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Daily Briefing – 236

Post: Feb. 3, 2021

NYS Vaccine Update

As of 11AM yesterday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,554,450 first doses and already administered 92 percent or 1,432,195 first dose vaccinations and 77 percent of first and second doses. Delivery of the week 8 allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers for administration.

In the Mid-Hudson Region a cumulative total of 219,420 FIRST and SECOND doses have been distributed, 150,166 have been administered (68%).

COVID Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday February 2st. 

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

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  8,082
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 34%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  957
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 42%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,894
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4,354
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  687
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  420
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 40%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .91
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 4.68%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 5.60

Useful Websites:

US Vaccination Progress – Who is Getting the Now Close to 50 Million Doses Administered

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a release of its first comprehensive look at the state of the nationwide vaccine campaign, says that nationwide, 63% of those vaccinated were women and 55% were over 50 years old. The agency’s researchers issued a pair of reports examining the demographics of those vaccinated nationwide through January 14 and the rollout of the shots in long-term care facilities.  60% of those vaccinated identified as non-Hispanic White.

Read more at CBS News

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Has 92% Efficacy in Trial

Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine gives around 92% protection against Covid-19, late stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal.  It has also been deemed to be safe – and offer complete protection against hospitalization and death.

The vaccine was initially met with some controversy after being rolled out before the final trial data had been released. But scientists said its benefit has now been demonstrated.  It joins the ranks of proven vaccines alongside Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.

Read more at BBC

AstraZeneca Vaccine – Single Dose Could Cut Transmission By 67% –  75% Effective for 3 Months

One dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provides sustained protection against Covid for at least three months and cuts transmission of the virus by two-thirds, according to research that appears to support the UK’s decision to delay booster shots.

Analysis of fresh data from three trials found that the first shot conferred on average 76% protection against symptomatic infections from three weeks until 90 days, and reduced transmission of the disease by 67%.

Read more at The Guardian

China’s Hot Economic Recovery Weakens as Manufacturing and Services Cool

China’s growth is likely to moderate in the coming months as the country faces risks on two fronts, according to the chief Asia economist of Goldman Sachs. “The first is simply policymakers are quite comfortable with the recovery so far and are starting to pull back on policy stimulus to some degree,” Andrew Tilton said on “Streets Signs Asia” on Monday.  “If things do continue to go well, then we could have some inflation risks,” he added.

The world’s second largest economy showed robust GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020, expanding at 6.5% compared to a year ago. It beat market expectations, and made China one of the few major economies in the world to record positive growth for a year mired by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more at CNBC

Biden Administration Focus on OSHA, COVID-19 and What It Means for Manufacturers

On January 29, 2021, OSHA released “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” in response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order issued on January 21, 2021. The guidance is not a standard or regulation and creates no legal obligations for employers, but it is a step toward fulfilling a Biden campaign pledge that OSHA would “immediately release and enforce an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to give employers … enforceable guidance on what to do to reduce the spread of COVID.

As a candidate, Biden promised to be “the most pro-union president you have ever seen” and “unions are going to have increased power” in his administration. His administration has installed James “Jim” Frederick, a former United Steelworkers safety official, as the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary to lead OSHA on an interim basis. Frederick has indicated that, in that role, he will be focused on drafting and implementing an Emergency Temporary Standard to address COVID-19.

Read more at Jackson Lewis

Five New York Companies to Produce COVID-19 Related Equipment and Supplies to Support In-State Needs

Four additional New York companies and one company that has previously received state support will be awarded nearly $2 million in state support to produce needed supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These grant funds will help alleviate product shortages due to supply chain issues that could lead to unfair pricing practices. The companies will also increase the State’s manufacturing capacity while creating new jobs and market opportunities. To date, New York State has announced more than $20 million in grants to 36 qualifying New York-based companies to retool their business lines and pivot to manufacturing vital supplies for ongoing response and recovery efforts. These 36 companies will collectively create and retain over 3,500 jobs.

Read the press release and see the companies

Biden, House Democrats Push 1.9 Billion Relief Plan Through Budget Reconciliation

Democrats are mostly united behind Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan, and are moving quickly to muscle it through without GOP votes using budgetary tactics known as reconciliation. Still, lawmakers fear that a single misstep could force Congress to sputter over yet another cliff — boosted jobless benefits that expire on March 14 — while hindering vaccine distribution just as dangerous new variants are emerging in the U.S.

So far, a handful of centrist Democrats privately aren’t committing to voting for the House budget, hoping to push party leaders to pursue a dual-track approach to Covid relief, according to multiple members and aides. Several in the most vulnerable districts remain anxious that they don’t know what will ultimately be in the massive package.

Read more at Politico

Pandemic Exacts a Toll on Employees’ Mental Health

Employee mental health has seen a downturn during the pandemic, with workers reporting a 48% increase in depression risk in November and December, according to the recent Mental Health Index produced by Total Brain and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. “Managers should learn to recognize warning signs of employees who may be struggling: personality changes, irritability, fatigue, reckless behavior and weight loss are common symptoms of mental health disorders,” writes Alyssa Place.

Read more at Employee Benefit News (free registration)