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Daily Briefing – 136

Post: Aug. 25, 2020

Restricted Travel List: Five States Removed One Territory Added

Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana—have been removed from New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. Guam has been added. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. 

The Governor added that the State has had a rate of positive tests below 1 percent for 18 straight days. Yesterday, 2 deaths were reported from COVID-19, matching the state’s previous low. No deaths were reported in New York City. The governor also 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. 

State Labor Department Releases Preliminary July 2020 Area Unemployment Rates

The New York State Department of Labor today released preliminary local area unemployment rates for July 2020. From July 2019 to July 2020, the State’s private sector employment count decreased by 1,184,500. The State’s seasonally adjusted private sector job count increased over the month by 244,200, or 3.6%, to 7,116,200 in July 2020.The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers, which is conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 15.6% to 15.9% in July 2020.   

In the Hudson Valley employment count decreased by 94,200 people year on year and the unemployment was 13.6% compared with 3.9 percent in July 2019.

Labor Market Profile (Hudson Valley) Release (2) – JUL 2020

SBA Releases Additional PPP Forgiveness Guidance

Council Associate member and friend PKF O’Connor Davies writes that Monday night, August 24, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule (IFR) entitled Treatment of Owners and Forgiveness of Certain Non-payroll Costs. This IFR contains important guidance on pending questions related to certain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan expenses eligible for forgiveness.

Read more from PKF O’Connor Davies

$56.14 = The Economic Value of a Face Mask Worn in the United States 

Calculations from Goldman Sachs, a bank, suggest that a 15 percentage-point rise in the share of the population that wears masks would reduce the daily growth of cases by about one percentage point. That obviates the need for lockdown measures that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from gdp. The Economist took those calculations a step further. According to our reckoning, an American wearing a mask for a day is helping prevent a fall in gdp of $56.14. Not bad for something that you can buy for about 50 cents apiece.

Read more in The Economist

German Economy Contracts at Record Pace

The German economy contracted by a record 9.7% in the second quarter as consumer spending, company investments and exports all collapsed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statistics office said on Tuesday. The economic slump was much stronger than during the financial crisis more than a decade ago, and it represented the sharpest decline since Germany began to record quarterly GDP calculations in 1970, the office said.

Still, the reading marked a minor upward revision from an earlier estimate for the April-June period of -10.1% that the office had published last month.

Read more at Reuters

Senior U.S., Chinese Officials Say They Are Committed to Phase-One Trade Deal

The United States and China held talks over the implementation of the phase one trade agreement between the two countries. Originally scheduled for August 15th, they had been postponed by President Trump amid rising tension over several issues. The US trade representative said the two sides had discussed greater protection for intellectual property rights and removing Chinese barriers to American agriculture products and financial services.

Read more at the WSJ

5 Ways to Build a Culture of Safety for the Long Term

“Workplace safety” has become a buzz-phrase in 2020, as the pandemic has made safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 a top priority for most business leaders. An organizational climate that empowers employees is one key to achieving a culture of safety, writes Chuck Pettinger of Predictive Solutions. “People are often driven by what is quickest, most comfortable, and most convenient,” he writes.

Read the full story at EHS Today

COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool

Here’s a fun site:  This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location. The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University.  It is and powered by RStudio.

Visit the map