COVID-19 Update 52

Governor Cuomo Outlines Additional Guidelines for When Regions Can Re-Open

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today outlined additional guidelines for when regions can re-open. The state will monitor four core factors to determine if a region can re-open:

  • New Infections: Based on guidelines from the CDC, regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total net hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. 
  • Health Care Capacity: Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent total hospital and ICU beds available.
  • Diagnostic Testing Capacity: Each region must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month. The state is rapidly expanding capacity statewide to help all regions meet this threshold.
  • Contact Tracing Capacity: Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region. 

As of today the Mid-Hudson Region is not within the guidelines.

Read The Press Release

Cuomo Lists New Safety Precautions Business Must Put in Place Upon Re-Opening 

  • Enact social distancing protocols;
  • Restrict non-essential travel for employees;
  • Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;
  • Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards;
  • Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace;
  • Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and
  • Develop liability processes.

The Council of Industry along with the Manufacturing Alliance and the New York State Business Council is working with the Governor’s office to develop a pre-approved re-opening protocol for manufacturers. Individual firms can tailor this protocol to their unique situation.  This document should be available prior to the 15th and will serve as a guide to individual company plans.

Read the Press Release

Monday Economic Report: Personal Spending Plunged by a Record 7.5% in March

Americans stayed home and reduced their overall spending in March, as consumers grappled with the COVID-19 outbreak. Personal consumption expenditures plummeted by a record 7.5% in March, with goods and service-sector spending down 3.1% and 9.5% for the month, respectively. Durable goods consumption declined a jaw-dropping 15.1% in March, but nondurable goods spending rose 3.1%, a figure that likely includes food and paper products.

The saving rate soared from 8% in February to 13.1% in March, the highest rate since November 1982. At the same time, personal income decreased 2% in March, with 1.4% growth year-over-year.

Read the Full Report

NAM Brings Together Business Associations to Fight for Liability Protections

As policymakers return to Washington over the coming weeks the National Association of Manufacturers, through their Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, is urging Congress to provide commonsense and appropriately tailored liability protections for manufacturers and other essential industries. And we have brought together nearly 300 national and regional associations (including the Council of Industry) to join the call to action. Manufacturers should not be punished for leading our country’s response to COVID-19, operating in good faith and trying to do the right thing. The NAM is working to continue mobilizing members and other partners on this issue.

Read the letter and the list of organizations

NYCIRB Announces Lower Rate for Workers’ Compensation Insurance: New Classification Code for Employees Idled by COVID-19

Employees reassigned to either a) not perform any work duties or b) perform clerical work duties at home due to New York’s stay-at-home order may now be classified under new classification code 8873, Telecommuter Reassigned Employee. This could have a positive affect on your workers’ compensation premium.

The new code became effective Friday, May 1, 2020 and is applicable to policies from March 16, 2020 up to 30 days after stay-at-home orders are lifted.

The NYCIRB also announced that claims involving a COVID-19 diagnosis made on or after December 1, 2019 will not be factored into the business’ experience modification rating. The Board cited its reasoning as: “the occurrence of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims is unlikely to be a predictor of future claim costs incurred by an employer, and therefore their inclusion in an experience rating modification calculation would not meet the intended goal of experience rating.”

Read The Memo

Hire Now if it’s Possible

Now can be a good time to hire people if companies can afford to, writes Caleb Brown of New Planner Recruiting. He offers three reasons why this may be the time to hire, including a larger pool of candidates and less competition for the best talent.

Read the Full Story at  ThinkAdvisor (free registration)