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Monday, July 13, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Funding for Special Education Programs

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Funding for Special Education Programs
$16.1 million will support COVID-19 relief funding

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $16.1 million in relief for 32 special education residential school providers to support costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, special education residential schools remained open to support their students with unique challenges. Schools incurred unanticipated costs related to the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection control measures, increased staffing costs and enhanced cleaning protocols.

The funding announced today is in addition to $3 million in funding the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provided in April to support the residential education school system. Together, this $19 million acknowledges the efforts of these schools to remain open on a 24/7 basis throughout the pandemic and the measures they implemented to keep their doors open and their youth and staff safe.

Earlier in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services implemented $139 million in increased funding through its existing system for residential and congregate care services providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were used for increased staffing, enhanced infection control procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Due to the structure of the special education residential schools, they were not eligible for this earlier rate increase, but today’s announcement will bring them in line with the previous rate increases provided to other residential and congregate care providers.

To support Special Education programs, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released Comprehensive Special Education Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year. The Initial Fall Reopening Guidance asks schools and districts to prioritize and begin planning for in-person instruction, while simultaneously preparing blueprints for both remote learning and a hybrid school model (a combination of in-person and remote learning), should local conditions change this school year. This document complements the Initial Fall Reopening Guidance by providing further information on supporting students with disabilities during the upcoming school year. It also provides necessary information in support of schools and districts, as they develop the portion of their reopening plans specifically related to special education. Earlier, DESE released its extended school year guidance to allow for special education day programs to open last week.

The total relief funding by provider is below:

Organization
Relief Funding
Amego, Inc.
                                                 220,552
Archway, Inc.
                                                    45,745
Boston Higashi School, Inc.
                                                 812,699
Brandon Residential Treatment Center, Inc.
                                                 114,578
Cardinal Cushing Centers Inc.
                                                 416,342
Chamberlain International School
                                                 223,922
Crystal Springs, Inc
                                                 513,850
Devereux Foundation
                                                 329,687
Doctor Franklin Perkins School
                                                 378,350
Evergreen Center Inc.
                                              1,087,973
Fall River Deaconess Home
                                                    28,353
Hillcrest Educational Center Inc.
                                              1,275,323
Italian Home for Children
                                                 273,360
JRI
                                                 952,338
Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc.
                                              1,763,017
Latham Centers, Inc.
                                                 393,634
League School of Boston Inc.
                                                 154,355
MAB Community Services
                                                    88,364
McAuley Nazareth
                                                    18,220
Melmark New England, Melmark Inc.
                                                 629,220
New England Center for Children
                                              1,902,742
Perkins School for the Blind
                                                    23,317
St. Ann's Home, Inc
                                              1,081,950
Stetson School, Inc.
                                                 419,099
Stevens-Children's Home
                                                    88,116
The Guild for Human Services, Inc.
                                                 844,602
The Home for Little Wanderers
                                                 131,051
The Learning Center For The Deaf, Inc.
                                                 154,850
The May Institute, Inc.
                                              1,006,071
Walker, Inc.
                                                 150,910
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc.
                                                 211,454
Whitney Academy
                                                 465,755
Total
                                           16,199,797

Sunday, July 12, 2020

BTBA 2020年會網上舉行 Gilead執行副總楊台瑩分享經驗


吉利德(Gilead)製藥發展及生產執行副總裁楊台瑩。
(周菊子攝自網路會議)
              (Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓報導)波士頓台灣人生物科技協會(BTBA)因應新型冠狀病毒疫情,2020的年會首次搬上網路舉行,並邀得吉利德(Gilead)製藥發展及生產執行副總裁楊台瑩主講,分享她一路從科學家到成為世界排名前十大企業高管的歷程,9 名學者、專家為後進釋疑解惑。
BTBA共同會長林致中(下左),魏嘉英(下右)和主講者楊台瑩
(左上),主持人鍾佳妤(右上)。
(周菊子攝自網路會議)
              波士頓台灣人生物科技協會本年度會長為麻省總醫院博士後林致中和Epizyme臨床研究科學家魏嘉英,順應今年初新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)突然大流行,顛覆了全世界的生活,工作方式這形勢,改在網上舉行年會,仍安排有主題演講,學術及企業等兩場論壇。
               吉利德(Gilead)在這場讓全世界如臨大敵的新型冠狀病毒大流行中,因原本為治療伊波拉而研發的瑞德西韋(Remdesivir),試著用來治新型冠狀病毒時,竟然似乎有效,備受各界矚目,最近不但開始以Veklury這品牌名出售,還傳出消息美國在七月初已買光該藥的三個月生產量,更令人好奇。
BTBA共同會長林致中(下中),魏嘉英(右下),以及學術論壇
講者及主持人。(周菊子攝自網路會議)
               吉利德(Gilead)的製藥發展及生產執行副總裁楊台瑩,來自台灣,台大化學系畢業後,取得南加大有機化學博士,之後在Syntex集團工作過,1993年加入Gilead迄今。她現在的職務是負責公司所有的研究化合物和市售產品。在她的領導下,吉利德研發出全世界第一個愛滋病單片療藥,還把25種複合要從早期研發帶到進入市場,改善了世界上數以百萬計人的身體健康。
企業論壇講者及主持人。(周菊子攝自網路會議)
               以來自台灣為榮的楊台瑩在講談中諄諄教誨的說,生物醫藥領域的知識,數據研發成果,比其他任何領域都更有可能對整個世界,對個人有很大影響,所以等待著年輕人的機會無限大。她指出,無論是學術界或實業界,如今界線越來越模糊,所以在做該入哪行的決定時,該問的問題是,你做的決定是否會給你自己帶來改變,能不能培養你的興趣,拓展你的視野,你所選擇交往圈的朋友,對你有沒信心。所以要坦然的從自己的角度來做優先考量,唯有你的決定能讓你發展得好了,你才可能進一步的幫助他人,創造不同,做出改變。
               她直言自己當初,想要成為業界的最優秀者,要造成改變,要讓那些資源有限地區的病人也得到治療,同時建立一個有力團隊,能夠為所有人服務。而在她的醫藥領域,要做到最好,就要讓研發管道順暢,成功的商業化產品,並讓病人能夠得到那些醫藥。這就牽涉到了創新,速度,以及健全決策,非常的有兢爭性。愛滋病單片療法是其中一個她最喜歡引用的例子。
               鍾佳妤主持的這場主題演講,出席者提了不少問題,甚至包括懷孕會不會影響職業發展,如何平衡家庭與工作等等。
               楊台瑩直言,她認為不應該有影響,但是每個人都必須為自己的選擇負責,並做好準備。很重要的是,不要揹著愧疚感過日子。
               BTBA2020年會,還安排有學術,企業兩場論壇。
               學術論壇的主題是"成為教師的現實檢測(A Reality Check on Becoming Faculty)”,由加斯林糖尿病中心研究員蔡佩珊,以及即將返台任教的王志豪主持,講者包括哈佛大學醫學院助理教授,也是BTBA前會長的魏曉英,NIH研究員史涵宇,麻州大學羅爾分校助理教授Wan-Ting Grace Chen,即將上任聖路易華盛頓大學助理教授的蔡宇承,哈佛大學醫學院丹娜法伯癌症研究院助理教授吳名儒。
               幾名教授都非常坦率的分享了各人實際經歷與所知,從幾月份開始申請工作,該怎麼找人寫推薦信,怎麼寫研究意願書,怎麼協商薪資,研究經費或實驗室空間,人員配置等等,讓有意往學術界發展的學生或博士後,得到非常實用的參考。
               企業論壇的主題為職業探索:引導你的下一個旅程(Career Exploration: Navgating your Next Journey)”。主持人為Codiak Biosciences副科學家吳淑瑋,Bluebird 科學家朱志齊,講者包括BridgeBio資產收購主任沈敬涵,Seqirus毒理學負責人Hank LinHealth Advances資深分析師張修齊,輝瑞製藥(Pfizer)新興生物學主任蔣先慧。
               其中的張修齊有麻省理工學院生物工程博士學位,但他選擇進入諮詢顧問公司工作。張修齊指出,從科研領域轉進諮詢行業,的確是不小的轉變,但是做諮詢顧問,給了他接觸更多不同行業與層面的機會,從腫瘤,糖尿病,傳染病等等,不一而足。他還會參與整個臨床發展決策架構,數位健康策略等。他建議有意進入諮詢行業的人,要先了解諮詢行業的作業內容。他也分享了當初他做了甚麼準備,包括要先準備素材,讓面試的人感受得到自己對諮詢行業的興趣,為面試做個案練習,然後向面試者展現自己是如何的適合這一工作。
               Hank Lin也用了好幾張幻燈片,介紹毒理學的工作內容,以及入行該怎麼準備。
               沈敬涵指出,加入小公司的好處是接觸面廣,而且跟著公司一起成長,也會有更多機會出任主管職位,甚至轉換職業發展跑道。
               台大農業化學系畢業的蔣先慧,在陽明大學取得生物化學碩士,然在美國密西根大學取得分子生物博士,起初留在密西根做博士後,並在自然,細胞,自然醫學等專業刊物上發表許多論文,成為研究教師,之後到北卡羅萊納州進了葛蘭素史克(GlaxoSmithKline),做肌肉相關疾病的藥物研發,2015年才加入輝瑞,成為創新療法中心的研究項目領導,如今是輝瑞新設的新興生物科學團隊主任。她坦率分享過往的豐富經歷,讓人聽得很入神。
               BTBA今年的這場網路年會,前後共有500多名來自世界各地的11個國家的人參加。BTBA團隊為網路會議製作的視頻卡片也非常有特色。會議結束後,甚至安排有如網路遊戲般的網上派對,頗為特別。查詢BTBA2020年會,可上網 http://btbatw.org/2020。該會粉絲頁https://www.facebook.com/btbatw。(更新版)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

麻州7月11日新增14人死亡167人確診

7月11日麻週的新型冠狀病毒統計數據。

                (Boston Orange編譯)麻州的新型冠狀病毒疫情,711日持續舒緩,共新增14人死亡,167人確診。全州迄今已有8,095人病逝,105,457人確診。
               確定死於COVID-19者的一連3日平均數為19人。
             可能死於新型冠狀病毒的人數,仍然是215人,可能感染的人數則新增121人,累計5,941人。
             在麻州,截至711日週六止,麻州共有940,393人做過病毒分子檢測,比週五十的932,796增加了7,597人。
             麻州公共衛生官員觀察的另一關鍵指標,以及麻州做分子檢測者的呈陽性反映7日平均率,週六時為1.8%,維持著629日以來的在1.7%1.9%之間浮動。
             麻州政府表示,已經又有988人做了抗體檢測,累計人數已達80.061。住院人數也已從一天前的643人降至週五的613人。
             根據約翰霍普金斯大學的統計數據,截至711日,全世界已有12,683,874宗新型冠狀病毒確診病例,其中美國3245,925宗,高居世界第一位,巴西已1839,850宗居次,印度有82916宗,俄國719.449宗,中國85,071宗,台灣451宗。因染患新型冠狀病毒而死的人,全世界已有564,485人,美國則有134777人。其次為巴西,英國,義大利,墨西哥,法國,西班牙。

花七千萬元 兩年後波士頓市府廣場將面貌全新

波士頓市長馬丁華殊藉推特匯報市政。
               (Boston Orange編譯)麻州、波士頓市已進入第三期重新開放了,土地發展案也陸續復甦,上週五(710)除了麻州收費公路上空權發展案開始動工,波士頓預定斥資7千萬元,施工2年的市政府廣場翻修計畫也開工了。
              波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Marty Walsh)今早(711)11點多,在推特上說,市府廣場的翻修計畫,是要把這7英畝的空間,變成一個人們感到受歡迎,每個人都可以去的地方。那會是大家最常用的一個公共空間,市政府在加強實踐公民服務這承諾時,很努力地要為居民創造一個聚會地點。
               這一翻修計畫將把國會街(Congress)和劍橋街(Cambridge)用傾斜的Hanover長廊連接起來,還有新的陰涼的座椅區,聚會區,玩耍及公共藝術空間。
                這一工程其實上個月就開始了,但上周五才舉行破土儀式。主要的廣場將可舉行容納12,000人的活動,另有3個較小的活動及聚會空間。整個廣場約可容納25,000人。
             在國會街上,還會增建一個新公共建築,包括廁所及其他場地。
             波士頓市府大樓的北門也將重新開放,將容許人們更容易地直接進入市府大樓二樓。該一入口從2001911事件後就關閉了。
             其他的環境改善包括種植100棵新樹,安裝50盞節約能源的新LED燈,以及增加表面透水區域,以在暴風雨時有助吸水。


MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES START OF CITY HALL PLAZA RENOVATION


BOSTON - Saturday, July 11, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the start of construction for the renovation of City Hall Plaza, building on his commitment to make public spaces welcoming, accessible and equitable for all. The renovation will transform the Plaza into a civic space for all residents, with universal accessibility, new civic spaces for all to use, increased environmental sustainability, and critical infrastructure improvements that will ensure the Plaza is safe and accessible for all for generations to come.

"This renovation is designed to turn our seven-acre space into a welcoming, accessible space for all," said Mayor Walsh. "City Hall Plaza is one of Boston's most-used public spaces, and we are working hard to create safe areas for residents to gather as we strengthen our commitment to civic services in our City." 

The Plaza design and implementation is led by global design firm Sasaki, based in Watertown, Mass. Shawmut Design and Construction is the construction manager for the project. The project is managed through the City's Operations Cabinet by the Public Facilities Department in partnership with the Property Management Department and is assisted by owners project manager Skanska USA. 

City Hall Plaza's redesign includes a focus on:

A Welcoming Front Yard for Civic Life

With Boston's renovated City Hall Plaza, this community space will become universally accessible for residents of all abilities. Opening up the Plaza for all will include re-opening the second floor of City Hall Plaza to the public, allowing easier access to the building. This public-facing entrance was closed in 2001, and will open again under the new renovation plan.

The renovation also includes 3,000 new welcoming spaces for residents to sit,12,000 square feet of playscapes for children and families, and 11,000 square feet of terraces for pop-up play and interactive public art.

Flexible and Accommodating Event Venues

Boston City Hall Plaza renovation will right-size one of Boston's largest event spaces, and create civic event spaces that can be used by all Boston residents. The renovation includes creating seven new "plug and play" locations for community groups to utilize, with space for 10,000 - 12,0000 visitors on the main Plaza, and room for a 20,000 - 25,000 person gathering on the entire Plaza.

The new design will also include three smaller event and gathering places, and a new civic building on Congress Street, equipped with a bathroom and other facilities to support public gatherings.

A Model of Sustainability and Resilience

Creating a sustainable City Hall Plaza that meets the City's environmental goals is one of the key parts of the Plaza renovation, and this renovation will make City Hall Plaza one of Boston's signature civic spaces environmentally sustainable, meeting Boston's resilience standards.

The renovation includes an increase in permeable surfaces that will soak up stormwater, planning ahead for severe weather in downtown Boston. The design also includes 100 new trees, improving the shade, scale and air quality of the Plaza. Fifty lights will be replaced with efficient LED technology, and 22,500 feet of granite and brick paving will be reused or recycled.

In October 2017, Mayor Walsh released the Boston City Hall and Plaza Master Planning Study: Rethink City Hall, which was led by Utile and Reed Hilderbrand. The design phase led by Sasaki in 2018 has developed an exciting design to transform the 50-year-old City Hall and Plaza into an innovative, healthy, efficient and civic facility to better serve current and future generations of Bostonians and visitors. After public engagement, Mayor Walsh released the Plaza design in June 2019.

The Phase 1 City Hall Plaza project's main goal is to make the plaza more accessible for all while delivering updated programming capabilities, adding infrastructure and making the Plaza more sustainable. This $70 million investment will connect Congress and Cambridge Streets with an accessible sloped Hanover Promenade activated by 21st century civic amenities like shady seating and gathering areas, a destination play space, public art space and an iconic water feature. The main plaza will accommodate events of up to 12,000 people in a wide variety of potential configurations. The project also includes:
  • Opening the North building entry
  • Accessibility improvements to the Plaza entry
  • Enhanced speakers corner
  • Stormwater improvements working with Boston Water and Sewer Commission
  • Flexible platform for various sized performances
The Shawmut Design and Construction's construction management process is organized around three bid phases; Package #1 demolition of plaza brick and granite; Package #2, geo structural modification; and Package #3, the remainder of the  scope of work, which will begin in August 2020 and be completed in 20 months.

The construction process will utilize COVID-19 work site safety protocols. The main entrance of City Hall will remain open and the project site will be fenced off.  

For additional information, visit the project web site Boston.gov/cityhallplaza that includes a live webcam and project updates.   



Sasaki rendering

麻州推出8個免費檢測站 所有居民都可做檢測

麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)宣佈8個免費檢測地點。
(州長辦公室提供)
(Boston Orange 周菊子整理報導)710日起至814日,任何麻州居民都可以到州內8個地點,免費做新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)檢測。
麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)8日時宣佈了制止擴散(Stop the Spread”計畫,在雀喜(Chelsea),艾佛瑞(Everett),秋河(Fall River),羅倫斯(Lawrence),羅爾(Lowell),林市(Lynn),馬伯洛夫(Marlborough),以及新貝福(New Bedford)8個城市,提供免費檢測,以確保民眾做檢測時不需擔心可能會有相關花費。查理貝克還鼓勵無症狀人士也利用這免費檢測。
州長辦公室表示,前述8個市區,人口僅佔麻州的9%,但在過去2週以來的麻州檢測陽性人口中卻佔了27%。整個麻州的檢測陽性比率約為2%,但前述8個市區卻高達8%。儘管新型冠狀病毒疫情仍然持續,這些城市的檢測比率,卻從4月底以後下降了39%
根據美國人口統計數據,這8個城市中,有7個是麻州人均收入最低城市之一。其中的馬伯洛夫雖然不是,但位於米斗塞郡(Middlesex)的這城市工人階級人口眾多,巴西移民正不斷增長。
在那些社區的少數族裔中,檢測陽性的比率更高。新貝福市健康主任Damon Chaplin上週告訴議員,該市人口95,000,新型冠狀病毒確診個案2,162宗,死亡人數111。拉丁裔僅佔該市人口4分之一,卻佔COVID-19確診病例的49%。黑人佔該市人口6%COVID-19確診病例卻佔9%
Damon Chaplin認為,人們需要更多低價或免費做檢測的途徑與選擇,因為很多人都怕去做了檢測後,會在信箱中收到帳單。他希望任何需要,想要做檢測的人都可以得到免費檢測。
麻州州長查理貝克認為全民檢測是控制擴散的錯誤作法,但是他呼籲全民承諾採取諸如社交隔離,戴口罩,如果需要的話就做檢測等措施來制止擴散。
目前麻州政府並未在麻州西部設立免費檢測站。查理貝克在回應提問時表示,麻州西部社區做檢測人數似乎比其他地區高,但感染COVID-19的比率卻低,所以目前暫無在麻州西部設免費檢測站的計畫,如果有狀況出現,會再調整。
查詢免費檢測地點,可上網mass.gov/stopthespread
麻州政府也提醒民眾,如果檢測結果呈陽性,當社區追蹤合作(Community Tracing Collaborative)人員或地方衛生局打電話給他們時,請務必接聽。任何需要地方做安全隔離者,可致電617-367-5150,以獲取免費的隔離復原地點。(7月11日發表中文版)

Baker-Polito Administration Launches Targeted Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
Testing will be available in eight communities from July 10 to August 14

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to August 14 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This “Stop the Spread” initiative is a data-driven effort to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rate, and have experienced a decline in testing levels since April. The initiative is being launched in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford. Residents of these communities are urged to take advantage of the availability of these new testing sites, even if they are asymptomatic. While these sites are being launched in these communities, they are open to all residents of the Commonwealth.

“While the Commonwealth has made progress on reducing the overall positive test rate, there are still communities where the number of positive tests is above the average of the rest of the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Focusing our efforts to increase testing in these communities will help identify new cases and stop the spread. Residents of these communities, even those who are asymptomatic, are urged to take advantage of these new sites.”

“This initiative will provide widespread testing in easy to access community locations,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If you live in these communities, please get tested to protect your family, loved ones and neighbors from COVID-19.”

“Increased testing within these communities will help to identify new cases of COVID-19 and break the chains of community transmission,” said COVID-19 Command Center Director & Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “As we move into the summer, we will continue to closely monitor positivity and testing rates across the Commonwealth.”

The population of the cities in which the free testing will be conducted – Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford – make up approximately 9% of the Commonwealth’s population, but have seen 27% of the Commonwealth’s positive tests in the last two weeks.

The statewide positive test rate over the past two weeks is approximately 2%, but in these eight communities, 8% of tests have been positive.

Despite the continued elevated spread in these communities, total testing in these communities has declined 39% since the end of April, and the total cases as a percentage of population for these communities is nearly double the state average.

Residents may visit mass.gov/stopthespread to find testing locations.

Residents are reminded that if they test positive for COVID-19, please answer the call when they are contacted by the Community Tracing Collaborative or their local board of health. Also, any individual who needs a safe place to isolate can call (617) 367-5150 to access an isolation and recovery site at no cost.  (July 8th)