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Daily Briefing – 137

Post: Aug. 26, 2020

Cuomo: 19 Straight Days Under 1 .0 Percent, Criticizes New CDC Testing Guidance

The Governor issued a press release yesterday saying that New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from  August 25th. For the 19th straight day, New York’s rate of positive tests was below one percent. Of the 71,189 test results reported to the State, 0.79% (566) were positive.  The State continues to monitor the increase in positive test results in Western New York related to several industrial locations. 

Separately the Governor criticized new CDC guidelines related to asymptomatic individuals with known exposure to a COVID-19 case. In the previous version of the testing guidance, the CDC recommended diagnostic testing for, among others, “asymptomatic individuals with recent known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 [in order to] to control transmission.” In the current iteration, the CDC states that asymptomatic individuals who have close contact with a COVID-19 case “do not necessarily need a test unless [they] are a vulnerable individual.” 

Hurricane Laura Targets The Heart Of America’s Oil Refining Industry11% of Employers Paused 401(k) Contributions in Q2

Whenever tropical storm systems enter the Gulf of Mexico, as two have this week, most of the focus related to reporting on the oil and gas industry tends to center on efforts by offshore producers to evacuate and secure their operations, especially in the deep waters of the Gulf. That has all been happening this week as well over 80% of the production facilities have been idled in advance of the storms.

What gets less attention, but it is equally important to the public, is how these storms impact the refining sector of the oil and gas business.

Read more at Forbes

Around 11% of employers suspended their contributions to workers’ 401(k)s during the second quarter, Fidelity Investments reports. Of those who paused contributions, 48% said they intend to reinstate matching as soon as they are financially able and 32% will do so next year.

Read the full story in Human Resource Executive

American Airlines to Cut 19,000 Jobs by Oct. 1 When Federal Stimulus Ends

American Airlines said it would shed 19,000 workers Oct. 1, the first big wave of the tens of thousands of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other airline employees in jeopardy of losing their jobs when protections tied to federal aid to U.S. carriers expire this fall.

American’s cuts are short of the 25,000 potential job losses it warned were possible last month. But together with retirements and temporary leaves of absence, the reductions will make the carrier about 30% smaller than it was in March and are the clearest sign yet of the devastation coming for the airline industry as the summer travel season winds down and government funds run out.

Read more at the WSJ

Virgin Atlantic Wins Backing for £1.2bn Rescue Deal

Virgin Atlantic has won backing from its creditors for a £1.2bn rescue plan that would secure its future for at least 18 months and save 6,500 jobs. The airline said shareholders, banks, aircraft owners and suppliers owed money had approved the plan.

Virgin Atlantic said the agreement puts it in a position to “rebuild its balance sheet” and “welcome passengers back”. It had warned it would run out of cash by September without the deal.

Read more at BBC News

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt Says Rapid Coronavirus Tests Are Needed to Get America Back to the Office

“There’s plenty of technology that allows for rapid testing, and with rapid testing corporations could open. People could go to work,” Schmidt said on “Squawk Box.” Schmidt is referring to a kind of coronavirus test than the lab-based diagnostic tests that have become common. There’s been a growing push for rapid tests that produce results in as little as minutes. Some of these rapid tests would be administered at home. Others could be delivered at offices or schools. 

But America does not yet have adequate testing infrastructure in place to widely deploy quick-turnaround tests, said Schmidt, who is leading a group organized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help the New York state improve its economy in the wake of the coronavirus. 

Read more at CNBC

What is the Maturity Date of a PPP Loan? RBT CPAs Provides the Answers

New PPP loans approved on or after June 5th automatically have a loan length of five years. The PPP loan program is widely recognized for its forgivable nature if used for payroll, rent and utilities. Still, for a significant portion of borrowers, not all of the loan will be forgiven. The unforgiven portion will be converted to an SBA loan at a rate of 1%.

If a PPP loan received an SBA loan number before June 5, 2020, the loan has a two-year maturity. Existing loans can have their length extended from two years to five years, if the borrower and lender mutually agree to it. But what exactly does that mean for business owners who fall in this category, and how does one go about extending their existing loan?

What is the maturity date of a PPP loan RBT CPAs

Johns Hopkins: Daily Mortality Slowly Decreasing in US

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 5.79 million US cases and 178,819 deaths as of 12:30 pm EDT on August 26.

The US passed its second COVID-19 peak in late July, and we have been closely monitoring for an associated decrease in mortality. Now, approximately 1 month after the peak daily incidence, the US seems to be exhibiting the start of a decline in mortality. The daily mortality has been slowly decreasing for at least the past week, dipping below 1,000 new deaths per day for the first time since July 27. Additionally, COVID-19 mortality in the South, Southwest, and West regions—the most severely affected regions during the US resurgence over the past several months—appear to have passed their respective peaks as well. Mortality in these regions remains elevated, but it is at least starting to trend downward. 

Read more at Johns Hopkins