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Daily Briefing – 179

California Added to NY’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory; No Areas Are Removed

Governor  Cuomo announced yesterday that California has been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Sunday New York State’s seven day average infection rate is 8.2 per 100,000.  The national average is 21.3 per 100,000.

Neighboring Massachusetts now meets the criteria for the travel advisory, in addition to Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – however, given the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between the states, a quarantine on these states is not practically viable. That said, New York State highly discourages, to the extent practical, non-essential travel between Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania while they meet the travel advisory criteria. 


NYS COVID and Micro Cluster Update

Governor Cuomo issued a press release detailing New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Monday, October 26th. Tracking data for the hotspots and the rest of the State are below.  

  • 20 hotspot zip codes: 3.65%
  • Orange Hot Zone: 1.88%
  • Rockland Hot Zone: 2.36%
  • Statewide: 1.78%
  • Statewide excluding hotspots: 1.53%

Here are some useful websites:


66 Million And Counting: Early Voting Numbers High with One Week to Go Until Election Day

With one week still remaining until Election Day, Americans have already cast a record-breaking 66 million early ballots, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout.  That’s some 19 million more pre-election votes than were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

McDonald calculates that nationally, voters have cast more than 48% of the total votes counted in the 2016 election. “We continue to pile on votes at a record pace. We’ve already passed any raw number of early votes in any prior election in U.S. history,” 

Read more at NPR


400,000 Plus New Yorkers Cast Ballots in the First Weekend of Early Voting

This is the first time New Yorkers have had the opportunity to vote early in a presidential election and many took advantage of this opportunity. Around 422,166 New Yorkers cast their ballots this weekend, according to preliminary numbers released by the State Board of Elections.

This is the first time New Yorkers have had the opportunity to vote early in a presidential election and many took advantage of this opportunity.

Around 422,166 New Yorkers cast their ballots this weekend, according to preliminary numbers released by the State Board of Elections.

Read more at Spectrum News


States Begin Detailing Specific Use of 150 Million BinaxNOW COVID-19 Tests Distributed by Trump Administration

Four weeks after the Trump Administration announced it would deploy 150 million state-of-the-art Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests nationally to assist Governors’ ongoing reopening efforts, states have begun to report back where they are choosing to distribute the rapid, point of care tests. Of the states who have provided preliminary reports, use of the BinaxNOW allocations are largely being deployed to local health departments, K-12 schools and institutes of higher education, nursing homes, hospitals and correctional facilities.

Read the HHS press release


CEPI Reaches Manufacturing Agreements for COVID-19 Vaccines

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has expanded the manufacturing network for its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. The nonprofit foundation, which finances independent research projects to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, has signed vaccine manufacturing agreements with Biofabri in Spain and GC Pharma in the Republic of Korea.

CEPI currently is supporting the research and development of nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Eight of them have entered clinical trials.  CEPI has already secured a supply of glass vials to hold up to 2 billion doses of vaccine.

Read more at Homeland Preparedness  


Pfizer’s Late-Stage Vaccine Trial is Near Complete Enrollment With 42,000 Volunteers

Pfizer said nearly 36,000 volunteers have already received the second of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer has as been working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech on the experimental vaccine. It contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, which scientists hope provokes the immune system to fight the virus.

In September, Pfizer expanded the enrollment of its phase three trial to up to 44,000 volunteers from the initial target of up to 30,000. The company said the expansion would allow it to further increase diversity in the trial as well as include adolescents as young as 16 years old and people with preexisting conditions.

Read more at CNBC


Commerce Dept: Sept. durable-goods orders rise 1.9%

The Commerce Department reported a 1.9% gain in orders for durable goods in September, with orders for nondefense capital goods minus aircraft up by 1%. Durable goods are down 10.1% for the year to date compared with last year.

While the activity was significantly greater than the modest 0.5% advance many economists had been expecting, U.S. factories continue to face significant headwinds. Activity was significantly greater than the modest 0.5% advance many economists had been expecting, U.S. factories continue to face significant headwinds.

Read the full Story at  The Associated Press 


Employee Mental Health Must Remain a Priority

Employees are showing signs of improvement in their mental health, yet they remain significantly at risk for depression and general anxiety due to COVID-19, according to Total Brain’s latest Mental Health Index. Experts caution that employees’ mental health will decline going into the fall and winter months as stresses from the election, the holidays and colder weather exacerbate issues.

According to the latest Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, employees’ risk of depression (up 64%) and general anxiety (up 43%) remain significantly elevated when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Yet the risk of general anxiety disorder is stable from August to September and risk of depression saw a 6% increase. Meanwhile, risk of PTSD declined 22% from August to September and is approaching February levels—a sign of continued adaptation to the current state of our world.

Read more at Human Resource Executive


NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.

Water is a precious resource in deep space and a key ingredient of life as we know it. Whether the water SOFIA found is easily accessible for use as a resource remains to be determined. Under NASA’s Artemis program, the agency is eager to learn all it can about the presence of water on the Moon in advance of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 and establishing a sustainable human presence there by the end of the decade.

Read more at NASA.gov


 

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