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Daily Briefing – 227

Post: Jan. 7, 2021

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday, January 6th. 

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  

  • Hospitalizations Statewide
    • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  8548
    • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .004%
    • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in State  = 29%
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 
    • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  951
    • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .004%
    • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 33%
  • ICU Beds Statewide
    • Total ICU Beds   =  5,716
    • Occupied ICU Beds =  1408
    • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 29%
  • ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 
    • Total ICU Beds   =  699
    • Occupied ICU Beds =  434
    • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 40%
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.12
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 7.39%

Here are some useful websites:

Cuomo: Vaccination Rate at Hospitals Is Up – Needs To Be Better

On his press call yesterday Governor Cuomo discussed the mixed performance of hospital systems across the State on vaccine distribution. Before this week there were 10,000 vaccines to be administered a day. That number jumped to 30,000 on Monday and today we are at 50,000 plus vaccines a day. Vaccine distribution among health care workers is critical in maintaining hospital capacity. Across the state hospital systems have access to beds and equipment but fall short on staff, especially nurses, which is now the priority concern for hospitals. If a hospital system has reached the refusal rate of 70%, the Governor called on them to inform the Department of Health so the doses can be reallocated. The Governor will announce a reallocation plan today.

1B DISTRIBUTION – Once there has been enough vaccines administered to health care workers in the 1a category, the State will move to phase 1b which contains certain essential workers and general public over the age of 75.  Governor Cuomo stated that some local governments that wish to prioritize police officers over other groups in phase 1b are not allowed to do so.  The Council of Industry is seeking clarification, however for now manufacturing workers are not listed as part of 1B.

Read the press release

Mid-Hudson COVID-19 Clusters

Guidance and maps can be found HERE

Moderna CEO Says Vaccine Likely to Protect for ‘Couple of Years’

The covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna will probably offer protection against the virus for up to two years, according to the company’s chief executive. The speed at which vaccines have been developed has left scientists with less data than normal about the longevity of any inoculation. The Moderna shot was approved by the EU on Wednesday.

The CEO added his company was about to prove that its vaccine would also be effective against variants of the coronavirus seen in Britain and South Africa.

Read more at Reuters

Business Leaders Condemn Capital Violence

Businesses and trade associations strongly condemned the rioters and President Trump for goading them on, according to Fox Business. Business leaders nationwide demanded that elected leaders, including the president, call for an end to violence and support the peaceful transfer of power.

“These were destructive acts against our shared principles and beliefs of a peaceful transition of power,” said Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, “Our leaders must call for peace and unity.”  The NAM led the business community in a statement condemning the assault on American democracy. It urged our leaders to seriously consider next steps and reiterated its call for an orderly transition—a step that is critical to the functioning of our industry, our democracy and our country. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said:

Read more at Fox Business

Japan Issues COVID-19 State Of Emergency For Tokyo

Suga Yoshihide, Japan’s prime minister, declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures today to combat a growing outbreak of covid-19. The country’s daily case tally hit a new high of more than 6,000 on Wednesday, including a record 1,591 in Tokyo. The state of emergency is Japan’s second, following a nationwide declaration last spring. Japan’s constitution prevents the government from imposing a strict lockdown, but residents largely complied with stay-at-home requests last time. (Mr Suga has pushed the Diet to approve a bill giving the government authority to impose fines on businesses.) Officials are asking restaurants to close and people to stay indoors after 8pm. Schools are allowed to remain open. But experts worry that the measures may be insufficient. And relief in the form of vaccines is a long way off: Japan is expected to begin inoculations only in late February.

Read more at NPR

November U.S. Trade Deficit Widest Since 2006

The foreign-trade gap in goods and services expanded 8% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $68.14 billion in November, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was the highest deficit since August 2006, and the goods deficit was the highest on record.

Imports increased 2.9% in November to $252.3 billion. Exports rose 1.2% to $184.2 billion. Factories in the U.S., Asia and Europe boosted their output as 2020 drew to a close, aided by a rise in new orders and a revival in trade that has continued despite a sharp rise in coronavirus infections across many large economies.  Demand for imports in the U.S. improved and demand for U.S. exports also picked up, just not as much. 

Read more at the WSJ

Pandemic Drives 2020 Residential Real Estate Boom In Hudson Valley

Single-family home sales in Rockland County increased 14.7 percent for the year, with 36 percent of those sales taking place in the fourth quarter. Unit sales for the year were 2,327, as compared to 2,028 in 2019, according to Data provided by OneKey™ MLS.  The median sales price of $500,000 represented a nearly 10 percent increase compared to last year’s median of $455,000.

Counties throughout the Hudson Valley performed similarly as the coronavirus pandemic drove urban dwellers to the suburbs and exurban communities. New buyers were fleeing cramped apartments and close living circumstances as the pandemic drew on, suggesting that lifestyles and commuter patterns may be changing for more than just the short haul. Like Rockland County, Westchester, the largest market in the region, experienced a year-over-year increase in single-family residential sales of 14 percent or 6,657 units as compared to 5,839 for 2019.

Read more in the Rockland Business Journal

U.S. Unemployment Claims Nearly Steady as Extra $300 Payments Start

Weekly initial claims for jobless benefits from regular state programs, a proxy for layoffs, fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 787,000 in the week ended Jan. 2, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised up by 3,000.

Unemployment claims have remained at high levels during the pandemic—holding at four times their pre-pandemic average at around 800,000 a week through the fall and into the winter. Claims peaked at nearly 7 million in the spring, when a majority of states issued stay at home orders early in the pandemic. The pre-pandemic peak was 695,000.  Mr. Trump signed a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill on Dec. 27, which, in part, added a $300-a-week supplement for those receiving unemployment benefits and extended two pandemic-specific programs used by about 13 million people.

Read more at the WSJ

ADP: Employers Shed 123,000 Jobs in December

Private Sector employment dropped by 123,000 jobs from November to December, according to the monthly labor market analysis released Wednesday by payroll firm ADP. The number was below consensus forecasts of 50,000 jobs added and compares to 307,000 jobs added in the prior month.  Losses were heaviest among large employers, those with more than 1,000 employees, which lost 147,000 jobs. The services sector accounted for some of the largest losses.

Economists are looking for today’s Labor Department report to show about 50,000 new jobs were added in December, but some have forecast a modest drop in new jobs created.

Read more at US News