Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett National Institutes of Health

Coronavirus Pandemic Good News Roundup from Around the BioHealth Capital Region

While the number of cases and fatalities continue to devastate communities and families across the globe, recent COVID-19 news has recently offered some hope that the pandemic, in certain former hot spots, is beginning to slow down.

Life in Wuhan, China is reported to be returning to a state of normalcy. There are some signs that hospitalization numbers are decreasing in New York state. Italy and Spain’s coronavirus data are also showing signs that these countries could be descending from the apex of their respective COVID-19 curves.

There is good coronavirus news starting to emerge, though we all have a long battle ahead of us. 

At BioBuzz, we’ve been collecting good news stories from around the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) to showcase some of the extraordinary work being done by our colleagues, friends and neighbors to fight COVID-19. Here’s this week’s COVID-19 Good News Roundup…

Economic Development Alliance Forms

The Montgomery County Economic Development (MCED) announced recently that it has partnered with a total of six counties to form the Maryland National Capital Region Economic Development Alliance (MNCREDA). The economic development teams of Montgomery, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Charles and Prince George’s counties have come together to respond to the economic challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives from the six counties have been meeting virtually every week to plan, discuss mutual challenges and to start building out state and federal partnerships to combat COVID-19’s economic impact on the region. MCREDA members signed a Joint Statement in a virtual signing ceremony to adhere to social distancing guidelines and flatten the curve.

Children’s National Hospital Launches Drive Up Testing

Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. recently launched a drive up and walk up specimen collection testing site. Are pediatricians can refer patients under the age of 22 to collection and testing site, which will help local physicians better protect themselves, their pediatric patients and their families from COVID-19 exposure and spread. The site location was donated by Trinity Washington University and collected specimens are sent to Quest Diagnostics for processing. Children’s National Hospital and Trinity Washington University have strong ties via the school’s nursing and allied health programs.

The testing site is focused on pediatric patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms with the potential for severe symptoms due to underlying conditions or if that patient has an immediate family member who is at high risk. The drive up/walk up site was made possible by $1M in donations from philanthropists.

Families can learn more information about the site and how to obtain a doctor referral here.

UMBC Grad Fighting Against COVID-19 Alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci

2008 University of Maryland, Baltimore County graduate Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is on the frontlines of the fight to stem the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Corbett, once a member of UMBC’s NIH Undergraduate Scholars Program and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, is now working alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci as she leads the NIH’s https://www.denteducation.org/programs National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) coronavirus vaccine development program.

Dr. Kizzmekia is a Senior Research Fellow/Scientific Lead on the Coronavirus Vaccines and Immunopathogenesis Team in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory/Vaccine Research Center at NIAID.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett talks with President Donald Trump as he tours the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., on March 3. Evan Vucci / AP

Made@Dent Program Strives to Build 10,000 Face Shields

Dent Education, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a non-profit organization that supports under-resourced youth with programming and economic support. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools it left many of Dent’s students feeling disconnected and isolated, a feeling everyone can certainly relate to during this crisis.

To help engage local youth during the COVID-19 crisis, Dent Education pivoted its Made@Dent program to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The organization has its student members making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with a goal of creating 10,000 face shields in just 30 days. The Dent organization drops off face shield kits at participants homes then pick the face shields up for inspection and ultimately distribution to front line healthcare workers and emergency responders. Revenue generated by the Made@Dent face shields will cover operational costs and to direct payments to the face shield creators and their families.

Made@Dent is currently seeking input on the face shields from healthcare workers and those on the frontline battle against COVID-19, as well as vehicles, drivers and supplies to assist with kit delivery, pick up and sterilization.

To make a donation to Made@Dent, click here.   

Denter, Kima, learns to sew in the Dent 2019 Bet on Baltimore program.

It’s our third week of #SomeGoodNews – and WOW – truly inspirational acts happening locally, but making an impact globally!

Thanks and cheers to all working to make an impact.

Read more local Good News we’ve found in and round the region 👏

Have more good news to share? Reach out to adam(at)biobuzz(dot)io to be featured.

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