The response from our members and the life sciences industry at-large to the COVID-19 pandemic has been amazing and is a testament to why Massachusetts truly is the State of Possible. We know that navigating this new reality is no easy feat, so we’ve compiled a set of helpful resources for our members: state issued reopening rules for the life sciences industry, information on Massachusetts’ vaccine distribution plans, ways to give back to the community, and more. Keep up the amazing work you are all doing and we will get through this.Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & COO, MassBio
Reopening Massachusetts – State Rules and Guidance
Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3, Step 1 (as of December 13, 2020) of its Reopening Massachusetts plan. Of note for the life sciences industry, the current capacity and gathering limits do not apply to life sciences labs or manufacturing environments. However, the 25% capacity limit on offices does apply industry wide.
As of June 1, 2020, the state issued sector specific guidance for safe reopening including for laboratories and manufacturing.
Massachusetts Vaccine Distribution Plans
As it stands currently despite active advocacy by MassBio, Massachusetts life science employees, barring inclusion in other priority groups (e.g. 65+ years old, 2+ comorbidities) are included in Phase 3 of the state’s vaccination distribution timeline. The state currently expects to start vaccinating Phase 3 populations starting in April 2021. The two exceptions are “vaccine development workers” and “medical supply chains workers” who have been deemed “essential workers” by the state and are included in Phase 2 which is expected to receive vaccines in the February – March timeframe.
The Baker Administration recently posted guidance that outlines the process for employers to apply to be a vaccination site for their employees. This only applies to employers that plan to vaccinate more than 200 employees. Smaller entities are encouraged to work through their local board of health, a local health provider or pharmacy. We are seeking further clarity from the Administration but have no reason to believe that being a vaccine distribution site will change your employees’ priority order.
Critical Savings for PPE, Office Supplies, and Services During COVID-19
All of our members are trying to find new efficiencies to do more with less and MassBio is here to help. Through the MassBio Edge, our members are able to purchase critical PPE, office supplies, and environmental and lab services and supplies at a discounted rate. See how you can reap the savings from our Preferred Partners, including Thermo Fisher Scientific, Veolia Environmental Services, Middlesex Gases, W.B. Mason, and IPP, among others, to aid in the transition back to the office and lab. Learn more here.
Massachusetts Life Sciences Companies Working to Address COVID-19
MassBio has compiled a list of all life sciences companies headquartered or that have a presence in Massachusetts that are working diligently to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics related to COVID-19. View the list here.
Take Advantage of MassBio Virtual Benefits
As we say often, our members are constantly evolving, and MassBio is evolving right along with them. While we all get accustomed to working from home, practicing social distancing, and holding our events and meetings virtually, MassBio has been working on several new initiatives to engage our members in their new virtual settings. Learn more about these efforts and take advantage of our virtual benefits today.