Daily Briefing -196

More Hudson Valley Communities “Named Cluster Zones”

During a telephone press briefing yesterday afternoon Governor Cuomo announced the establishment of  new “micro-cluster” zones in  parts of Rockland, Orange, and Westchester Counties.

  • The current Rockland County “yellow zone” will be expanded to include Pearl River, West Haverstraw, Stoney Point, and Suffern.
  • An Orange County “yellow zone” will be established, which includes Newburgh, New Windsor, Middletown, and Highland Falls.
  • A Westchester County “yellow zone” will be established, encompassing New Rochelle, Ossining, Tarrytown, Yonkers, and Peekskill.

Learn more:

COVID and Cluster Update 

On the telephone briefing today Governor Cuomo also provided an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday, November 18th.  

Tracking data for the Clusters and the rest of the State are below.  (The new cluster data will be added tomorrow) 

  • Clusters: 4.0%
  • Rockland Red zone: 1.18%
  • Westchester yellow-zone: 8.16%
  • Statewide: 2.7%
  • Statewide excluding clusters: 2.3%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 2276 (437 in ICU) 
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.23

Here are some useful websites:

Region’s County Officials Unite to Implore Residents: ‘Don’t Get Casual About COVID”

County Leaders and Health Officials highlight dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases relating
to casual, social gatherings; urge vigilance and safety precautions during holiday season

A week prior to Thanksgiving and the start of the winter holiday season, leaders from Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties gathered virtually today to ask residents to remain vigilant in the coming weeks and curtail small social gatherings. Such parties or “hangouts,” even among friends and family members, have led to a recent increase in local COVID-19 cases, raising the Mid-Hudson region’s positivity rate, affecting the ability of schools and businesses to remain open and further stressing the region’s healthcare resources.

You can watch the video here

IMF Chief: Global Economy Recovering, But May be Losing Momentum

The global economy is recovering from the depths of the coronavirus crisis, but there are signs of slowing momentum in countries with resurging infection rates, the International Monetary Fund said in a new report for G20 major economies.  The report, released ahead of this week’s virtual meetings of finance officials and leaders from the Group of 20 countries, underscored the uneven nature of the global recovery and warned the crisis would likely leave deep, unequal scars.

In a separate blog post, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva hailed what she called significant progress in the development of vaccines to vanquish a virus that has claimed more than a million lives around the globe and resulted in tens of millions of job losses.

Read more at Reuters

OSHA Offers Guidance to Frequently Cited Standards for COVID-19 Inspections

OSHA has issued guidance and an accompanying one-pager to help employers understand which standards are most frequently cited during coronavirus-related inspections.  OSHA based these documents on data from citations issued, many of which were the result of complaints, referrals and fatalities in industries such as hospitals and healthcare, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and meat/poultry processing plants.

The guidance document provides available resources that address the most frequently cited standards, including Respiratory Protection, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, Personal Protective Equipment and the General Duty Clause.

DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility Until December 31, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.

This temporary guidance was set to expire November 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy until December 31, 2020.  This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. 

Read the press release

US Chamber Study: Childcare Situation Due to COVID Is Affecting Employers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, on Nov 19, released a report   “Piecing Together Solutions: Employer Childcare Assistance Now and Looking Ahead,” which examines how employers have supported employees with young children while experiencing employee turnover and the future of their investment in childcare.

In June of this year, 24% of employers were concerned that some of their employees would leave the workforce because of the pandemic, but by October, 32% of employers had lost employees. When asked what factors drove employees’ decisions to leave the workforce, half cited childcare concerns.

Covid-19 Vaccines Could Depend on the Strength of Corning’s Vial

The US government has contracted with materials manufacturer Corning to produce an additional 164 million Valor glass vials per year to meet demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Valor vial is chemically fortified to be 40 times less likely to break, allowing for faster filling, according to a Corning statement.

The US government has contracted with materials manufacturer Corning to produce an additional 164 million Valor glass vials per year to meet demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Valor vial is chemically fortified to be 40 times less likely to break, allowing for faster filling, according to a Corning statement.

Read more at the WSJ (Includes a cool animation)

Even With 737 MAX Clearance, Covid-19 May Cause Overnight Closures In Aerospace Supply Chain

Aerospace suppliers, who sit at the beginning of aviation’s food chain, are looking at a decimation of demand — even more dramatic perhaps than the drop-off facing global carriers. Over the next decade, as many as 4,700 aircraft that had been on the production schedule at the beginning of 2020 will no longer be built. That is the equivalent of 2.5 years’ worth of production vanishing almost overnight.

While this will be painful for the larger airframe and engine manufacturers, the real carnage is expected to take place a step or two down the chain — including midsize and larger parts suppliers and special processing houses. 

Read more at Forbes

Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Shows Robust Immune Response 

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is safe and triggers a similar immune response among all adults, according to the preliminary findings of a peer-reviewed phase two trial.

The promising early-stage results were published Thursday in The Lancet, one of the world’s top medical journals.  The study of 560 healthy adults, including 240 over age 70, found the vaccine to be safe and produced a similar immune response among people age over 56 and those ages 18 to 55.

Read more at CNBC