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COVID 19 Update 57

Post: May. 11, 2020

Cuomo to Meet with County Executives Today to Discuss Reopening

In Sunday’s press conference the Governor announced that he will be meeting with County Executives today (Monday) to discuss reopening and says several regions should be eligible to do so after May 15. A region’s ability to re-open is based upon two main factors:

  • Data indicates the Spread of the virus is under control
  • Region has its operation in place- hospital capacity, testing tracing isolating, compliance function

The Manufacturing Alliance and New York State Business Council have submitted a reopening plan template to New York Forward for review and approval.  that document can be used by manufacturers as a guide to reopening, or the case of essential businesses that are open to continuing operations.  We hope to have approval of the document by Monday.

See a draft of the document (yesterday’s link was incorrect, it has been fixed.)

Visit the New York Forward Page

Some Manufacturers that Furloughed Employees During Lockdowns  Say Plants Won’t Reopen

The closures suggest that a growing share of the record job losses in recent weeks won’t be temporary, said Gabriel Ehrlich, an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. The more that job losses turn from temporary to permanent, he said, the harder the hit to consumer spending and every company that relies on it—including manufacturers.

Layoffs have already wiped away nearly a decade of employment gains at U.S. manufacturers. Factories added 1.4 million workers from 2010 through the end of last year, employing a total of 12.9 million people in December. The manufacturing workforce has since dropped to 11.5 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday, including 1.3 million jobs lost in April alone, though this also includes temporary layoffs.

Read more at the WSJ

Durable-goods manufacturing hit hardest by coronavirus

Manufacturing shed 1.3 million jobs last month as the country overall saw net unemployment go up by more than 7 million. More than 900,000 of those manufacturing jobs were in durable goods, led by motor vehicles and parts.

Read the full story at IndustryWeek 

EEOC Updates its “Return to Work” Guidance to Address COVID-19 and Accommodations for “High-Risk” Employees

In the guidance released on Thursday, the EEOC clarified that “the ADA does not allow the employer to exclude the employee – or take any other adverse action – solely because the employee has a disability that the CDC identifies as potentially placing him at ‘higher risk for severe illness’ if he gets COVID-19.”  Council friend and associate member Harris Beach attorneys Daniel J. Moore, Daniel J. Palermo write the EEOC explained that employees with underlying medical conditions cannot be excluded “unless the employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” 

A “direct threat” cannot be established based solely on an employee having a condition included on the CDC’s list.  Instead, the ADA requires an individualized assessment of risk factors based on reasonable medical judgment about the employee’s disability.  This analysis should assess individual factors related to the employee’s condition, as well as external factors like the severity of the pandemic in a particular area and the likelihood of the employee being exposed at the worksite.

Read more at Harris Beach

Trump and Chip Makers Including Intel Seek Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency

The Trump administration and semiconductor companies are looking to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. as concern grows about reliance on Asia as a source of critical technology.

A new crop of cutting-edge chip factories in the U.S. would reshape the industry and mark a U-turn after decades of expansion into Asia by many American companies eager to reap investment incentives and take part in a robust regional supply chain.

Read more in the WSJ


Heavy-Equipment Makers Keep Going with Union Backing

Caterpillar and John Deere continued to manufacture heavy equipment while other companies’ factories were shuttered by getting buy-in from unions and agreeing to safety policies with more benefits for workers. The manufacturers have offered paid sick leave while requiring temperature checks and restricting outsider access.

Read more at Reuters

Speeding Up Science During the Pandemic

It is a testament to the machinery of science that so much has been learned about covid-19 so rapidly. Since January the number of publications has been doubling every 14 days, reaching 1,363 in the past week alone. They have covered everything from the genetics of the virus that causes the disease to computer models of its spread and the scope for vaccines and treatments.

What explains the speed? Much as in other areas of life, covid-19 has burnt away encrusted traditions. Scientific journals have done their best to assess and publish research in days rather than their customary months or years. But a bigger factor behind the breakneck pace of publication is the willingness of biomedical scientists to bypass journals altogether and share their work quickly in the form of preprints—research manuscripts that are posted freely online and which have not been peer-reviewed.

Read more at the Economist