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Daily Briefing – 203

New York’s Contact Tracing Data: 70 Percent of New COVID-19 Cases Occur From Households and Small Gatherings

Governor today announced the release of a new PSA highlighting the dangers of COVID-19 “living room spread.” New York’s latest contact tracing data shows 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases originate from households and small gatherings. As the number of new cases continues to grow nationwide, the PSA encourages New Yorkers to avoid gatherings to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

View the PSA

COVID and Cluster Update 

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing call yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday, December 1st. 

Tracking data for the Clusters and the rest of the State are below. 

  • Clusters: 5.88%
  • Rockland yellow zone: 4.83%
  • Westchester yellow-zones (Peekskill  9.57, Ossining 9.87, Tarrytown 4.72, Yonkers 5.05 New Rochelle 6.33, Port Chester 8.59)
  • Orange Yellow Zones – (Newburgh 7.49, Middletown 6.03)
  • Statewide: 4.63%
  • Mid-Hudson Region: 4.94%
  • Statewide excluding clusters: 4.21%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 3,924 (742 in ICU) 
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.11

Here are some useful websites:

State to Receive Initial Delivery of COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for 170,000 New Yorkers

New York State will receive an initial delivery of enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for 170,000 New Yorkers. If all safety and efficacy approvals are granted by the federal government, the state expects to receive the vaccines—which were created by Pfizer—on December 15. New York State expects additional allocations of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna later this month.

Read the press release

Pelosi and Schumer Back $900 Billion Coronavirus Stimulus Plan as Basis for Negotiations

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use a $908 billion bipartisan stimulus plan as the basis for relief talks as Congress scrambles to send aid to Americans before the end of the year. In a joint statement, the Democratic leaders endorsed a more narrow aid approach than they have previously. The California and New York Democrats had insisted on legislation that costs at least $2.2 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down the bipartisan plan after its release Tuesday. He has endorsed only about $500 billion in spending in a new package.

Read more at CNBC

Biden’s Economic Team Charts a New Course for Globalization – With Trumpian Undertones

Joe Biden’s economic team is taking shape with plans to remake the Trump administration’s approach to economic relations overseas, with a distinction: agreement with President Trump’s assertion that globalization has been hard on many Americans but differences on how to address it.  The distinction shows Mr. Trump likely will have a lasting impact on the direction of U.S. economic policy, even though the incoming administration is trying to alter important parts of it.

For Mr. Biden’s new economic team, the election represents a bid to address the failings of globalization in a more cooperative manner with the rest of the world than Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden has signaled he wants to push allies for help confronting China and press for more aggressive programs domestically to help Americans hurt by trade, and aides have signaled a skepticism about using tariffs as a weapon in trade confrontations.

Read more at the WSJ

Biden Says He Will Not Kill Phase 1 Trade Deal with China Immediately

In an interview with Times columnist Thomas Friedman that gave clues to how the new administration will proceed on foreign policy, Biden said his top priority was getting a generous stimulus package through Congress, even before he takes power.  

Biden said he would pursue policies targeting China’s “abusive practices,” such as “stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations” and forcing “tech transfers” from U.S. companies to Chinese counterparts. “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs. I’m not going to prejudice my options,” President-elect Biden told Friedman.

Read more at Reuters

CDC Guidelines To Keep Employees Safe for a Happy Holiday Season

As we progress through the holiday season approaches and COVID-19 cases surge employers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces. Most employees are suffering from fatigue, burnout, isolation, and loneliness from COVID-19 and will likely seek to reconnect with friends and family during the upcoming holiday season by attending gatherings, shopping, traveling, and other activities that increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

CDC offers the following considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19 during small gatherings. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which all gatherings must comply.

Read the CDC recommendations and share them with your workforce

The Recovery of Low-Wage Jobs in Has Halted

A record 20 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in April, when the jobless rate hit a peak of 14.7%. And yet, even as the virus has persisted, the economy has begun to show signs of life. The latest figures, for October, put the unemployment rate at 6.9%.
These numbers are encouraging, but headline statistics can paint an incomplete picture. Opportunity Insights, a research group at Harvard University, has recently published a database on how well America’s businesses and workers are faring, by region. Their data, aggregated from private providers, offer a much more granular look at the state of the economy. They reveal that not all Americans have benefited equally from the recovery.

Cold, Hard Mission for a US Warehouse: Help Stop COVID

A warehouse in the US city of Baltimore may seem an unlikely place to help save the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, but Brian Gallizzo is prepared to do just that. “We are ready, we have our tanks full,” Gallizzo, chief financial officer for the six-decade-old family firm Capitol Carbonic, told AFP.

How his company will help is by keeping things cool — extremely cool. Capitol produces dry ice, a necessary component to distribute pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, which could receive government approval soon. Pfizer called Capitol because it was on the hunt for the quarter-inch pellets it spits out of a machine resembling a giant spaghetti maker in its Baltimore warehouse. The dry ice pellets are needed to keep Pfizer’s vaccine at just the right, very chilly, temperature.

Read more at IndustryWeek

DiNaploi: Statewide Job Losses Since February Still Above 1 Million

After losing more than 1.9 million jobs in March and April, New York State saw steady gains, averaging over 174,000 jobs in each of the following five months. That progress nearly halted in October, when statewide employment rose by less than 11,000. That brought the State’s job total to nearly 8.8 million, a cumulative increase of 881,000 since April—but, still, nearly 1.1 million below pre-pandemic levels in February.

From a regional perspective, New York City lost approximately 938,000 jobs in March and April, almost half the statewide total. As a percentage of February employment, however, the downstate suburban region took a sharper hit, experiencing a decline of more than 21 percent compared to 20 percent in the City and 18.1 percent in the rest of New York State. As of October, the downstate suburbs had recovered at a faster rate than the other two regions, recouping over 58 percent of lost jobs, as shown in the nearby chart. New York City saw only slight job gains in the month of October, while the rest of the State lost more than 14,000 jobs.

Read more and see some informative charts at the Controller’s website

NY Fed: The Regional Economy During the Pandemic

The New York-Northern New Jersey region experienced an unprecedented downturn earlier this year, one more severe than that of the nation, and the region is still struggling to make up the ground that was lost. That is the key takeaway at an economic press briefing held today by the New York Fed examining economic conditions during the pandemic in the Federal Reserve’s Second District. Despite the substantial recovery so far, business activity, consumer spending, and employment are all still well below pre-pandemic levels in much of the region, and fiscal pressures are mounting for state and local governments. Importantly, job losses among lower-wage workers and people of color have been particularly consequential. The pace of recovery was already slowing in the region before the most recent surge in coronavirus cases, and we are now seeing signs of renewed weakening as we enter the winter.

Read more at the NY Fed