CSG Associates Respond to COVID-19

Following natural disasters and in times of national crisis, America’s private sector steps up to aid the states. We are proud of the herculean efforts of CSG Leadership Circle and Associates, our private sector members, as we together to combat COVID-19. We have compiled a number of efforts put forth by our CSG Associate partners as they work with states to combat this pandemic. 

Abbott received an emergency use authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 diagnostic and announced goals to ramp up U.S. production to 1 million tests per week by the end of March. For more information, visit: https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-03-18-Abbott-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-and-Launches-Test-to-Detect-Novel-Coronavirus

Trade associations and membership societies representing North America’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry, including the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute, requested that federal, state and local authorities grant “essential business” status to those technicians and engineers tasked with keeping the American people productive, healthy and comfortable. For more information, visit:https://facilityexecutive.com/2020/03/covid-19-hvacr-organizations-promote-essential-status/

Alliance for Automotive Innovation and the National Automobile Dealers Associationjointly asked the White House in a letter to classify dealerships as essential businesses amid forced closures of retailers in certain areas because of the coronavirus outbreak. For more information, visit: https://www.autonews.com/regulation-safety/alliance-shifts-broader-health-economic-goals-crisis-grows.

Amazon announced it is hiring, opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon’s services. The company will invest over $350 million globally to increase pay by $2/hour in the U.S., $2/hour in Canada, £2/hr in the UK, and approximately €2/hr in many EU countries for employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries so that others can remain at home. For more information: https://blog.aboutamazon.com/operations/amazon-opening-100000-new-roles.

Amazon Web Services shared solutions for many Americans now working from home. Tools include Amazon Chime and AmazonWorkSpaces. For more information, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/working-from-home-heres-how-aws-can-help/.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, a member of America’s Health Insurance Plans, is waiving co-pays for fully insured members utilizing telehealth services and using in-network providers for medically necessary services over the next 90 days. Members are encouraged to contact their BCBS Plans for a full understanding and breadth of services since coverage may vary. For more information, visit: https://www.bcbs.com/.

The American Bankers Association has been working with both state banking regulators and governors to ensure that banks and their vendors are being designated as critical in disaster declarations that include shelter-in-place orders. This is essential to assure the public that vital services can remain open. For more information, visit: https://www.aba.com/banking-topics/risk-management/incident-response/coronavirus.

The American Gas Association worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to identify natural gas utility workers as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” for the energy industry. For more information, visit: https://www.aga.org/news/coronavirus-covid-19/.

Amway will produce free hand sanitizer for Spectrum Health and Kids’ Food Basket. For more information, visit: https://www.amwayglobal.com/newsroom/amway-will-produce-free-hand-sanitizer-for-spectrum-health-and-kids-food-basket/

Anthem, Inc. will cover the cost of coronavirus testing with no out-of-pocket cost. Anthem also confirms that prior authorization is not required for diagnostic services related to COVID-19 testing. 

Anthem also announced new resources for its members. First, it is working to accelerate the availability of a Coronavirus Assessment tool on the Sydney Care mobile app, which members can download at no cost. 

Second, Anthem’s affiliated plans will continue to waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and extending this to include waiver of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for visits associated with in-network COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency department. 

Third, Anthem is relaxing early prescription refill limits for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications, where permissible. 

Fourth, for 90 days, Anthem plans will waive any cost sharing for telehealth visits, including visits for mental health care, for fully insured employer plans, individual plans, Medicare plans, and Medicaid plans, where permissible. This includes visits using Anthem’s telemedicine service, as well as care received from other telehealth providers delivering virtual care. 

The Anthem Foundation continues to support the Red Cross, Direct Relief, Americares and Feeding America, and is working to redirect up to $2 million to local Boys and Girls Clubs to help distribute meals to children and families in need. The company is matching employee donations to the Anthem Foundation’s program. For more information, visit: https://www.antheminc.com/.

Association for Accessible Medicines member companies are working to ensure pharmacies across the country are able to provide the medicines patients need for their health. Generic medicines account for 90% of all prescriptions filled.

The National Institutes of Health and others are working to develop innovative vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. AAM members are partnering with health organizations and governments around the world to evaluate the use of currently available generic medicines for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://accessiblemeds.org/resources/blog/aams-covid-19-response-health-care-needs

AT&T has taken the following actions to assist with the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Created New $10 Million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund
    • The new Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund gives parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. The fund also provides resources to maintain meaningful connections and bonding opportunities for those isolated from family and friends.
  • Launched New Command Centers to Support AT&T Business Customers
  • To keep customers connected and complement our product offers, AT&T launched six new Command Centers that are enabling the fast delivery of increased bandwidth, new circuits and unified communication services.
  • Unlimited AT&T Home Internet
  • All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, the company will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 per month through our Access from AT&T program. AT&T expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, the company will offer two months of free service to new Access from AT&T customers.
  • Serving Those who Serve
  • AT&T is redirecting more resources to provide communication services and tools for first responders, health care professionals, educators and other essential customers. This additional support will help ensure these customers can continue providing critical support to the country and their communities, particularly to first responders using the FirstNet network.

Bank of America will allow its mortgage holders to defer their payments amid the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The company has announced it will also implement a series of actions aimed at creating financial ease for its customers struggling during the unprecedented challenges the novel coronavirus has presented. 

Bank of America also announced a $100 million commitment in support of communities facing unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of the funds will be used to increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity and boost access to learning during school closures in local BofA markets, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations. The bank also plans to increase its funding to national and global organizations working on the front lines of the pandemic in local communities. For more information, visit: https://www.bankofamerica.com/.

Multinational chemical company BASF is set to initiate the production of hand sanitizers at its Ludwigshafen site, home to its world headquarters, due to the COVID-19 outbreak reducing regular supplies. For more information, visit: https://www.chemicals-technology.com/news/covid-19-basf-hand-sanitisers-ludwigshafen/

Bayer announced its donation of 3 million tablets of the drug Resochin (chloroquine phosphate) to the U.S. government. New data, while limited, shows potential for the use of Resochin in treating patients with the infection. For more information, visit: https://bayer2019tf.q4web.com/news/news-details/2020/Bayer-Partners-with-US-Government-on-Major-Product-Donation-to-Fight-Coronavirus/default.aspx.

Biotechnology Innovation Organization created a resource for the biotechnology community through which companies that have supplies, capacities and resources can share them with companies, researchers, and health care providers who need them. Called the Coronavirus Hub, the resource enables users to post requests for urgently needed items, as well as the availability of supplies and capacity. The portal is a real-time connection through customized announcements and is searchable by keywords. Connections for medical supplies will be facilitated in partnership with Healthcare Ready to ensure an organized and optimized allocation of items in need, and thus will not be publicly available or searchable. For more information, visit: hub.bio.org.

Beyond physical supplies, the Coronavirus Hub will also provide users the ability to request or share other resources, such as capacities, technologies, or assets that may be useful in COVID-19 response and/or development programs. A messaging feature permits users to reach out to one another privately within the hub. A notification is sent when a reply is posted. To expedite the launch of this timely tool, the hub has an easy self-serve login providing instant utilization.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. contributed $1 million to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic including a donation to the China Red Cross Foundation to purchase medical protective materials. This helps local frontline medical staff involved in their fight against the pandemic to treat patients more safely. The headquarters of BI also purchased 100,000 protective masks from Germany, which are donated to provide protection for medical staff in hospitals.

Cargill is working with nonprofit partners and local foodbanks to develop emergency food boxes to address nutrition needs. Cargill businesses are also making contributions to support local and regional COVID-19 relief efforts in communities around the world. For more information, visit: https://www.cargill.com/story/cargills-response-to-the-covid-19-global-pandemic.

Centene will cover cover COVID-19 testing and screening services for Medicaid, Medicare and Marketplace members and is waiving all associated member cost share amounts for COVID-19 testing and screening. To ensure that these members receive the care they need as quickly as possible, the company will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification or step therapy protocols for these services. For more information visit: centene.com.

Comcast Corporation is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, as well as other important initiatives: 

  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, Comcast is pausing its data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect customers’ internet service or assess late fees if they contact the company and let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Comcast care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions. 
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee, and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, Comcast has created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, Comcast also has created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. 
  • 24×7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date, it is performing well.  

CVS Health and Aetna have partnered to create benefits for insured patients who either have or exhibit symptoms of the novel coronavirus. 

Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This includes the test kit for patients who fall within the CDC’s testing guidelines and costs associated with diagnostic testing. Testing can be done in any approved laboratory setting at commercial, Medicare, or Medicaid lines of business. Sponsors of self-insured plans can opt out of this program if they choose. 

For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. The CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna’s Teladoc and in-network providers that offer live video-conference sessions for all commercial plan designs will fall under this program. 

Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a CVS care package through Aetna’s Healing Better program. The package includes over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms, as well as personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others who share the home protected from exposure.

CVS Health announced additional COVID-19 resources to increase patient access to medications.

  • CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications, which will help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.
  • Aetna will offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members.
  • CVS Caremark is working with all PBM clients to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications.

For more information, visit: https://www.contagionlive.com/news/aetna-and-cvs-health-partner-to-benefit-members-amid-coronavirus-outbreak

Edison Electric Institute’s member companies are suspending electricity disconnects for non-payment nationwide. Many companies have already made this commitment in their local service territories. America’s electric companies, public power utilities and electric cooperatives are closely coordinating with their members and industry and government partners through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). This effective coordination ensures that organizations have the resources they need to continue providing electricity to customers throughout any disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus. For more information, visit: EEI.org. 

Eli Lilly and Company announced that Lilly scientists are partnering with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), with support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to accelerate testing in Indiana for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The company will use its specialized research laboratories to analyze samples taken in Indiana health care facilities, including nursing homes and emergency rooms. This should start to expand Indiana’s ability to conduct testing and receive a timely diagnosis of individuals who suspect they may be carrying the virus. As Lilly’s testing capacity expands, Lilly and ISDH will work together to maximize the impact of broader testing.

Eli Lilly and AbCellera agreed to co-develop antibody products for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. The collaboration will leverage AbCellera’s rapid pandemic response platform and Lilly’s global capabilities for rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of therapeutic antibodies. 

With Eli Lilly’s headquarters in Indianapolis, The Lilly Foundation contributed $500,000 to United Way of Central Indiana’s Community Economic Relief Fund. The fund will support human services organizations and the individuals and families they serve who are affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus. The Lilly Foundation is also providing a 2:1 match for Lilly employee and retiree contributions to the fund. For more information, visit: https://www.biospace.com/article/eli-lilly-partners-with-state-of-indiana-to-accelerate-covid-19-testing/.

Esri, a GIS company, has developed a mapping resource for COVID-19: https://coronavirus-resources.esri.com/. In addition, Esri has a Disaster Response Program that offers technology, pre-built solutions and the ability to request technical help. The resources are open for Esri clients and non-clients. For more information, visit: https://www.esri.com/en-us/disaster-response/overview.

Emergent BioSolutions signed a development and manufacturing agreement with Vaxart for their experimental oral vaccine candidate for COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://investors.emergentbiosolutions.com/news-releases/news-release-details/emergent-biosolutions-signs-development-and-manufacturing.

Facebook isactively working to provide Americans with reliable information from trusted health authorities and offer resources to governments, emergency service organizations and others in need. The Facebook newsroom (https://about.fb.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus/) is being updated in real time and is a great resource for our many efforts aimed at helping people have what they need during this challenging time. In addition, the company is also engaged in the following efforts:  

  • Facebook Local Alerts
  • Local Alerts is a free tool that allows state and local governments, public health agencies and first responders to broadcast essential updates to people in their communities via Facebook by marking a page post as a local alert, which sends out a notification to page followers who live in a community. With four out of five internet users actively engaging on Facebook each month in the U.S., this is a great tool to reach your communities in emergency situations. 
  • Workplace Platform for Governments and Emergency Health Organizations
  • Facebook Workplace Advanced is being made available for free for a year to governments and emergency service organizations globally. This platformuses simple and secure tools like video calling, groups, News Feed, file sharing and instant messaging to keep entire organizations connected and informed.
  • COVID-19 CrowdTangle Live Displays
  • We have built CrowdTangle Live Displays so that you can track the latest COVID-19 content being shared on Facebook and Instagram in your state. Click here to see the live display in your state. 
  • COVID-19 Information Center – Accessible via Facebook’s News Feed
  • The COVID-19 Information Center that launched today will provide information and resources — from trusted health authorities — that will help people stay healthy as they support their families and broader communities. This tool will be accessible at the top of News Feed.  
  • $100M in Grants for Small Businesses
  • $100 million in Facebook grants will support over 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate around the world to show that we’re focused on helping businesses easily find the help, training, and support they need. 
  • $1M to Support Fact-Checkers
  • $1M in Facebook grant support is available to fact-checking organizations around the world to increase their capacity to combat misinformation related to COVID-19. The funds will be administered by the International Fact-Checking Network and will be used for partnering with health experts for evidence-based coverage, producing reliable multimedia content and more.

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous Actemra® (tocilizumab) plus standard of care in hospitalized adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

Additionally, to further support U.S. COVID-19 response efforts, Genentech will provide 10,000 vials of Actemra to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile for potential future use at the direction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). For more information, visit: https://www.gene.com/.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is collaborating with global health organizations to support pandemic responses. The company is working with government and non-governmental organizations and regulatory authorities to develop a strategy to provide its investigational compound, remdesivir, to patients with COVID-19 for emergency treatment in the absence of any approved treatment options, and to support clinical trials to determine whether it can safely and effectively be used to treat COVID-19. 

The company is also working with regulatory authorities to provide remdesivir to physicians for compassionate use to treat a number of severely ill patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection and severe clinical symptoms. For more information, visit: https://www.gilead.com/purpose/advancing-global-health/covid-19.

GlaxoSmithKline and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations formed a new collaboration aimed at helping the global effort to develop a vaccine for the 2019-nCoV virus. In this move, GSK will make its established pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology available to enhance the development of an effective vaccine against COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://www.gsk.com/.

Intuit QuickBooks and ProConnect Groups have launched websites to help small businesses prepare for, and navigate through, the current situation surrounding Coronavirus. For more information, Intuit QuickBooks: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/smallbusinesshelp/ and Intuit ProConnect: https://proconnect.intuit.com/coronavirus/.

Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies have entered a collaboration with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to support the development of a preventive vaccine candidate for COVID-19. The parties have commenced preclinical testing of multiple vaccine prospects, with the aim to identify by the end of the month a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trials. 

Johnson & Johnson is seeking to further expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program through an expanded collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Additionally, J&J initiated a review of known pathways in coronavirus pathophysiology to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive a COVID-19 infection and reduce the severity of disease in non-lethal cases. For more information, visit: jnj.com.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation contributed $2.5 million towards the efforts to contain the spreading of the coronavirus.

To help jumpstart the relief efforts of its community partners, Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced this week that it is donating a total of $250,000 to several critical Las Vegas-based organizations. The organizations include Three Square food bank, Communities In Schools and Share Village Las Vegas. These donations were made as “unrestricted funds,” allowing each organization to utilize the money to cover immediate and critical needs. In addition, the company plans to bolster financial support with donations of meals and needed equipment.

The Venetian Resort, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has donated 60 pallets of food to Three Square food bank in Las Vegas. The food donation, which consists of fresh produce, proteins and other food items, filled more than 2 semi-trucks and will soon be in the hands of community agencies throughout the city. As part of their emergency plan, Three Square is partnering with community agencies to operate 43 emergency distribution sites to ensure food-insecure individuals throughout Southern Nevada still have access to food during these uncertain times. For more information, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/aid-event/coronavirus-covid-19/las-vegas-sands-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University announced a series of prizes through its Emergent Ventures program for innovators working to combat COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://www.mercatus.org/features/mercatus-launches-prize-fund-combat-covid-19.

Merck & Co. is matching employee donations to the CDC Foundations’ Emergency Response Fund. For more information, visit: https://www.merck.com/about/featured-stories/how-we-are-responding-to-the-global-pandemic-COVID-19.html.

Microsoft Corporation’s Bing team launched a web portal for tracking coronavirus infections across the globe. For more information, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/aid-event/coronavirus-covid-19/las-vegas-sands-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

In addition, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a COVID-19 assessment bot to help initially screen Americans who are concerned they are suffering from symptoms connected to the novel coronavirus. The bot was developed in partnership with Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service, which the company is offering to those “on the front lines” free of charge to help eliminate bottlenecks in the contemporary health system of patients hoping to make sense of their symptoms.

Called Coronavirus Self-Checker, the new, conversational bot on the agency’s website can gauge the risk factors and symptoms of people who engage with it, and can offer insights into next moves they should consider in support of their health. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.

Mylan, Inc. has restarted production of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets at its Morgantown, West Virginia manufacturing facility to meet the potential for increased demand resulting from potential effectiveness of the product in treating COVID-19. Mylan’s hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets are approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the product is not currently approved for use in the treatment of COVID-19, it is listed by the World Health Organization as a drug under investigation for efficacy against the coronavirus. The company is also taking steps to initiate production of this product outside the U.S. in the coming weeks. For more information, visit: https://www.mylan.com/.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. is working with U.S. nursing regulatory bodies to help verify licenses for nurses who choose to practice across state lines to care for patients in those jurisdictions facing additional workloads associated with COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://www.ncsbn.org/.

More than half of PhRMA member companies have research and development efforts under way or are providing donations of medicines and critical medical supplies as well as providing financial donations to support patients and first responders in addressing this evolving crisis. 

In addition, PhRMA and its member companies are: 

  • Rapidly screening our vast global libraries of medicines to identify potential treatments and have numerous clinical trials underway to test new and existing therapies
  • Dedicating our top scientists and using investments in new technologies to speed the development of safe and effective vaccines
  • Sharing the learnings from clinical trials in real time with governments and other companies to advance the development of additional therapies
  • Expanding our manufacturing capabilities and sharing available capacity to ramp up production once a successful medicine or vaccine is developed
  • Collaborating with government agencies, hospitals, doctors and others to donate supplies and medicines to help those affected in the U.S. and around the world
  • Working with governments and insurers to ensure that when new treatments and vaccines are approved they will be available and affordable for patients

For more information, visit: https://catalyst.phrma.org/helping-those-affected-by-the-coronavirus.

Pfizer completed a preliminary assessment of certain antiviral compounds that were previously in development and that inhibited the replication of coronaviruses similar to the one causing COVID-19 in cultured cells. Pfizer is engaging with a third party to screen these compounds under an accelerated timeline. Upon completion of such screening, the company could be in a position to move forward with development, depending on the results. For more information, visit: https://www.pfizer.com/health/coronavirus.

Philips is increasing the production of certain critical care products and solutions to help diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19. The most needed products are patient vital signs monitors and portable ventilators and medical consumables for non-invasive and invasive ventilation to treat a broad range of respiratory conditions. Philips is ramping up the production of hospital ventilators and plans to double production within the next eight weeks and achieve a four-fold increase by the third quarter of 2020. For more information, visit: https://www.usa.philips.com/.

Professional Beauty Association is offering a complimentary PBA Preferred Membership for licensed professionals and non-licensed salon employees. The membership will provide access to PBA’s insurance marketplace and receive the latest industry news. For more information, visit: https://www.probeauty.org/2020-coronavirus-faqs.

RELX, Inc. has launched Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center. The center provides expert, curated information for the research and health community on COVID-19. All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients. Under the Research tab, the latest early-stage and peer-reviewed research on COVID-19 is available from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press. There are nearly 20,000 related articles free to access on ScienceDirect. These articles are also available to download with rights for full text and data mining, re-use and analyses for as long as needed. For more information, visit: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi U.S., will leverage previous development work for a SARS vaccine which may unlock a fast path forward for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Sanofi is collaborating with BARDA, expanding the company’s long-standing partnership with the Authority. Sanofi will use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. For more information, visit: https://www.sanofi.us/en/about-us/our-stories/our-response-to-covid-19.

The University of Virginia is partnering with the virtual health care company Teladoc to help employees answer questions about COVID-19, evaluate risk and determine if additional testing or treatment is needed. Telemedicine is being encouraged at large scale during this pandemic. For more information, visit: https://www.teladoc.com/coronavirus/.

T-Mobile announced plans to extend support to communities impacted by COVID-19.

T-Mobile is partnering with Feeding America, Shaw Education and YouTube through T-Mobile Tuesdays, a program that thanks customers with exclusive offers every Tuesday. For more information, download the T-Mobile Tuesdays App. 

In addition, the T-Mobile Foundation is contributing $100,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund hosted by the Seattle Foundation, which will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak in the greater Seattle and Puget Sound region.

The T-Mobile Foundation is also offering a 2:1 match for employees who want to give additional funds to Feeding America or the CDC Foundation that supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work. 

All current T-Mobile customers on plans that currently have data are provided unlimited connectivity. In addition, T-Mobile is executing the following efforts: 

  • Offering unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming) for current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data
  • Providing T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers on smartphone plans with hotspot data an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service for the next 60 days
  • Working with our Lifeline partners to provide customers extra free data — up to 5GB of data per month — over the next two months
  • Increasing the data allowance (for free) to schools and students using our EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days
  • Offering free international calling for all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to landline(and in many cases mobile) numbers in many severely impacted countries
  • Supporting the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge focused on ensuring that residential and small business customers with financial impacts do not lose service

For more information, visit:tmobile.com.

The Procter & Gamble Company has made and will continue to make in-kind product and monetary donations collectively valued at more than $5 million to provide hygiene education, vital medical equipment and products for those who are most vulnerable and for individuals on the front lines assisting those who are impacted. P&G has committed to help provide protective gear, medicine and medical equipment to health care workers facing a surge in patients because of coronavirus disease.

In addition, the company has established a P&G Coronavirus/COVID-19 Relief Fund. As one of several ways P&G is providing support, the collective donations received between now and April 30, 2020 will be matched up to $500,000 by P&G’s corporate support. P&G strategic partners will use these donations to support the well-being of people and help provide critical supplies to healthcare providers around the country and world. For more information, visit: us.pg.com.

UnitedHealthcare Inc. is waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines, as well as waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department. This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members as well as commercial members. United is also expanding provider telehealth access and waiving member cost sharing for COVID-19 testing-related visits. For more information, visit: https://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/health-topics/covid-19.

Verizon Communications will waive late fees for 60 days from March 16, 2020 to May 16, 2020, and will not terminate service to a customer who has been impacted by the events involving the coronavirus. 

Verizon will offer free international calling to countries identified by the Center for Disease Control as level 3 impacted by the coronavirus, effective March 18 through the end of April. This is available to wireless postpaid consumers, small/medium business customers and landline home phone customers. Unlimited calling will be included for mobile and landline calls, with the exception of Iran, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, which will be provided 300 minutes of free calls per month. Effective March 16, wireless prepaid customers will also receive a total of 300 additional minutes to call level 3 countries.

Verizon will also waive activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees starting March 18. This applies to all purchases and service-only activations made through Verizon digital channels, such as verizonwireless.com and the My Verizon app. For more information, visit: https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/covid-19-faqs/.

Walgreen Co. stores will open every Tuesday at 8 a.m., with the full hour from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. dedicated to senior citizens. This hour is also available to their caregivers and immediate families may also visit the store during this time. Additionally, the company will offer our senior day discount all day on Tuesdays during this time. Customers ages 55 and older will receive 30 percent off regularly priced Walgreens brands and 20 percent off regularly priced national brands.

In addition, Walgreen Co. seeks to fill roughly 9,500 existing full- and part-time roles in stores across the country. Positions include: Customer service associates (CSAs); Pharmacy technicians; Shift leads. For more information, visit : https://news.walgreens.com/our-stories/covid-19-faq.htm.

Wells Fargo & Company announced comprehensive steps to help customers, communities and employees grappling with the impact of COVID-19. For U.S. customers, Wells Fargo has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary auto repossessions. The company also is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business and personal lending customers who contact the company. 

Additionally, it is increasing charitable donations to $175 million to help address food, shelter and small business and housing stability, as well as providing help to public health organizations. $10 million will go to a fund to help our employees experiencing hardship. For more information, visit: https://www.wellsfargo.com/com/focus/coronavirus-updates/.

Zillow Group is offering its Premier Agents a 50% discount off their next monthly bill, starting March 23. The discount for Premier Agents, who partner with Zillow to find client leads, will apply to new bookings through at least April 22. Zillow published a research report last week that analyzed past pandemics and their effect on housing. For example, during SARS, Hong Kong home prices did not fall significantly but transaction volumes greatly subdued, which mimics what’s happening in China right now, according to the Zillow study. For more information, visit: https://www.zillow.com/research/pandemic-literature-review-26643/.