Daily Briefing – 113

Cuomo: Hospitalizations Continue to Decline, Rockland Testing Site Opens in Response to Cases

The Governor yesterday issued a press release detailing New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from yesterday, July 21st. Hospitalizations are continuing to decline and of the 67,695 tests conducted yesterday, 1.04% (705) were positive.

The Governor also announced New York State has launched a new diagnostic testing site in Ramapo, Rockland County.  He said the testing site was needed because the Ramapo community has been so severely affected by COVID-19. The clinic is being run in partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. There have been 672 deaths in Rockland County due to COVID-19, out of a total of 13,806 confirmed cases as of Tuesday.  There were five new cases in the county Tuesday, according to state officials.

Read the Governor’s press release

Read the Rockland testing story at Yahoo.com

Jobs Numbers: Hudson Valley Unemployment Rate Rises

The June 2020 unemployment rate in the Hudson Valley Region was 12.2 percent, up from 11.1 percent in May and up from 3.6 percent in June 2019, the state labor department reported on Tuesday. In June, there were 138,900 unemployed in the region, up from 125,200 in May and up from 41,700 in June 2019. Year-over-year in June 2020, labor force decreased by 14,400 or 1.2 percent, to 1,139,400.

In June there were 39,000 people working in our manufacturing sector – up from 37,100 in May – but down from 44,200 in June 2019 or -11.8% year on year.  Follow the link below to see the spreadsheet with the region’s employment numbers as as well as the numbers for the region’s individual MSAs, the State and the Nation.

Copy of Labor Market Profile (Hudson Valley) Release (2) – JUN 2020

How Deadly Is Covid-19? Researchers Are Getting Closer to an Answer

Researchers, initially analyzing data from outbreaks on cruise ships and more recently from surveys of thousands of people in virus hot spots, have now conducted dozens of studies to calculate the infection fatality rate of Covid-19.  That research—examining deaths out of the total number of infections, which includes unreported cases—suggests that Covid-19 kills from around 0.3% to 1.5% of people infected. Most studies put the rate between 0.5% and 1.0%, meaning that for every 1,000 people who get infected, from five to 10 would die on average.

The estimates suggest the new coronavirus is deadlier than the seasonal flu, though not as lethal as Ebola and other infectious diseases that have emerged in recent years. The coronavirus is killing more people than the deadlier diseases, however, in part because it is more infectious.

Read more in the WSJ

Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security: Cases Appears to Have ‘Passed an Inflection Point’

“The CDC reported 3.82 million total cases (57,777 new) and 140,630 deaths (473 new). Daily COVID-19 incidence at the national level in the US may be approaching a peak or plateau. The 7-day average daily incidence appears to have passed an inflection point, and the increasing trend is beginning to taper off. The record high daily total of 74,710 reported last week was a substantial increase over the previous week’s high (66,281 new cases reported on July 11), so the late-week reporting this week will provide important insight into the future trajectory of the US epidemic. COVID-19 mortality in the US continues to increase slowly as well. The average mortality is currently 800 deaths per day, up from 581 deaths per day on July 8.

Our team feels that any increased transmission resulting from Independence Day celebrations should be just starting to become evident in disease surveillance and reporting. In addition, a number of states have strengthened or re-imposed certain social distancing restrictions over the past several weeks. There are a number of complex factors impacting SARS-CoV-2 transmission across the US.”

Read more

U.S. Orders Up to 600 Million Doses of Pfizer, BioNTech Covid Vaccine

U.S. health officials agreed pay $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of a vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, the latest step in an effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

 The companies will receive payment upon the receipt of the doses, following regulatory authorization or approval, according to a statement. The government also can acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.

Nations around the world have begun ordering vaccines that are still being tested as part of their efforts to try to blunt the impact of the pandemic that’s roiled economies and killed more than 600,000 people since the beginning of the year. The U.S. has already ordered experimental shots developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.

The vaccine would be available to the American people for free, according to the government.

Read more at Bloomberg

Extended School Closings Create Homework for Employers

Council Associate Member and friend Jackson Lewis reports that “As a practical matter, employers, who are facing their own economic struggles, can ill afford to pay employees for unproductive time spent educating, supervising or caring for children at home. And the job still needs to get done. This has left many employers asking, “Is there a solution to this “academic” problem?”

Certainly, not a simple one. Once you move beyond leave obligations, employers will need to leverage flexibility and creativity.

Some options employers may consider, include:”

Read the suggestions from Jackson Lewis 


Steel Market Alters Expectations of Pandemic Disruption

Steel Market Update (SMU) polls steel buyers—primarily service center and manufacturing executives—twice each month. In early May, when SMU asked readers how quickly they thought they could rebuild their business to pre-COVID levels, the majority saw the virus running its course by the end of July and almost all by the end of the year (see Figure 1). Only 7% felt the crisis could extend into next year.

We have learned a lot about COVID-19 since then, much of it disconcerting. Asked a similar question in mid-July, 43% of the respondents said they expect the virus to be a drag on their business into the first or even second quarter of 2021.

Read the full story and Fabricator Online

Lawsuit Reform Alliance Calls on Albany to Keep COVID-19 Protections
The pandemic is far from over and while numbers are down in New York, they are up across the country. Most experts expect another surge. the Lawsuit reform Alliance of New York is argues that we need our medical facilities to be prepared to treat patients, rather than spending their time dealing with an onslaught of lawsuits.

You can use the link below to contact your legislator today and tell them you support liability protections for our hospitals and front-line workers.

Contact you legislators