COVID 19 Update 81

Lowest Deaths and Hospitalizations Since March 15th – State to Accelerate Reopening

In Saturday’s Press conference Governor Cuomo announced that all of the public health data the State has been tracking is coming in very good, therefore the State is accelerating reopening. The State performed 60,435 tests yesterday which resulted in 781 positives cases – around 1% – the lowest level since March 16th.  The Mid-Hudson region is on track to enter phase two on Tuesday (6/9).  New York City is on track to begin phase one reopening on Monday, June 8th. New York City specific phase one and two reopening guidance can be found here. 

The Governor issued an Executive order that allows commercial building owners, retail store owners and those authorized on their behalf to manage public places within their buildings and businesses have the discretion to deny admittance to those individuals who refuse to undergo temperature checks or have a temperature above prescribed guidelines from the NYS Department of Health. This must be applied in a consistent manner with the American with Disabilities Act and any provision of either New York State or New York City Human Rights Law.  The governor also will issue an order allowing outdoor graduation celebrations of up to 150 people.

Read Saturday’s press release (commercial building temperature checks)

Read Sunday’s press release (outdoor graduations up to 150 people)

NYC Phase One Today, June 8

The New York City region is on track to begin phase one of reopening today,  June 8th. Phase two is projected to begin two weeks after the start of phase one. The New York City region includes the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, and Queens counties.

Phase one industries include Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), Manufacturing, and Wholesale Trade.

Special NYC guidance for these industries can be found here.

Mid-Hudson Phase Two Tomorrow, June 9

Phase two industries include offices, real estate, essential and phase two in-store retail, vehicle sales and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, hair salons and barbershops, and commercial building management.  It is important that all phase two businesses to read and affirm the detailed guidelines for your sector.

Guidance for these industries can be found here.

Also – please note that even if you have been open as “essential” all through the pandemic you still must have a reopening plan and certify with the the state.


Manufacturers Add Jobs in May

The US added 225,000 manufacturing jobs in May as the overall jobless rate declined to 13.3%. The Bureau of Labor statistics reported that 2.5 million jobs were added during the month as states began to lift pandemic-related lockdowns.

Read the full story at MarketWatch 

China Auto Sales Growth Seen for Second Straight Month

China’s vehicle sales are estimated to rise 11.7% on year in May, its top auto industry body said on Tuesday, cementing hopes of a recovery in the world’s biggest auto market with the first back to back monthly sales increase in about two years.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), in a post on its official WeChat account, said vehicle sales were estimated to rise to 2.14 million in May. It said the numbers were based on sales data it had collected from key companies, without giving further details.

Read more at Reuters

U.S. Shale Companies Are Turning the Oil Taps Back On

Scores of shale drilling companies turned off wells to reduce output when U.S. oil prices fell to negative territory in late April, after millions world-wide stopped driving and flying due to the new coronavirus, causing a steep drop in global demand.

Now that more of the world is reopening and prices are rebounding to nearly $40 a barrel, companies including Parsley Energy Inc. PE 8.37% and WPX Energy Inc. WPX 13.34% are starting to turn some of those wells back on, even as they continue to put off most new drilling.

Read more in the WSJ

Improving Safety is a Process

Safety compliance and improvement should be viewed as a process, writes Terry Mathis. Mathis reviews some of the factors that lead to less than desired safety performance, beginning with work conditions and a lack of knowledge.

Read the full story at EHS Today

Tracking COVID-19 Excess Deaths Across Countries

A better way to measure the damage caused by such a medical crisis is to look at “excess mortality”: the gap between the total number of people who died from any cause, and the historical average for the same place and time of year. The charts below use data from EuroMOMO, a network of epidemiologists who collect weekly reports on deaths from all causes in 24 European countries, covering 350m people.

Compared to the baseline average of deaths from 2009-19, the flu seasons of 2017, 2018 and 2019 were all unusually lethal. But the covid-19 pandemic, which arrived much later in the year, has already reached a higher peak—and would have been far more damaging without social-distancing measures. EuroMOMO’s figures suggest that there were about 170,000 excess deaths between March 16th and May 17th.

Read more and see all the charts at The Economist (COVID coverage remains free)

World Leaders Call for Funding of an Accessible Vaccine

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke this week at the Global Vaccine Summit, urging world leaders to ensure that a coronavirus vaccine would be available and affordable for everyone in the world. UN Foundation President Elizabeth Cousens and former World Health Organization Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland urged world leaders to fund the development of a vaccine to fight the pandemic, which WHO leaders warn will not end until the disease is eradicated everywhere.

Read the full story at Reuters 

EPA Provides New Guidance for Pesticide Devices Making Coronavirus Claims

As part of its ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 1 released a Compliance Advisory to address ongoing concerns related to products that make unapproved or potentially false or misleading claims to kill SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. EPA has received numerous reports of such products and warns that they may present risks to consumers because the Agency has not reviewed or accepted those anti-coronavirus claims. EPA states that it is investigating these reports and coordinating with retailers to remove these pesticide products from the market, and with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring enforcement cases against their distributors.

Read more at JDSUPRA