Daily Briefing – 110

Hospitalizations In New York State Continue to Drop— 722 is the Lowest Since March 18

Governor Cuomo Sunday updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

“We’re continuing to progress forward through the COVID-19 pandemic in the face of a continued explosion of cases throughout the United States, and that’s reflected in today’s hospitalizations—the lowest number since March 18—and rate of positive cases,” Governor Cuomo said. 

  • 1.08% of Saturday’s COVID-19 Tests were Positive
  • 502 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State Yesterday

Read the press release

Visit the COVID dashboard

NYC Opens to Phase Four Today – Every Region of New York State Is Now Be in Phase Four of Reopening

Governor Cuomo: “New York City will enter Phase Four on July 20th. That is a hallmark for us. Every region of the state will now be in Phase Four. There are no more phases.”

Phase Four allows schools to reopen pursuant to the State guidance. It allows low-risk outdoor activities and entertainment at 33 percent capacity. It allows outdoor professional sports without fans and that is happening as you know. It allows media production. “In New York City … we’re not going to have any indoor activity in malls or cultural institutions and we’ll continue to monitor that situation and when the facts change we will let you know.” Cuomo said.

Read the phase four guidance

Read the NYC phase four guidance

Proposal: Tax Credit for Small Business Safety

The Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit would provide a refundable tax credit against payroll taxes for 50 percent of the costs incurred by a business for COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfecting, extra cleaning and re-configuring work spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The credit is limited to $1,000 per employee for a business’s first 500 employees, $750 per employee for the next 500 employees and $500 for each employee after that. For example, if a restaurant with 40 employees spends $60,000 on PPE, testing, disinfecting and plexiglass shields, it would receive a $30,000 tax credit against its payroll.

The legislation is intended to encourage and enable businesses to take the recommended steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces. [Rep. Tom] Rice [R-SC], who is on the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the bill as an addition to legislation from Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) that would create a temporary tax credit to offset costs of cleaning.

Read more in The Hill

State Legislature Reconvenes This Week

Both Houses of the Legislature will reconvene for session this week. The Assembly held several committee meetings last week to move legislation in anticipation of session. The Senate began releasing committee agendas last week too. We will continue to update you as agendas are finalized and released. At this time, we expect the Senate to hold committee meetings on today and Tuesday, and session to be on Tuesday and Wednesday. This schedule, as always, is subject to change.

At this time, no legislation with fiscal implications is expected to be acted on while the Legislature is in session next week. New York has still not announced any budget cuts for the current fiscal year, as the wait continues to see what, if any, action Congress will take on additional relief for the states. The U.S. Congress returns to session too this week as well to deliberate additional relief for state and local governments and other COVID relief efforts. Our continued expectation is that once the State Division of Budget announces any cuts, the Legislature will again return to session shortly thereafter to advance revenue raising measures to mitigate any cuts to health care and education.

Read more at the Buffalo News

Senate GOP Proposing Five-Year Shield from Coronavirus Lawsuits

The proposal would be retroactive from December 2019 through 2024, or the end of an emergency declaration issued by the Department of Health and Human Services if that is later, according to a draft summary obtained by The Hill.

The proposal, which is currently being reviewed by the White House, would give federal courts jurisdiction over lawsuits related to personal injuries or medical liability tied to coronavirus infections, preventing lawsuits in state courts, where business groups have warned about uneven laws.

Read More at The Hill

Council HR Network: Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring and On-Boarding in Today’s World

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Join us July 21st for a members-only conversation about challenges and best practices for recruiting in this unsettled environment.

  • Conducting online interviews,
  • Attracting talent, overcoming obstacles,
  • On-boarding new employees,
  • Supporting employees during transition, and
  • Resources available to help. 

We will talk with Rebecca Mazin, Owner of Recruit Right HR Consulting and Management Trainer about all this COVID recruiting  – from virtual career fairs, fully-remote recruiting, socially distant training,  insights into the candidate experience and the new normal. Many of you will remember Rebecca from previous network meetings and as a student favorite from our certificate in manufacturing leadership program.

Cost: No Cost for Members and Invited guests

Online – Zoom click her to register

N95 Face Mask Makers Ramp Up Production to Meet U.S. Covid-19 Demand

Before coronavirus, medical masks were largely made abroad, particularly in China. When infections grew globally earlier this year, countries and health systems found themselves competing for vital protective equipment and unable to meet demand. Now, American companies like 3M, Honeywell and Prestige Ameritech Ltd. are investing in expansions to produce more masks in the U.S. in response to requests from hospitals and governments seeking a guaranteed domestic supply for several years. The reinvented supply chain means that producers of the machines and materials required to assemble N95 masks, which are designed to block out 95% of very small particles, are ramping up U.S. production too.

Read more in the WSJ

Tracking COVID – 19 Excess Deaths Across Countries: The Economist “Mortality Tracker” Was Updated July 15th

The Economist’s mortality tracker uses the gap between the total number of people who have died from any cause and the historical average for the time of year to estimate how many deaths from the virus the official statistics are failing to pick up.  For the United States the gap was 26% for the week of 4/25- 5/1 (52,663 expected deaths v. 66,135 actual deaths) This is down from 41% the week of 4/4-4/10 ( 54, 383 v.77,743.)

There is much more data at The Economist mortality tracker here

More From the Economist: The Risks of Keeping Schools Closed Far Outweigh the Benefits

All around the world, children’s minds are going to waste. As COVID-19 surged in early April, more than 90% of pupils were shut out of school. Since then the number has fallen by one-third, as many classrooms in Europe and East Asia have reopened. But elsewhere progress is slow. Some American school districts, including Los Angeles and San Diego, plan to offer only remote learning when their new school year begins. 

However, the costs of missing school are huge. Children learn less, and lose the habit of learning. Zoom is a lousy substitute for classrooms. Poor children, who are less likely to have good Wi-Fi and educated parents, fall further behind their better-off peers. Parents who have nowhere to drop their children struggle to return to work. Mothers bear the heavier burden, and so suffer a bigger career setback. Children out of school are more likely to suffer abuse, malnutrition and poor mental health.

Read more at the Economist (COVID coverage remains free)

Conducting Supplier Audits in the Era of COVID-19

In an increasingly risky market, buyers need to validate new suppliers and manage existing relationships. But they’re now leaning on contractual obligations and technology to curtail the use of physical audits. Collaboration tools, video conferencing, more regular communication and greater scrutiny of supplier records are enabling many to perform audits virtually.

On-site audits of suppliers are being replaced by other means during the coronavirus pandemic, including the use of video and data analysis. “We’ve seen clients start to look at some of those data analytics technologies to minimize the need to actually do on-site reviews,” says Sharon Chand of Deloitte.

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive