to directly to benefiting employees and their families. Target pledged to increase its industry-leading pay by $2 an hour for its frontline workers until at least May 2. Additionally, frontline workers over the age of 65, are pregnant or those with underlying medical conditions have been given up to 30-days paid leave. This comes on top of expanding back-up care for all team members, temporarily waiving its absenteeism policy and covering quarantine and confirmed illness pay. Bonuses have been given to 20,000 hourly store leads who manage individual departments. Finally, $1 million will be donated to the Target Team Member Giving Fund, which was established in 2018, to assist team members who are most impacted by coronavirus
In state and local communities, Target is dedicating $5 million to foundations that support nonprofits addressing the greatest needs in their area, particularly for vulnerable, underserved and under-resourced communities. Foundations receiving funds from Target include the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports local orgs deploying emergency resources such as financial support and childcare, as well as the Greater New Orleans Foundation Disaster Response and Restoration Fund and its network of community organizations taking care of the elderly, homeless and more.
As part of their national response efforts, Target is giving $3 million to support national nonprofits assisting with response and recovery for impacted communities. The Center for Disease Philanthropy is one national organization that has received support from Target to continue their work building nonprofits’ response capabilities in addressing needs of the most vulnerable populations. Another recipient is Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with a network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.
Target is also mounting a global response, committing $1 million to support organizations that help to provide critical medical equipment and supplies to regions worldwide. These organizations include Project ECHO, an organization providing tele-medicine capabilities to remote locations and vulnerable communities in India and throughout the world; and UNICEF, which is delivering life-saving health supplies, building water and hygiene facilities and keeping kids connected to education while contributing to efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
In addition, Target supports the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The company is also one of the participating partners of Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home, the global special event to support frontline health workers and the World Health Organization. Target’s grant will support ongoing work to track and understand the spread of the coronavirus, provide care to patients and essential supplies to frontline workers, and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments.
For more information, please visit: https://corporate.target.com/about/purpose-history/our-commitments/target-coronavirus-hub
Member Spotlight: Comcast Commits $500 Million to Support Its Employees
Across the business, Comcast has committed $500 million to support its employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted.
Comcast’s technology and engineering teams are working tirelessly to support the company’s network operations 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability.
COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. For this reason, Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky are working hard to do everything they can to support their customers, employees and communities during this unprecedented time. Some of Comcast’s relief efforts are:
- Committing $500 Million: Across the business, Comcast has committed $500 million to support its employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted.
- Keeping Customers Connected: Keeping the internet accessible and reliable is more important than ever. Comcast’s technology and engineering teams are working tirelessly to support the company’s network operations 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability.
- Offering Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: Eligible new customers will receive 60 days of Internet Essentials service, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive internet adoption program for low-income households, without charge. Additionally, the company has increased the speed of this internet service for all customers.
- Increasing Access to News & Information: The enterprise’s NBC and Sky news teams are working around the clock to keep the world informed, bringing news and information to more people than ever.
- Providing Free Educational Resources: In partnership with Common Sense Media, the company has curated thousands of hours of free educational programming into an education destination for Xfinity video customers to support remote learning for kids K-12.
- Delivering More Entertainment: The enterprise is bringing great entertainment home to consumers in new ways – offering movies on demand on the same day as their theatrical releases and making more free content available to X1 video customers.
To learn more about Comcast’s response to COVID-19, click here.
Member Spotlight: Randstad NV and Adecco Group Team Up with ManpowerGroup for Data Collection of COVID-19 Protocols
Randstad NV and the Adecco Group teamed up with ManpowerGroup and released a booklet on COVID-19 protocols, containing 100 measures, which can support the development of COVID-19 protocols. The overview aims to provide insights into what measures can be considered to make a tailored protocol.
USCIB members Randstad NV and the Adecco Group teamed up with ManpowerGroup to release a booklet that provides a first round of data collection of COVID-19 protocols.
The focus of the protocols in the booklet is based on ten different countries across the following sectors: transport & logistics, automotive, manufacturing & life sciences, construction, and food.
The booklet contains an overview of 100 measures, which can support the development of COVID-19 protocols. The overview aims to provide insights into what measures can be considered to make a tailored protocol.
Click here for the “Safely Back to Work Best Practice Protocols” May 2020 edition.
Member Spotlight: Palo Alto Networks Provides Cybersecurity for the Remote Workforce
Palo Alto Networks is sharing resources and programs to support business continuity during this time.
Palo Alto Networks has solutions ready to go to help organizations secure their remote workforce, such as GlobalProtect and Prisma Access
In addition to the complicated matter of managing a remote workforce at scale, keeping that workforce secure is top of mind for many organizations. Palo Alto Networks is sharing resources and programs to support business continuity during this time. As organizations rapidly scale remote work options for employees, they need to ensure they can securely and rapidly connect to all of the applications they need, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud, and data center apps — and Palo Alto Networks has solutions ready to go to help organizations secure their remote workforce.
GlobalProtect for existing NGFW customers: Every Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall is designed to support always-on, secure access with GlobalProtect.
Prisma Access: Prisma Access is a globally distributed cloud service that scales automatically to provide the needed capacity for remote workers. It offers the same security functionality as Palo Alto Networks’ next-generation firewalls, but without the need to deploy new infrastructure. As the situation changes globally, this means organizations can maintain business continuity as Prisma Access will auto-scale to wherever capacity is needed.
Additionally, Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 Threat Intelligence team is providing insight on cyber threats during this time to keep organizations informed and help them stay protected from cyberattacks.
Member Spotlight: PepsiCo Provides Food and Essential Relief to Help Communities Worldwide Affected by COVID-19
The company has donated $5 million to organizations in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Transcaucasia, and Turkey to support healthcare providers and provide more than 1 million servings of food for those in need and has given $2.5 million to charitable organizations across Europe through the UN Foundation.
PepsiCo is providing more than 10 million meals in Mexico for out of school children and their families through nonprofits Un Kilo De Ayuda and Save the Children, and is providing more than 800,000 additional meals in Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela with nonprofits Rise Against Hunger and United Way.
PepsiCo is also investing in Africa, the Middle East, and and Asia, focusing specifically on meal distribution and healthcare.
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt, more healthcare systems around the world need proper funding to assist the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. In response, PepsiCo expanded their efforts to provide humanitarian relief to impacted communities around the world.
In Europe, where entire countries are on lockdown and many hospitals are have reached over capacity, PepsiCo aims to support local health and relief systems in hardest-hit areas. The company has donated $5 million to organizations in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Transcaucasia, and Turkey to support healthcare providers and provide more than 1 million servings of food for those in need and has given $2.5 million to charitable organizations across Europe through the UN Foundation. PepsiCo has also donated $600,000 to the Red Cross in Italy, Spain and France to fund personal protection equipment (PPE) and health equipment for medical responders, urgent health transportation for affected citizens, logistical support for health facilities, and essential goods for those. This funding will also be used for any urgent health transportation for affected citizens, necessary logistical support for health facilities and essential goods, such as food and sanitary products, for those unable to leave their homes due to quarantine. Further donations in Europe include a $500,000 grant to Spanish nonprofit Educo’s “Dining Scholarships” program, a $200,000 grant to Banco Alimentar Contra A Fome in Portugal to provide close to 750,000 meals for those in need, and $140,000 to the Belgium and Netherland Red Cross outposts to support the “Watch Out for Each Other” network that links volunteers to those in need of mental and practical support.
As Latin America is expected to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, PepsiCo is helping the region prepare by strengthening their local food bank capabilities. Through this effort, PepsiCo is providing more than 10 million meals in Mexico for out of school children and their families through nonprofits Un Kilo De Ayuda and Save the Children, and is providing more than 800,000 additional meals in Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela with nonprofits Rise Against Hunger and United Way. Additionally, the company has donated $1.5 million to The Global FoodBanking Network to allow food banks in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Uruguay to stock up on key food staples, as well as train staff on how to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
PepsiCo is also investing in Africa, the Middle East, and and Asia, focusing specifically on meal distribution and healthcare. They have donated more than 4020 million meals in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and South Africa in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa in partnership with local food banks and leading nonprofit partners. PepsiCo has also joined forces with the Akshaya Patra Foundation, the Smile Foundation and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics to provide more than 105 million meals and 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits in India. Further, the company has provided $1.6 million dollars in funding to Vietnam and the Philippines to initiate Vietnam’s “Millions of Meals” program, provide meals and medical supplies for citizens with the Vietnam Youth Union and the Vietnam Young Physician Association, and deliver assistance to over 7.6 million people in the Manila metro area with a $500,000 grant to Project Ugnayan. In Australia and New Zealand, PepsiCo has committed more than $600,000 to deliver more than 1 million meals with Foodbank Australia and the Salvation Army Foodbank Project. As part of their work supporting healthcare systems, PepsiCo has donated over $280,000 to Tkiyet Um Ali’s Hospital Programs in Jordan and A donation of $100,000 has been made by PepsiCo to Lebanon’s Red Cross to help strengthen the country’s healthcare system. Lastly. Lastly,, PepsiCo has provided $1.1 million to The Hubei Red Cross and the China Women’s Development Foundation to fund protective gear for healthcare workers in China and South Korea.
PepsiCo’s continues to expand its global effort to provide monetary support and necessities to communities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please click here.
Member Spotlight: Mars Commits $20 Million to Communities in COVID-19 Response
As part of their commitment to serving vulnerable populations, Mars, Inc. has made a $5 million donation of critical supplies and expertise to CARE to help fulfil the needs of women, children and refugee populations in underdeveloped countries.
Overall, Mars has made a $20 million commitment to better support the communities in which it operates.
Mars, Incorporated made a $20 million commitment to better support the communities in which it operates.
As part of their commitment to serving vulnerable populations, Mars, Inc. has made a $5 million donation of critical supplies and expertise to CARE to help fulfil the needs of women, children and refugee populations in underdeveloped countries.
In another part of the support package, Mars, Inc. will provide $2 million of support to help the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) manage logistics for emergency food and lifesaving equipment to hospitals in impacted areas, assisting in the transport of critical supplies for all United Nations agencies as they respond to the pandemic.
Mars, Inc. is also donating $1 million to Humane Society International (HSI) to help ease the burden of overcapacity shelters. This contribution also intends to assist cats and dogs that have been abandoned, left behind or surrendered to shelters due to their owners falling ill or no longer having the financial means to care for a pet.
While Mars has donated $8 million in this support package, the balance of $12 million will come from a combination of cash and in-kind donations from across the markets where Mars operates, in addition to donations from its Foundations including: The Mars Wrigley Foundation, the Banfield Foundation, the Pedigree Foundation and the Tasty Bite Foundation.
For more information on Mars’ efforts, click here.
Member Spotlight: Verizon Serves Customers During COVID-19 with Touchless Retail and More
Verizon announced that it is revolutionizing the way it looks at retail both today and into the future with the introduction of “Touchless Retail” – innovations implemented recently that revolve around making the shopping experience both safer and more satisfying.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Verizon has committed over $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare workers, first responders, and small businesses.
Verizon’s networks have been engineered to perform during moments of crisis and disaster such as hurricanes, snowstorms and flooding. During this time of heightened worry and concern, Verizon’s primary goal is to keep its customers, employees and society connected to the things that matter most to them: their family, friends and business customers.
On May 1, Verizon announced that it is revolutionizing the way it looks at retail both today and into the future with the introduction of “Touchless Retail” – innovations implemented recently that revolve around making the shopping experience both safer and more satisfying. Touchless Retail leverages both physical and digital changes to reduce the number of physical touchpoints, while streamlining the customer shopping experience. With Touchless Retail, customers begin their journey online as they set their in-store appointment for critical troubleshooting or order for in-store pickup and learn about in-store safety measures including the requirements that they wear a face covering. Upon arrival at the store, exterior and interior social distancing markers, safety partitions, sanitizing stations and employees donning face masks and gloves all ensure the physical observance of public health safety practices. Store hours have been adjusted to allow for one-customer-to-one employee ratio appointments.
On April 27, Verizon announced that it is extending its commitment to keep its customers connected through June 30. This means Verizon will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to postpaid wireless, residential, and small business customers that notify Verizon of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Verizon has also added data to customers’ wireless data plans to assist them as they work through this time of social distancing and working from home.
Additionally, Verizon signed onto the FCC’s new “Keep Americans Connected” pledge. Verizon’s new customer commitment will help ensure connectivity and offer assistance to customers and small businesses facing challenges from the global crisis.
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our customers, their families and businesses have the ability to connect to the internet even if they’re facing financial hardship from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “We want to ensure that our customers can continue to use the internet to work, learn, and carry on with their lives as we all address this collective challenge. We’re confident this joint effort will help make that happen.”
Verizon is also closely monitoring network usage in the most impacted areas. Verizon will work with and prioritize network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed.
Verizon also donated $3 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a partnership with Global Citizens One World: Together At Home global broadcast special to help aid healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The globally televised and live-streamed special aired on April 18 and featured performances and appearances from international entertainers. Through the United Nations Foundation, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will help support the WHO and partners’ efforts to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.
Verizon’s most recent donation brings the company’s total support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO to $5 million and their total COVID-19 crisis commitment to over $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare workers, first responders, and small businesses.
For daily updates on what Verizon is doing, please click here.
Member Spotlight: Coca-Cola Relief Effort Encompasses Over $100M in Community Support
Coca-Cola has made contributions to support relief efforts globally including manufacturing hand-sanitizers and redirecting a big part of marketing spend for community relief programs, medical supplies and equipment during the outbreak phase, as well as developing other actions for the recovery and back-to-normal phases in markets hit hardest by the pandemic. These contributions, added to other programs that are currently in the development phase, will take Coca-Cola’s total community support beyond $100 million.
The Coca-Cola system, with production facilities and franchise bottling operations across the United States, continues to make and deliver the essential beverages local stores and communities need during this challenging time. But the company, its local bottlers, suppliers and employees are doing more than delivering drinks in the communities they call home. Local teams are finding ways to re-deploy resources to help meet the needs of first responders, healthcare workers, community organizations and more.
For example, the company is redirecting some of its global advertising budget to support COVID-19 prevention and relief in markets around the world. The Philippines was the first of many markets to pause advertising for all brands and redirect media spending to help provide personal protective equipment and beverages for health workers, deliver food to vulnerable families, and support small retailers in affected communities.
Supporting Foodservice Partners
To help support the restaurant community – an industry that employs more than 15 million Americans – Coca-Cola North America is providing its more than 8,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada with a $100 delivery credit for either DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEATS or Skip The Dishes to place meal delivery orders during this challenging time. Coca-Cola North America plants also have implemented routines to order takeout meals from foodservice customers as a thank-you to associates working hard to produce Coca-Cola products. This effort adds up to an immediate injection of nearly $1 million into the restaurant industry.
Coca-Cola joined forces with industry peers to support #TheGreatAmericanTakeout initiative, which encourages Americans to support the restaurant industry by ordering delivery or takeout meals. Coca-Cola is encouraging employees, bottling partners and industry partners to participate, and using its social channels to promote the movement. On April 14, The Great American Takeout gave away $10,000 in gift cards to people who order takeout. One grand prize recipient won free takeout for a year in the form of a $5,000 gift card, while 100 more winners will receive a $50 gift card, all courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company. Learn more.
Coca-Cola also launched the Coca-Cola Rapid Response Resource online portal to give restaurants access to free information and resources – from tips for optimizing takeout and drive-thru operations, to updated COVID-19 safety guidelines, to information on third-party delivery services and more.
Together We Can: Using Social and Digital Assets for Good
Coca-Cola is taking several actions to use advertising and marketing resources to spread solidarity. On April 6, Coca-Cola used company and brand social media handles to promote a message of support and togetherness, and will use the scale of Coca-Cola brand handles to share helpful information and meaningful messages from partner community organizations like the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Salvation Army and Feeding America, among others.
Providing Supplies and Transportation to Help Make Masks for Healthcare Workers and Frontline Responders
In the Boston area, thousands of face shields are being assembled for delivery to medical centers around the region, with more in the works. Ray Dube, sustainability manager at Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, saw an opportunity to provide much-needed logistics and supply chain support to help nonprofit makerspace “MakeIt Labs” produce face shields to protect front-line healthcare workers.
Dube connected MakeIt volunteers with Coca-Cola plastic recycler UltrePet and packaging manufacturer EasyPak to donate and transport clean PET plastic sheeting to make the specialty shields. EasyPak donated approximately 6,000 pounds of clear PET sheeting, and Coke Northeast delivery trucks transported the Coke system’s first large-scale donation of PET sheets.
In partnership with MakeIt Labs and packaging supplier Sonoco, Coca-Cola also helped transport 6,000 pounds of plastic sheeting from Sonoco’s warehouse in North Carolina to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Tech students and other groups will use the plastic sheeting to make 50,000+ plastic surgical shields for healthcare workers in the Atlanta area.
Another supplier, Filmquest, has generously agreed to donate 1,200 pounds of polyester film that will be assembled by MakeIt Lab volunteers into plastic surgical shields and donated to hospitals.
Helping Supply Hand Sanitizer and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company is responding to an urgent request from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for hand sanitizer and for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) by hosting a drop-off location at their offices and rewarding people who donate with free eight-packs of Coca-Cola’s new AHA sparkling water. The Coke bottler is producing hand sanitizer at its Atlantic, Iowa bottling facility and donating it to the University of Iowa Hospital System.
Additionally, two suppliers – Western Container and Southeastern Container – are working with Coca-Cola bottlers and alcohol distilleries to create plastic bottles that can be filled with hand sanitizer solution and donated to healthcare and public safety workers. Western Container shipped two truckloads (over 200,000 units) of 500-ml bottles to Whiskey Hollow Distillery in Valley View, Texas. These bottles will be custom labeled by the distillery as donated hand sanitizer to Texas-area hospitals.
Providing Financial and In-Kind Support to Community Organizations
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, is awarding $13.5 million in grants to five nonprofit organizations working on the front lines of the U.S. and Canadian humanitarian response to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest grants support organizations focused on providing relief to first responders and residents of economically disadvantaged communities, both in the company’s hometown of Atlanta and across North America. Read more about the organizations receiving the grants here.
For more information on what Coca-Cola is doing to battle COVID-19, click HERE.
Member Spotlight: ExxonMobil Response to COVID-19 Includes New Partnerships
ExxonMobil – one of the world’s largest producers of isopropyl alcohol (IPA), a key ingredient in medical hand sanitizer – is pivoting its business to make medical hand sanitizer for U.S. military personnel and medical first responders.
An ExxonMobil team of experts is offering their experience to help a collaborative effort organized by the Global Center for Medical Innovation. This collaboration, which represents industry, academia and government, is rethinking how protective medical equipment, specifically face shields and face masks, is made. The collaboration has also produced models for a new, reusable face mask design that will address the shortage of N95 protective masks.
USCIB member ExxonMobil is working to help meet the needs of health care professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines, as well as those socially distancing themselves at home. While those needs continue to evolve, the company remains focused on working to meet global energy demand. Below are just some examples of what ExxonMobil is doing to help fight COVID-19. For a more comprehensive list of initiatives, please click here.
Protecting travelers and TSA officers
To protect travelers and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers during the COVID-19 pandemic, TSA needed thousands of gallons of disinfectant – and they needed it quickly. Thanks to close coordination between ExxonMobil, one of the largest producers of isopropyl alcohol, a key sanitizer ingredient, and Univar Solutions, one of the largest chemical distributors, the surface disinfectant was produced and distributed to TSA in record time, in just days, rather than the weeks it would have taken before the pandemic.
ExxonMobil is increasing production of IPA to help meet higher demand resulting from the pandemic. Its chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has recently been able to achieve an increased monthly production level which equates to enough IPA to supply a monthly equivalent of nearly 50 million 4-ounce bottles of medical-grade sanitizer.
The scale and urgency of TSA’s request required detailed planning and a finely tuned logistics supply chain to manufacture, package and rapidly deliver the product to airports around the country.
From the Baton Rouge facility, the IPA was shipped to Univar Solutions’ packaging plant in Conroe, TX. From there the disinfectant was mixed, bottled and swiftly shipped north to TSA’s distribution facility near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
That disinfectant is now being distributed to airports nationwide, helping keep travelers, medical personnel and TSA officers safe. And ExxonMobil continues to maximize production of isopropyl alcohol and other important products needed to combat COVID-19 in communities across the country.
Maximizing supply of IPA—key ingredient in medical hand sanitizer
When it comes to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t matter the size of the company. Everyone has a role to play.
For ExxonMobil – one of the world’s largest producers of isopropyl alcohol (IPA), a key ingredient in medical hand sanitizer – it means getting the product to where it’s needed most. For E.T. Browne – the small, family-owned manufacturer of Palmer’s® personal care products – it means pivoting its business to make medical hand sanitizer for U.S. military personnel and medical first responders.
The decision to repurpose its factory in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, from making lip balm and body lotion to making hand sanitizer wasn’t the hardest part for E.T. Browne. It was obtaining key ingredients like IPA, which is in high demand due to the global emergency. Without IPA, E.T. Browne would not only be unable to make the hand sanitizer, but it also faced the prospect of shutting down its factory, which employs nearly 300 workers. That’s when ExxonMobil, whose Baton Rouge chemical facility is home to the world’s largest plant producing IPA, agreed to help.
ExxonMobil is maximizing its supply of IPA and other chemical products used in making a range of essential tools in the fight against COVID-19. ExxonMobil is also planning donations to other area hospitals. For ExxonMobil, supplying isopropyl alcohol is standard business, but doing so in this case required a swift response and a high priority.
Isopropyl alcohol is just one of many products helping to keep medical workers safe and people healthy. IPA, as an effective disinfectant, can be found in hand sanitizers, alcohol wipes and disinfectant sprays – products that are important in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
Thanking Houston-area COVID-19 responders with meals, masks
ExxonMobil is providing thousands of meals and medical face masks for Houston-area health care workers, police officers and firefighters responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a new initiative that brings total contributions for Houston-area relief to $450,000.
ExxonMobil is contributing $100,000 for personal protective equipment, such as medical masks, to Texas Medical Center member hospitals, the Houston Police Foundation, the Fire Fighters Foundation of Houston and the Spring Fire Department.
Another $100,000 will go to the TX Restaurant Relief Fund for the preparation and delivery of approximately 6,000 meals for frontline workers at these organizations. Prominent Houston chefs will participate in the effort that will enable participating restaurants to bring needed work to furloughed staff. The Texas Restaurant Association’s nonprofit arm established the TX Restaurant Relief Fund last month to provide immediate financial support to the state’s independent restaurateurs and their employees who have been heavily impacted by the loss of business due to COVID-19.
The support comes in addition to its recent contribution of $250,000 to the Houston Food Bank and Montgomery County Food Bank to provide about one million meals to Houston-area residents.
ExxonMobil, which has about 11,000 employees living and working the greater Houston area, remains focused on keeping its workforce safe and healthy to maintain its operations and maximize production of materials critical to the global response.
Addressing Face Mask Shortages
An ExxonMobil team of experts in chemicals, materials science and manufacturing is offering their experience to help a collaborative effort organized by the Global Center for Medical Innovation. By quickly connecting its customers to solution providers, ExxonMobil helped create a new supply chain to respond to the medical needs in hospitals across the country.
This collaboration, which represents industry, academia and government, is rethinking how protective medical equipment, specifically face shields and face masks, is made. All this happened in just a matter of days. So far, 50,000 face shields have been produced, and production facilities are ramping up to manufacture upwards of 170,000 more per hour in the coming days. The collaboration has also produced models for a new, reusable face mask design that will address the shortage of N95 protective masks.
Member Spotlight: Amid COVID-19, Qualcomm Focuses on Delivering 5G
Qualcomm has a long history of philanthropic and community involvement. It continues to evaluate ways to scale that commitment at a time when so much help is needed.
Qualcomm continues to focus on delivering critical wireless technologies like 5G. Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, talks about the status and future of 5G in this interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune and in a virtual interview with CNBC.
Now, more than ever, we need to stay connected, especially as so many around the globe work to slow the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. To help keep you connected to your community, Qualcomm continues to focus on delivering critical wireless technologies like 5G.
Qualcomm is committed to providing reliable connectivity solutions to maintain business continuity, especially in the critical areas of healthcare, small business support, and remote education—all while protecting the safety of its employees and customers.
Qualcomm also has a long history of philanthropic and community involvement. It continues to evaluate ways to scale that commitment at a time when so much help is needed. To support its global communities, Qualcomm has donated to the following efforts, and remains committed to providing monetary and in-kind donations throughout this crisis:
Community and Charitable Donations:
Charities Aid Foundation America, Support for Association of the Italian Red Cross
Charities Aid Foundation America, Support for the Flexport.org Fund
China Red Cross, Emergency Response
City of San Diego’s Small Business Relief Fund
India Prime Minister COVID-19 Relief Fund
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, COVID-19 Regional Response Fund
The San Diego Foundation, COVID-19 Community Response Fund/Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
United Nations Foundation, COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO
Thousands of laptops and other devices to schools and community nonprofits
Qualifying employee donations will be matched by Qualcomm
For more information, please click here.
Member Spotlight: P&G COVID-19 Response Focuses on Protecting P&G People, Serving Consumers, Supporting Communities
As the world addresses COVID-19 together, P&G is committed to protecting P&G people, serving consumers and supporting communities.
P&G’s trusted brands are helping people clean, take care of their personal health and hygiene, and create healthy homes – while the company is ensuring the safety of work environments and protection of P&G people. P&G’s product and in-kind donations so far add up to tens of millions of dollars across more than 30 brands, more than 200 organizations, and in more than 30 countries – and they’ve recently started production of hand sanitizer, face masks and face shields.
Visit www.pg.com/covid19 or watch this video to learn more.
Protecting P&G People:
P&G people can work confidently knowing the Company stands with and behind them.
P&G is constantly evaluating and updating the robust measures already in place to help its people who are making, packing and shipping P&G products stay safe at work, and, where possible, enabling others to work from home.
This includes access control measures like temperature scans, shift rotations, queueing avoidance and physical distancing; protective equipment including hand sanitizers and masks; and comprehensive, methodical cleaning of all production areas, including regular sanitization and surface disinfection that exceeds the most rigorous health authority standards.
P&G built sustainable and robust employee policies and a culture that can support, nurture, and endure for the long term, with robust health & wellness benefits, access to virtual medical visits without cost, pay continuity, paid leave, flexible work arrangements and more.
P&G is maximizing the availability of products that help people and their families with their health, hygiene and cleaning needs, which have never been greater.
P&G is running extra shifts, putting idled equipment back into service quickly, and constantly finding new ways to deliver more of the products consumers depend on.
Millions of P&G products are also being donated, helping to ensure families have basic access to the everyday essentials many of us take for granted.
P&G is using marketing and communications expertise to encourage consumers to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.
And P&G is using our brands’ voices to share important safety, cleaning and hygiene messages with consumers
P&G has a long history of supporting communities in times of need – now is no exception.
P&G product and in-kind donations so far add up to tens of millions of dollars across more than 30 brands, more than 200 different organizations, and in more than 30 countries – and will continue to increase as it works with communities around the world to support their efforts.
P&G modified equipment to produce hand sanitizer in nearly a dozen global manufacturing sites, using it to ensure its people can continue operating safely and sharing it with hospitals, health care facilities and relief organizations.
Work is underway to produce critically needed non-medical face masks in every region of the world.
And P&G leveraged P&G R&D, engineering and manufacturing capability to quickly produce face shields which are currently being used in hospitals and COVID-19 testing centers.
Member Spotlight: Nike’s COVID-19 Response Includes Innovation, Working Closely with Suppliers
Nike’s leaders, the Nike Foundation and Nike have committed more than $17.5 million to COVID-19 response efforts around the world.
Working closely with health professionals, Nike’s innovation, manufacturing and product teams have come together to provide for an urgent need: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Nike is donating full-face shields and PAPR lenses to health systems across Oregon, along with health systems in the greater Boston, Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis areas.
Giving back to communities:
Nike’s leaders, the Nike Foundation and Nike have committed more than $17.5 million to COVID-19 response efforts around the world. The support includes funding efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, as well as support for local response efforts in the communities around the world where Nike employees live and work. They are also supporting local organizations in global key cities as they work to meet immediate needs, such as food assistance and medical care.
Nike is also teaming up with its employees, providing a two-to-one match for all employee donations to support community organizations anywhere in the world. And it will continue to provide product support to local nonprofits and schools through Good 360 and other existing partners.
Using innovation to help:
Working closely with health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Nike’s innovation, manufacturing and product teams have come together to provide for an urgent need: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Nike is donating full-face shields and PAPR lenses to health systems across Oregon, along with health systems in the greater Boston, Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis areas.
Nike is also making a donation to health systems in Cleveland, Ohio, near the home of Lubrizol, which has generously donated its ESTANE® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) polymers to support the manufacturing of this PPE. In addition, Nike is donating 250,000 three-ply disposable face masks to New York State.
Nike will continue to seek ways to further support the courageous healthcare workers in their tireless efforts to support, heal and comfort our communities through these extraordinary times.
Play inside, play for the world:
Sport brings us together as a unifying force for good. And while many athletes may not be able to play as they normally would, Nike is committed to ensuring that communities all over the world can still turn to sport as a beacon of hope and resilience that inspires us all.
Today, athletes may not be playing in front of thousands in packed stadiums, but they can — and are — playing for millions by choosing to stay at home. Inspired by athletes who are playing in their kitchens, living rooms, driveways and garages, Nike recently launched a campaign, telling the whole world, “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance.” Nike is encouraging everyone to #playinside and #playfortheworld, and delivering new ways to access sport during this unprecedented time at home.
Helping athletes* stay active through Nike platforms.
We all need new ways to keep moving and access sport. Through Nike’s digital ecosystem — the Nike app, the Nike Running Club app, the Nike Training Club app, social channels and Nike.com — Nike is providing athletes around the world with tools, motivation and affirmation to help fuel physical and mental health.
Nike is also offering NTC Premium, the Nike Training Club’s subscription-based service, for free in the U.S. The platform includes a library of more than 185 online workouts for all fitness levels, ranging in length (15- to 60-minutes), type (yoga, total body strength, core work, HIIT sessions, etc.) and equipment needs (bodyweight-only and more).
Helping kids stay active, too
Kids are Made to Play. That’s why Nike has made a commitment to get kids moving. Nike works with partners around the world to remove barriers to entry and offer play- and sport-based programming to 17 million kids. But balancing the need to keep kids moving with the need to keep communities safe is a challenge. Many of Nike’s Made to Play partners offer excellent resources to help kids stay active at home — because active kids do better in every way, no matter the circumstances. These include the UK’s Discovery Education, Marathon Kids, Active Schools, JUMP-JAM, and the How to Coach Kids Program.
Helping people stay active at home, together with the sporting industry
Nike collaborated with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and other member companies to launch a physical activity guide to support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote physical activity. WHO’s #healthyathome campaign encourages people to stay active while at home during the COVID-19 crisis, and the guide provides resources to help.
To learn more about Nike’s commitment to creating active communities for all, click here.
Working closely with suppliers
Nike is working with suppliers to support their efforts in response to the dynamic and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation. The evolving and challenging marketplace dynamics mean that Nike and its suppliers must make some difficult decisions in the short term, as they work together to mitigate longer-term impacts and develop sustained viability for their businesses and employees.
Nike continues to place orders, taking into account impacts of market dynamics. Nike will continue to pay in full for finished product from all suppliers globally, while honoring previously agreed payment terms for product in production. In the case of cancelled orders, Nike policies and agreements with suppliers are, and have always been, that Nike will pay the appropriate amount of the order, depending on the stage of production as communicated by their supplier to enable the supplier to recover costs associated with the canceled order. Nike is also working with industry organizations and other global stakeholders to develop broad based approaches to address the current situation and help people who work in supply chains globally.
Member Spotlight: SAP Responds to Coronavirus Disruptions with Free Offerings
From supply chain and business continuity to healthcare, education, travel disruption, and telework management, SAP is fighting the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with free, instantaneous offerings to help governments, businesses and individuals navigate the outbreak.
Citizens, businesses, and governments face unprecedented challenges as COVID-19’s impact on the global economy continues. SAP’s mission of helping the world run better and improving people’s lives has never been more relevant.
Below is a summary of free SAP offerings that can be used immediately to help support governments, businesses, and individuals navigate the outbreak. Not only are these solutions available at no cost, they are also available instantly, in most cases with the click of a button:
- Open Access to SAP Ariba Discovery: With SAP Ariba Discovery, any buyer can post their immediate sourcing needs and any supplier can immediately respond to deliver. By quickly connecting buyers and suppliers, we minimize disruption caused by shipment delays, capacity issues, and increased consumer demand. The SAP Ariba Network represents more than 4M suppliers in over 190 countries and $3.21 trillion in commerce, helping to keep supply chains intact in times of crisis.
- Supply Continuity Pulse: Businesses are facing the challenge of maintaining delivery of products and services during this time of disruption. Supply Continuity Pulse is designed to help business leaders prepare and plan for supply disruptions due to remote and furloughed workforces.
- COVID-19 Customer Confidence Pulse: Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, it’s more important now than ever to keep an on-going pulse on customer confidence and take decisive action to retain customer trust and brand loyalty. This pre-built solution helps organizations monitor customer expectations and capture feedback in real time, so they can know what to stop, start, and continue in order to maintain strong relationships with customers and business continuity. The Customer Confidence Pulse is provided free of charge to any size organization within non-regulated industries across the globe.
- Concur TripIt Pro Free Offer: In response to COVID-related travel schedule changes and cancellations, SAP Concur helped anxious travelers navigate these developments. TripIt from SAP Concur processes hundreds of thousands of travel itineraries for people around the globe, monitors their flights, and alerts them of any changes or delays. Between March 13 and April 14, 2020, individual travelers had the opportunity to sign-up for TripIt, download the app, and receive TripIt Pro for free for six months.
- COVID-19 Airlift Operation: Together with the German Federal Foreign Office, SAP launched a web application to help coordinate the repatriation process of Germans abroad. Using SAP Cloud Platform, the app helps get German citizens home safely from wherever they are in the world.
- Higher Education: Remote Learning Pulse & Remote Educator Pulse: Provided free of charge to higher education organizations, these solutions help keep remote students and faculty engaged and empowered to learn by discovering where educators can improve to ensure learning success.
- K-12 Remote Learning Pulse: With the shift to remote learning models, school and district leaders need a way to quickly understand how to best support educators, students, and their families during this transition. These solutions help your schools navigate these uncertain times and prepare for the shift to remote learning programs.
- SAP offers a new digital learning initiative with innovative, interactive educational content to support students, professionals and anyone wishing to continue to learn during this challenging time. This initiative is based on three educational pillars – (1) massive open online courses via openSAP (MOOCs), (2) a free learning offering for university students with system access and Global Certification from SAP (3) the SAP Young Thinkers Program that offers learning opportunities for digitalization with a focus on computer science, economics and creative solutions, and learning methodologies targeting the 17 SDGs.
- Remote + On-site Work Pulse: Remote + On-site Work Pulse helps organizations understand how their employees are doing and what support they need as they adapt to new work environments.
- Ruum Collaboration Tool: With this project management and collaboration tool, business and government workers can telework more effectively. With Ruum’s custom checklist templates adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), businesses, government employees, and individuals can plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19.
- SAP Litmos: To help support remote work, SAP Litmos is offering a completely free Remote Readiness & Effectivity Academy equipped with training content for anyone, anytime, anywhere. The ready-to-watch video-based courses are designed to help establish best practices for remote work, maintain the highest levels of hygiene and mental wellness for workers, and develop leadership during times of change and challenge.
- COVID-19 Pre-screen and Routing: Health and government organizations are flooded with phone calls seeking information about COVID-19, including questions about symptoms, community incidents, and closures. SAP Qualtrics created a COVID-19 Pre-screen and Routing solution any health or government organization can use to provide accurate information at scale, while automatically creating reports to identify trends, patterns, and gaps in information requests. This solution is available free of charge to federal, state, and local governments and public health organizations.
- Healthcare Workforce Pulse: With Healthcare Workforce Pulse, healthcare administrators and leaders can rapidly understand, prioritize, and respond to the most immediate needs across their teams so they can better serve patients, employees, and clinicians during this time of crisis. The Healthcare Workforce Pulse is provided free of charge to all healthcare providers, systems, and businesses on the frontline responding to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Dynamic Call Center Script: Qualtrics has created the Dynamic Call Center Script to help healthcare staff deliver accurate and up-to-date information. Governments and public health organizations can easily update the knowledge base; access automated reports showing trends, patterns, and gaps in information requests; and collect information from people who may be symptomatic. This solution is available free of charge to federal, state, and local governments and public health organizations.
The world is facing an unprecedented level of uncertainty as we collectively fight COVID-19. However, by opening access to SAP technology we hope to help address these global challenges. For more information, please click here.
Member Spotlight: Google Fight Against COVID-19 Includes $800M Commitment
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai announced a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic. Google.org is also committing an additionally $50 million to the global COVID-19 response.
Google’s Trust and Safety team has been working around the clock and across the globe to safeguard users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation, and is constantly on the lookout for new threats.
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai recently published a blog post announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic. Google.org is also committing an additionally $50 million to the global COVID-19 response. As part of that support, Google will be matching up to $5 million in donations to the WHO’s new COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Google also made a $500,000 grant to a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers working on HealthMap, a website that provides up-to-date trends of emerging public health threats and outbreaks. On 3/20 Google announced a $10M Distance Learning Fund to support organizations around the globe that help educators access the resources they need to provide high quality learning opportunities to children, particularly those from underserved communities. Grants from the fund to date: $1M grant to Khan Academy supporting resources to help teachers and students with remote learning, including localization in 15 languages.
Google continues to develop new resources to connect users to helpful information and resources, such as a global expansion of COVID-19 SOS Alerts and YouTube Information Panels, as well as homepage promotions around the world. Google is launching home page promotions, including a global “Do the Five” campaign to remind people to follow five simple practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Google also developed a website with resources dedicated to COVID-19 education and prevention. This launched in English first, with plans for global expansion.
Protecting users from misinformation and abuse
Google is removing COVID-19 misinformation across its platforms. Google’s Trust and Safety team has been working around the clock and across the globe to safeguard users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation, and is constantly on the lookout for new threats.
Enabling productivity for remote workers and students
Google is seeing more people using the premium features of Meet, a Google video conferencing app, which was made available to all G Suite customers at no cost until July 1, 2020. Google shared tips and resources for remote workers of all kinds. For educators around the globe, Google created new distance learning resources, including a collection of training materials, Teach From Home Hub, a new YouTube Learning Hub, and a series of blog posts and webinars.
Member Spotlight: Amid COVID-19, Amazon Aims to Support Employees, Customers and Communities
Amazon has launched the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research. In Europe, the company committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon has also filled 100,000 new jobs since March, and is adding 75,000 more to help meet customer demand and assist existing employees fulfilling orders for essential products.
Amazon’s top concern is ensuring the health and safety of employees. Amazon has made over 150 process updates—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like disinfectant fog in a New York fulfillment center. Amazon distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for employees, and implemented temperature checks across operations worldwide and is working on building scalable testing for coronavirus.
Among other things such as, increased pay for hourly employees and doubled regular hourly base pay for overtime hours, Amazon has also established a $25 million relief fund for partners (e.g. delivery drivers) and seasonal associates facing financial hardship or quarantine.
Amazon published annual letter to shareholders from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO. Read the letter here.
Amazon is working to increase capacity for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as quickly as possible, while enhancing cleaning at all Whole Foods Market stores and are now open one hour early for customers who are 60+ years old in the U.S. (70+ years old in the UK).
Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market can select “unattended delivery” during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with others. Amazon is focusing on high-priority items to ensure the fastest delivery of household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers.
Amazon is vigorously combating price gouging to help protect customers, help ensure fair pricing, and combat those seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis.
Communities around the globe:
Amazon has launched the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research. In Europe, the company committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the U.S., Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Feeding America. Amazon also hired 100,000 full- and part-time employees, and is now hiring an additional 75,000. Amazon is looking for talent in every community in which it operates.
Amazon also launched a $5 million grant fund to support small businesses in Seattle, while AWS is supporting the White House’s COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, providing computing resources to advance research on diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine studies.
Last, but not least, Amazon is supporting virtual classrooms with no-cost resources from AWS and Amazon Future Engineer, donating 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public Schools students who do not have access to a device at home, and through the Amazon Future Engineer program, Amazon is donating 4,000 laptops to high school students across the U.S. and making new online computer science resources, including exam prep, free.
Member Spotlight: Apple and Google Partner on COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology
Google and Apple announced a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.
Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.
Google and Apple announced on April 10 a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.
Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health organizations have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.
First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and the companies look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. Apple and Google will openly publish information about their work for others to analyze.
Member Spotlight: CenturyLink Connects Emergency Healthcare Facilities During COVID-19
Company Donates Vital High-Speed Connections to Support Field Hospitals
CenturyLink has announced several initiatives to fight COVID-19, including donating high-speed internet connections to temportary hospital facilities, such as the hospital ship U.S. Naval Ship Mercy and several field hospital operations in Seattle and Oregon, to help ease the burden on the nation’s healthcare system.
CenturyLink’s Corporate Social Responsibility teams in Singapore and Hong Kong have also provided critical protective supplies for individuals in vulnerable areas.
CenturyLink announced on April 1 that it is donating high-speed internet connections to temporary hospital facilities created to help ease the burden on the nation’s healthcare system. The company is immediately responding to requests for services and installing connections within 48 hours.
Connecting the Mercy Ship
CenturyLink installed and donated high-speed connectivity to the hospital ship U.S. Naval Ship Mercy just hours after it arrived at the port of Los Angeles. The company also waived installation fees for a 1 gigabit Ethernet circuit connecting the Defense Information Systems Agency’s shored-based Naval Air Station North Island to USNS Mercy. The high-speed connection supports our nation’s military and healthcare professionals providing medical assistance to patients not associated with COVID-19 during this pandemic.
Connecting Field Hospitals and Quarantine Sites
Grappling with the sudden need for more hospital beds and overflow capacity due to COVID-19, local municipalities are transforming various facilities into temporary field hospitals. CenturyLink has committed to donate high-speed connectivity and waive fees for several field hospital operations in Seattle and Oregon.
The company is working with local and state agencies to provide speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections at these locations – with an expectation that the following list will continue to grow and evolve:
- Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center in Salem, Oregon
CenturyLink is providing a 1 gigabit Ethernet connection to this temporary hospital for 250 non-coronavirus patients in recovery.
- King County, Seattle locations, Washington
CenturyLink activated high-speed fiber internet connections at eight quarantine locations in just three days throughout the city of Seattle in King County. These locations are serving coronavirus patients.
- Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Florida
CenturyLink’s quick response successfully connected the hospital to the metropolitan area’s only COVID-19 test site. In less than 24 hours, CenturyLink technicians established multiple connections, critical to relaying testing orders and results. This drive-thru test site at Northwood Center not only serves Tallahassee, but also the surrounding rural areas that make up Florida’s Big Bend.
- Hospital Posadas, Argentina
CenturyLink donated internet access up to 100 Mbps to Hospital Posadas, a medical assistance institution focused on prevention, treatment and health rehabilitation.
Additional activities include:
- United Christian Nethersole Community, Hong Kong
Our Hong Kong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team partnered with United Christian Nethersole Community, a local senior center, to provide critical protective supplies, such as surgical mask, hand sanitizers, rice, noodles and cleaning towels. Our donations will assist more than 250 seniors in need.
- Critical Supply Donations, Singapore
Our Singapore CSR team raised thousands of dollars to purchase hand sanitizer and other needed supplies for individuals in vulnerable areas. These items were donated to a local non-profit agency for distribution to those in need.
Member Spotlight: IBM Leads the Way to a COVID-19 Cure With Supercomputers & Trusted Data
IBM is leading an effort to make an unprecedented amount of computing power available to help governments and academic researchers better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures.
IBM launched Watson Assistant for Citizen “chatbots” which bring together advanced analytics and speech recognition capabilities to help government agencies and other organizations deal with an unprecedented flood of requests from citizens. IBM has provided this IBM Cloud-based technology to health agencies and governments in Europe and the US.
Read below to see how IBM is also helping first responders, enabling virtual education, accelerating the development of drug treatments, and more.
IBM recently announced with the White House a new IBM-led effort to make an unprecedented amount of computing power—more than 400 petaflops—available to help government and academic researchers better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures. The collaboration involves the U.S. Department of Energy, MIT and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as six national labs and other technology providers, and the pooled resources will create the most powerful high -performance computing platform on the planet, all devoted to accelerating scientific discovery to fight COVID-19. According to IBM, it’s like a Manhattan Project for attacking the coronavirus, and IBM is proud to have convened this critical effort.
And there’s great potential for supercomputers to make a meaningful difference in this fight. Perhaps you’re already seen that IBM Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, is already helping researchers speedily find drug compounds that could hold promise in fighting the coronavirus. Out of more than 8,000 potential drug combinations that might work, Summit has helped researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee identify 77 most likely candidates, and IBM data scientists are working with the DOE to speed the search.
Putting trusted data and insights at the fingertips of citizens and health experts
Trusted data is at the heart of IBM’s newly-launched Watson Assistant for Citizens “chatbots,” which bring together advanced analytics and speech recognition capabilities to help government agencies and other organizations deal with an unprecedented flood of requests from citizens. The solution puts years of experience in AI and natural language processing technologies to work in creating virtual assistants that pool and understand trusted data from external sources — including health guidance from national agencies and local sources such as links to school closings, regional health news, insight on unemployment claims processes, and documents on government websites — to automate responses to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 that come in via a phone call or text, and to get that information into the hands of citizens in seconds or minutes, not hours. IBM has provided this IBM Cloud-based technology to health agencies and governments in Europe and the US.
Putting technology in the hands of the first responders
In mid-March, IBM unveiled a program for independent developers to work on COVID-19 issues. The “Call For Code” program has brought thousands of developers together on projects like helping first responders in California fires and with rebuilding Puerto Rico after the hurricane; more than 210,000 participants from 165 nations have taken part in Call for Code and created more than 8,000 applications focused on natural disaster preparedness and relief.
Now, IBM is steering resources to marshal the “Call for Code Global Challenge” to focus on solutions aimed at COVID-19…. aimed specifically at improving communication for medical teams and emergency services, and improving remote learning, since millions of students around the world are now in virtual classrooms. Working with IBM technical experts, it’s all going to be built on open source software and powered by Watson, with data from The Weather Company.
Helping virtual education around the globe
In Europe, 10 countries (and more than 1200 schools) are receiving support from a partnership between IBM and Cisco to implement distance learning tools and curriculum, enabled in part by the volunteer efforts of 3,000 IBMers. More than a million students are getting access to their studies, as well as a special curriculum that allows students to earn digital badges that can help them qualify for jobs. This week IBM began a similar effort across Latin America, and is working with educators in the United States as well, including in New York City, where IBM is helping 300,000 city students access their lessons.
And there’s more…
- Early on, IBM’s Watson Health unit made the IBM Clinical Development system available without charge to national health agencies to help accelerate the development of drug treatments — it’s technology used by pharma companies to reduce the time and cost of clinical trials by centralizing and organizing clinical trial details, and provides access to clinical trial data from any web-enabled device. The IBM software was first offered to Chinese health officials, and now is being provided to a wider network of national health agencies.
- IBM’s World Community Grid launched a crowdsourcing project with Scripps Research to tap the spare computing power on our personal computers to screen compounds that might be utilized to treat COVID-19. To help Scripps conduct virtual experiments that require the processing of an immense amount of data, anyone around the world with a computer or laptop can download a World Community Grid app and “donate” surplus computing power when the devices are idle. This “virtual supercomputing” effort complements the HPC Consortium that IBM helped launch in partnership with the White House, creating a platform that anyone can contribute to.
- Even simpler things are important now. IBM’s senior exec in California located and donated 15,000 medical masks to the Silicon Valley Medical Center Foundation, and IBM engineers in Argentina have recruited hundreds from across the country to design and print 3-D masks, with the goal to create 48,000 masks at a fraction of the cost of buying them.
Member Spotlight: AT&T Committed to Being There When Customers, Colleagues Need Them Most
AT&T has launched a number of initiatives to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, ranging from commitments of over 5 million dollars to help feed front line responders to enabling e-learning and virtual classrooms to business cybersecurity best practices.
As AT&T responds to COVID-19, the health and safety of its employees and customers remains a top priority. The work AT&T is doing is critical to millions of people and companies around the world, and AT&T is committed to being there when its customers and colleagues need them most.
Here are just some of the ways AT&T is responding:
- AT&T is helping feed front line responders through a $5.5 million commitment to provide much needed support – in the form of nourishing meals – for first responders, medical personnel and others impacted by COVID-19. The effort kicks off with a $1.5 million contribution to World Central Kitchen. For more on how AT&T is connecting first responders, click here.
- AT&T Expands Support for Customers Amid COVID-19 – AT&T is helping you stay connected.
- AT&T Offers Savings to Schools to Support eLearning – With the COVID-19 virus having unprecedented impacts on our society and keeping millions of students and teachers home for the foreseeable future, AT&T is stepping up to enable virtual classrooms across America.
- AT&T Connectivity Enabling Automated Robots for Health Care and Retail – AT&T is working with XENEX to connect their LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ that use intense UV light to deactivate deadly pathogens and help hospitals fight infections and save lives. With Brain Corp, AT&T is helping to enable robotics for cleaning, inventory delivery, and shelf-analytics for retailers and other essential businesses.
- Business Cybersecurity Best Practices – Given the rapid move for many to work from home, organizations have either been scrambling to quickly roll out solutions to keep employees connected or relying upon their contingency plan in place. Protecting your organization and its suddenly remote workforce is essential.
To learn more about our COVID-19 support efforts for first responders, our employees and our customers, click here.
Member Spotlight: Pfizer Advances Battle Against COVID-19 on Multiple Fronts
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to jointly conduct clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine candidates initially in the United States and Europe across multiple research sites.
BioNTech and Pfizer intend to initiate clinical trials as early as the end of April 2020, assuming regulatory clearance.
USCIB member Pfizer announced on April 9 important advances in the battle against the global COVID-19 pandemic. As outlined in Pfizer’s five-point plan, the company has been collaborating across the healthcare innovation ecosystem ranging from large pharmaceutical companies to the smallest of biotech companies, from government agencies to academic institutions to address the COVID-19 global health care crisis.
Pfizer announced key advances in its commitment to protect humankind from this escalating pandemic and prepare the industry to better respond to future global health crises:
Anti-Viral Compound Screening
Applying Pfizer’s Long History in Vaccine Research Development Expertise to Finalize Agreement with BioNTech
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have entered into a global collaboration agreement to co-develop BioNTech’s potential first-in-class, mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine program aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection. In March 2020, the companies announced a letter of intent to collaborate and began working together at that time. The two companies plan to jointly conduct clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine candidates initially in the United States and Europe across multiple research sites. BioNTech and Pfizer intend to initiate clinical trials as early as the end of April 2020, assuming regulatory clearance. The companies estimate that there is potential to supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020 subject to technical success of the development program and approval of regulatory authorities and then rapidly scale up to capacity to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021. For the terms of the agreement, please see the press release page of Pfizer’s website.
Analysis of Azithromycin as an Agent with Antiviral Activity
In an effort to share information that could benefit COVID-19 mitigation efforts, Pfizer researchers will publish a review in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics which assesses published in vitro and clinical data regarding azithromycin as an agent with antiviral properties. This open access review may serve to facilitate the use of azithromycin in future research on COVID-19. Azithromycin is not approved for the treatment of viral infections.
Studying Pfizer’s Existing Medicines for Critical Patient Populations in Need
Pfizer Inc. and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s Respiratory Infection Clinical Research Group are launching two new studies to provide insights on the interaction between S. pneumoniae and SARS-CoV-2. Pfizer is expected to finalize in the coming days, a research collaboration agreement with Liverpool to provide funding and in-kind laboratory testing support for this research. The studies will help demonstrate whether patients infected with COVID-19 have a higher risk of also developing pneumococcal pneumonia and if having both infections leads to more severe disease and poorer outcomes. Enrollment has already begun, and data are expected over the next few months.
For a comprehensive review of Pfizer’s initiatives, please click here.
Member Spotlight: HP Mobilizes 3D Printing to Battle COVID-19
HP Inc. and its global digital manufacturing community are mobilizing their 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to help deliver critical parts in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the first applications being validated and produced include: hands-free door opener, mask adjuster, face shields.
HP Inc. and its global digital manufacturing community announced in a press release on March 24 that they are mobilizing their 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to help deliver critical parts in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
HP has produced more than 35,000 parts to date and growing, with partners and customers producing tens of thousands more. HP’s 3D R&D centers in Barcelona, Spain; Corvallis, Oregon; San Diego, California and Vancouver, Washington are collaborating with partners around the world in a coordinated effort to increase production to meet the most urgent needs. Initial applications being validated and finalized for industrial production include face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts. HP is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies in numerous countries to ensure a synchronized and effective approach.
Some of the first applications being validated and produced include:
- Hands-Free Door Opener: Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and elderly homes. This adapter allows for easy and more sanitary opening with an elbow. This hands-free door opener has been designed by HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network partner Materialise.
- Mask Adjuster: Many hospital staff are required to wear masks for long periods of time. This clasp is designed to improve comfort and alleviate associated ear pain.
- Face Shields: Face shields are one of the highest-need personal protection items. Brackets to hold the shield and comfortably fit the wearer are a critical component.
- FFP3 Face Masks: Effective protective gear is needed for medical providers to treat the volume of expected COVID-19 patients. HP is validating several hospital-grade face masks and expects them to be available shortly. One example of face mask has been developed by the Research Institute CIIRC CVUT and is being produced using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and distributed by Škoda Auto in the Czech Republic.
Many more applications are in the testing and validation phase and are expected to begin production soon, including:
- Field Ventilator: 3D printed parts for a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) that is designed for use as a short-term emergency ventilation of COVID-19 patients. This simplified design enables a robust and less-complex device, facilitating its rapid production and assembly.
- Nasopharyngeal swabs: HP has developed an investigational 3D printed nasopharyngeal test swab, designed for use in COVID-19 testing. HP has shared the swab designs with several premiere research partners for clinical evaluation. We are working closely with leading researchers at Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to assist with gathering test data and to further refine the 3D printed swab designs, materials, and printing capacity. We are advancing fast with the goal of mass producing the swabs with HP’s industrial-grade Jet Fusion 3D printers.
To read the full press release, please click here.
USCIB Member Intel Commits $50 Million with Pandemic Response Technology Initiative to Combat Coronavirus
Intel is pledging an additional $50 million in a pandemic response technology initiative to combat the coronavirus through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students.
This technology response initiative builds on Intel’s prior announcements of $10 million in donations that are supporting local communities during this critical time. Those donations include 1 million gloves, masks and other equipment for healthcare workers, $6 million from the Intel Foundation toward relief efforts in local communities and $4 million from Intel and its subsidiaries around the globe.
Today, April 7, Intel is pledging an additional $50 million in a pandemic response technology initiative to combat the coronavirus through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students. Included in Intel’s effort is an additional innovation fund for requests where access to Intel expertise and resources can have immediate impact. This is in addition to prior announcements of $10 million in donations that are supporting local communities during this critical time.
What It Funds: Approximately $40 million will fund the Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness and Online Learning initiatives. The Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness Initiative will provide funding to accelerate customer and partner advances in diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing and edge-to-cloud service delivery. Through the initiative, Intel will help healthcare and life sciences manufacturers increase the availability of technology and solutions used by hospitals to diagnose and treat COVID-19. It will also support the creation of industry alliances that accelerate worldwide capacity, capability and policy to respond to this and future pandemics, building on Intel’s own experience in driving technology innovation in the health and life sciences arena.
The Intel Online Learning Initiative will support education-focused nonprofit organizations and business partners to provide students without access to technology with devices and online learning resources. In close partnership with public school districts, the initiative will enable PC donations, online virtual resources, study-at-home guides and device connectivity assistance. The Intel Online Learning Initiative builds on Intel’s long-standing commitment to technology that improves learning. It will begin immediately in regions with the greatest needs across the United States and expand globally.
The company has also allocated up to $10 million for an innovation fund that supports requests from external partners and employee-led relief projects, addressing critical needs in their communities.
Why It Matters: Intel technology underpins critical products and services that global communities, governments and healthcare organizations depend on every day. We hope that by harnessing our expertise, resources, technology and talents, we can help save and enrich lives by solving the world’s greatest challenges through the creation and development of new technology-based innovations and approaches.
Coronavirus Relief to Date: This technology response initiative builds on Intel’s prior announcements of $10 million in donations that are supporting local communities during this critical time. Those donations include 1 million gloves, masks and other equipment for healthcare workers, $6 million from the Intel Foundation toward relief efforts in local communities and $4 million from Intel and its subsidiaries around the globe.
Additional Technology Efforts: As previously announced, Intel and Lenovo have teamed up with Beijing-based BGI Genomics to accelerate the analysis of genomic characteristics of COVID-19. Intel has also joined the global XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance along with other companies to fuel collaboration on solutions through shared innovation to effectively address the immediate needs of the crisis.
USCIB Member Mastercard Partners With Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome to Speed Development and Access to Therapies for COVID-19
COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will coordinate R&D efforts and remove barriers to drug development and scale-up to address the epidemic.
Mastercard partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome. Together the partners committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to COVID-19 by identifying, assessing, developing and scaling-up treatments.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard announced on March 10 a commitment of up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments. The partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Currently there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens, and none approved for use on COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will work with the World Health Organization, government and private sector funders and organizations, as well as the global regulatory and policy-setting institutions. The Accelerator will have an end-to-end focus, from drug pipeline development through manufacturing and scale-up. By sharing research, coordinating investments, and pooling resources, these efforts can help to accelerate research. This kind of collaboration was a key lesson from the 2014 Ebola outbreak. By providing fast and flexible funding at key stages of the development process, the Accelerator will de-risk the pathway for new drugs and biologics for COVID-19 and future epidemic threats, ensuring access in lower-resource countries.
While antiviral drugs are approved to lessen the severity of seasonal flu and treat HIV, among other viral diseases, none have demonstrated efficacy against the current epidemic. One reason for the lack of effective treatments is that products may not have an immediate market, which can slow or prevent their research and commercial development. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is designed to help by bringing together resources and expertise to lower the financial and technical risk for academia, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies, while ensuring that these products are accessible and affordable to people in low-resource settings. The expertise of pharmaceutical companies will be critical in identifying, researching, and commercializing successful drugs.
“We’re proud to join this crucial effort to combat COVID-19 in furtherance of our commitment to inclusive growth,” said Mike Froman, vice chairman of Mastercard. “This global challenge not only represents a risk to the health and safety of populations all over the world, but also poses a potential disruption to the economic vitality of millions of people, businesses, and organizations worldwide. Our experience with financial inclusion shows us the importance of building a network of parties who bring not only their capital, but complementary assets and skill sets to the table, and we welcome other partners concerned about inclusive growth to join this effort.”
Member Spotlight: Apple Develops COVID-19 Screening App
Apple’s new COVID-19 website, and COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.
Consistent with Apple’s strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure.
Apple released a new screening tool and set of resources on March 27 to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest CDC guidance. The new COVID-19 website, and COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 app and website allow users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider. This new screening tool is designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.
Along with the new COVID-19 app and website, customers across the US may also ask Siri, “How do I know if I have coronavirus?” to access guidance and resources from the CDC and a curated collection of telehealth apps available on the App Store. This week, travelers landing at select international airports throughout the US started receiving notifications on their iPhone to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and monitor their health.
Consistent with Apple’s strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user’s Apple ID, and users’ individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.
Although the screen tool is a resource to evaluate level of risk and recognizing when symptoms are severe, it is not meant to replace any guidelines or instructions from health officials. To learn more about Apple’s new app release, please see here.
Member Spotlight: Salesforce Efforts to Help Those Affected by COVID-19
Salesforce donated $3 million to several organizations.
Salesforce is making some of its technology available for free to help customers and partners navigate through the crisis while also launching rapid response solutions to help companies and employees, customers and communities, as well as providing access to Health Cloud for healthcare systems experiencing an influx of COVID-19 requests.
To support the global response to COVID-19, Salesforce has donated $3 million to UCSF’s COVID-19 Response Fund, the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund and San Francisco’s Give2SF Fund. As always, the company is also matching employee donations to eligible organizations.
Salesforce is also making some of its technology available for free for a period of time to help its customers and partners navigate through the crisis. The company launched Salesforce Care rapid response solutions to help companies stay connected to their employees, customers and communities. This is in addition to making Quip Starter available to any business and providing access to Health Cloud for healthcare systems experiencing an influx of COVID-19 requests. And organizations around the world are using Tableau’s COVID-19 data hub to see and understand data about the pandemic.
More updates on the initiatives Salesforce is taking during the COVID-19 crisis, please click here.
Member Spotlight: Microsoft’s COVID-19 Assessment Bot Eliminates Bottlenecks
Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot uses AI to help CDC and other organizations respond to inquiries, freeing up doctors, nurses, administrators to provide critical care to those who need it.
The need to screen patients with any number of symptoms — to determine who has high enough risk factors to need access to limited medical resources and which people may more safely care for themselves at home — is a bottleneck that threatens to overwhelm health systems coping with the crisis.
Microsoft is offering its Healthcare Bot service, powered by Microsoft Azure, to organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care. One such organization is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recently released a COVID-19 assessment bot that can quickly assess the symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, provide information and suggest a next course of action, such as contacting a medical provider or, for those who do not need in-person medical care, managing the illness safely at home.
The bot, which utilizes Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service, is available on the CDC website.
Public health organizations, hospitals and others on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response need to be able to respond to inquiries, provide the public with up-to-date outbreak information, track exposure, quickly triage new cases and guide next steps. Many have expressed great concern about the overwhelming demand COVID-19 is creating on resources such as urgent, emergency and nursing care.
In particular, the need to screen patients with any number of cold or flu-like symptoms — to determine who has high enough risk factors to need access to limited medical resources and which people may more safely care for themselves at home — is a bottleneck that threatens to overwhelm health systems coping with the crisis.
Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service is one solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help the CDC and other frontline organizations respond to these inquiries, freeing up doctors, nurses, administrators and other healthcare professionals to provide critical care to those who need it.
The Healthcare Bot service is a scalable Azure-based public cloud service that allows organizations to quickly build and deploy an AI-powered bot for websites or applications that can offer patients or the general public personalized access to health-related information through a natural conversation experience. It can be easily customized to suit an organization’s own scenarios and protocols.
To read more about Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service visit Microsoft’s Official Blog
Member Spotlight: HanesBrands to Manufacture Cotton Masks
HanesBrands expects to produce about 1.5 million FDA-approved masks weekly, while the consortium of other apparel manufacturers that HanesBrands joined is expected to, as a whole, ramp up production of 5-6 million masks weekly.
Using U.S.-grown cotton, the masks are being produced in Hanesbrands’ sewing factories in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
USCIB member HanesBrands Inc. announced that it will begin producing FDA-approved cotton masks at some of its factories in Latin America as part of a federal contract to combat a national shortage of face masks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company joined a cooperative consortium of other apparel manufacturers, led by Parkdale Mills America, that are dedicating manufacturing capacity to meet U.S. demand for masks. HanesBrands expects to produce about 1.5 million masks weekly, and the consortium as a whole is expected to ramp up production of five to six million masks weekly using HanesBrands’ design and patterns.
The announcement came Saturday, March 21, during President Donald Trump’s media briefing about the federal government’s response. The company went from negotiating a contract with the federal government to beginning production in less than a week, according to a company spokesman.
These factories would normally be producing T-shirts, underwear, socks, sweatpants and sweatshirts.
More information can be found here: https://hanesforgood.com/inthistogether/