COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Tracking COVID-19 in MA, unemployment tsunami, cancel MCAS?, cell phone hygiene, salute to James Taylor, state tax filing & more!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email:  pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org.

Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: This Harvard paper models that if coronavirus has the Spanish flu’s death rate – 2 percent – that means 150 million worldwide deaths in 2020 and a GDP loss of 6 percent in a typical country with consumption declines of 8 percent.

Micaela Dawson, Communications Director: Where are the COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts? WCVB-TV has some excellent charts showing the location of those testing positive, the number tested, quarantined, hospitalized, and much more.

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Greg Sullivan, Research Director, is quoted extensively in this news story on the state’s unemployment tsunami, and what the federal government can do to assist.

Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director, is quoted in today’s Boston Globe story on calls for Massachusetts to cancel MCAS testing:
“The MCAS is a central element of the law that has driven the state’s historic success on every measure of the national and international student achievement. But given the serious realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools being closed across Massachusetts, and the logistics of testing protocols, the state should explore postponing MCAS until this national emergency has subsided and schooling in the Commonwealth resumes.”

Jamie also offers “7 Tools to Keep Your Child Engaged in Math During COVID-19.”

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: State Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson urges all insurers to be flexible regarding payments of premiums and cost sharing for small businesses and individuals.

Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: My house has never been cleaner. All high-touch surfaces are cleaned with reckless abandon. But how important is it to clean our cell phones? Here’s some guidance from the Wall Street Journal, well, sort of… Shout out to the State House News Service (SHNS) for making their informative Coronavirus Tracker free to the public. And “we’ve got a friend” in singer James Taylor – he donated $1 million to Mass General Hospital to fight COVID-19.

Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

In our last roundup we asked you to take our poll: Should MA Governor Baker issue a shelter-in-place order? Among respondents, here are the results: 42% Yes, 51% No, 7% Undecided.

Read our Public Statement on the Governor’s emergency order.

Barbara Anthony: Only those with symptoms can receive tests, but we know that many people are asymptomatic and continue to spread unknowingly. So why are we limiting testing to only those with symptoms?  Also, can Massachusetts officials provide guidance on the state tax filing deadline? It would be helpful to clarify this, since most people can’t file state taxes without figuring out federal taxes. But stay tuned – looks like DOR is working on it.

Do YOU have interesting articles to share with us? Please email us, or message us through our social media channels below!

Share our COVID-19 roundups: bit.ly/covid19pio

Join us on social media!

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Related Content:

Massachusetts Telehealth Report Card: Are We Embracing Disruption for Better Quality of Care?

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Senior Fellow in Healthcare Josh Archambault about his newest research paper, produced with the Cicero Institute and the Reason Foundation, on states' success in implementing telehealth to improve healthcare outcomes. They discuss how Massachusetts has used remote medicine to better reach patients and serve their needs.

Am I Contagious? Divining Covid’s Community Conundrum

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Alva10 CEO and precision medicine expert Hannah Mamuszka about which tests are best for determining who is contagious and the implications for the CDC’s new isolation recommendations.

Virtual Learning Grows During COVID

Virtual learning in K-12 education continues to grow due to the health threat caused by coronavirus variants and the assistance this learning model can provide to at-risk students, according to two papers released today by Pioneer Institute.

Study rates every state’s telehealth laws for patient access and ease of providing services

A new report from Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute rates every state’s telehealth policy for patient access and ease of providing virtual care. The report highlights telehealth policy best practices for states.

COVID Tracker for Long-Term Care Facilities

/
Long Term Care Facilities With 2+ Known COVID Cases and Facility-Reported Deaths in Massachuetts

Face Masks Lifted: Scientists Weigh In With Comprehensive Efficacy Studies

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Harvard Medical School professor, Dr. Jonathan Darrow, about the observations of his recent paper, Evidence for Community Cloth Face Masking to Limit the Spread of SARS-CoV-2: A Critical Review, in which he examines the range, quality, and scientific observations of mask wearing efficacy studies.

Urban Institute’s Dr. Matthew Chingos on the Year of School Choice & the Student Loan Debt Crisis

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Matthew Chingos, who directs the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. They discuss the “Year of School Choice,” the welcome 2021 trend of states across America expanding or establishing private school choice programs; as well as the student debt crisis in higher education.

COVID’s Unintended Victims: Traditional Diseases Overlooked at the Public’s Peril

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, Dr. Bill Smith, about his newest research paper, “An “Impending Tsunami” in Mortality from Traditional Diseases,” which sounds the alarm that the public health community’s focus on COVID-19 has caused many to avoid seeking medical attention for other illnesses. As a result, more Americans are dying from fear of COVID than from the disease itself.

Vaccine Development Renaissance: Pandemic Brings Niche Industry into Mainstream

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with virologist, Dr. Peter Kolchinsky, about the explosion of vaccine technologies and innovations brought into the spotlight by the massive investment to fight the pandemic, and dives deeply into the exciting promise of vaccines to combat an ever-widening range of disease.

Shifting COVID-19 Goalposts: Moving from Zero Infections to Zero Deaths

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with surgeon and author Dr. Marty Makary about the power and durability of vaccines, natural immunity and clinical therapies, that are overshadowed by the public health community's continued target of zero COVID-19 infections.