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Daily Briefing – 154

Post: Sep. 22, 2020

Five States Added to Restricted Travel List -None Removed

The Governor issued a press release yesterday announcing five states (Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming) have been added to the mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers entering New York. No states or areas have been removed from the list. The total number of restricted states is 33 plus 2 U.S. Territories. 

Governor Cuomo warned that nationally, new coronavirus infections have increased more than 15% in the last ten days, so New Yorkers need to remain vigilant.

Decreased Influenza Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, Australia, Chile, and South Africa, 2020

Following widespread adoption of community mitigation measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the percentage of U.S. respiratory specimens submitted for influenza testing that tested positive decreased from >20% to 2.3% and has remained at historically low inter-seasonal levels (0.2% versus 1–2%). Data from Southern Hemisphere countries also indicate little influenza activity. Interventions aimed against SARS-CoV-2 transmission, plus influenza vaccination, could substantially reduce influenza incidence and impact in the 2020–21 Northern Hemisphere season. Some mitigation measures might have a role in reducing transmission in future influenza seasons.

Read more at the CDC website

Operation Warp Speed – “Herculean” to Develop, Manufacture and Distribute Medical Countermeasures for COVID-19

Since announced in May the “Operation Warp Speed” program has worked to develop, manufacture and distribute medical countermeasures for  COVID-19. Along with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Defense Department is an integral part of that effort, said the DOD’s chief of supply and distribution for OWS.

“HHS was never manned to be able to simultaneously and as rapidly go through clinical trials, go through the development, go through the manufacturing, and then distribute six separate vaccines in a pandemic environment,” said Paul A. Ostrowski. “That is a Herculean task. What we bring is a bandwidth and the enablers to allow that to happen — not only for vaccines, but also for therapeutics.”

Read more at Defense Experience

Sluggish Reopening: NY’s Private Job Count Down 1.1 Million From Pre-Pandemic Level

Six months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, New York State’s private-sector employment recovery was the slowest in the 48 contiguous states—and getting slower. The latest monthly jobs report from the state Labor Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a lingering economic hangover from the spring shutdown of business by Governor Cuomo’s New York State on Pause order—despite phased-in partial reopenings since May.

As of August, according to state Labor Department data, private-sector employment in the Empire State was down 1.1 million jobs from the same month a year earlier, a year-to-year decrease of 13.2 percent and New York’s lowest August employment level since 2011, early in the post-Great Recession recovery.

Read more at Empire Center

Pandemic Broadband Speeds Are Faster, but Insufficient for Some

With so many people working from home, access to high-speed internet has become more important than ever. Still, some people—and particularly those living in rural areas—continue to struggle to connect. Broadband doesn’t just make it possible to work from home; it’s also important for COVID-19 response measures like contact tracing.
On average, internet speeds have gotten faster. According to data from WhistleOut, which compares broadband and wireless internet plans, home internet speeds across the United States have increased from an average of 84.9 megabits per second in March to 94.6 megabits per second in July. The minimum broadband service speed, according to the FCC, is 25 megabits per second. A study from Microsoft suggests that up to 150 million people across the country have slow or unreliable internet connections. 

Read more at the WSJ

COVID ‘Firepower’: Britain Imposes Six-Month Curbs Against Second Wave

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

After scientific warnings that deaths could soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March, but warned that further measures could come if the disease was not suppressed. “We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions,” he told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom’s devolved governments.

Read more at Reuters

Live From Stanfordville Machine: Mfg Day 2020

WKIP’s Hudson Valley Focus Live will be broadcasting live the morning of October 2nd from Stanfordville Machine, Victory Lane in Poughkeepsie. 

Hosted as always by Tom Sipos, guests will include Stanfordville CEO Neal Johnson, the Council of Industry’s Johnnieanne Hansen and Harold King, and many other manufacturers, educators and economic development professionals.