Daily Briefing – 237

Vaccine Update: 

Governor Cuomo announced NY’s health care distribution sites have administered 93% of first doses received from the federal government, and 91% of first and second doses. In the Mid-Hudson we have administered 84% of the vaccines delivered. 

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing  yesterday afternoon providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday, January 20th. 

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

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  9,055
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 32%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  1,076
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 40%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,873
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4396
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  684
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  431
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 36%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .92
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 6.18%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 7.10%

Useful Websites:

New York State COVID-19 Transmission Rate Drops Below 1 for Frist Time Since Thanksgiving Holiday

In data reported January 18th New York State’s transmission rate – R0 or (R “naught”) dropped below 1 for the first time since the Thanksgiving holiday.  The figure represents the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person with COVID-19. A figure greater than one means that each infected person is infecting more than one additional person and the virus spread is accelerating.  A figure less than one mean that each infected person in infecting fewer than one person and the virus spread is slowing.

On January 18th the website Statista reported New York with a R0 of .92.  13 states had figures greater than 1 with Hawaii being the highest at 1.13 and 37 states below 1 with West Virginia being the lowest at .85. 

State transmission rates (R0)

Biden Signs Burst of COVID Orders

The 10 orders signed by Biden are aimed at jump starting his national COVID-19 strategy to increase vaccinations and testing, lay the groundwork for reopening schools and businesses, and immediately increase the use of masks — including a requirement that Americans mask up for travel. The president’s plan emphasizes ramping up testing for the coronavirus, accelerating the pace of vaccinations and providing more funding and direction to state and local officials, according to a copy of it released Thursday. A key component of the plan is restoring trust with the American public. It also focuses on vaccinating more people, safely reopening schools, businesses and travel as well as slowing the spread of the virus.

Here are the 10 orders at CNBC

Manufacturing Alliance of New York Advocacy Survey

To best guide its advocacy efforts toward some of the state legislative and policy issues that are most important to you, the Manufacturing Alliance is asks that you please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey–it should take about 3 minutes to complete.

Your responses will remain confidential.  We will inform you of the survey’s results within the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at tiffanylatinog@macny.org. 

Take the Survey (manufacturers only please) 

U.S. Unemployment Claims Remained Elevated Last Week

About 900,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market struggles to recover this winter. The number of jobless claims last week was down slightly from the week ended Jan. 9, when applications jumped by more than 100,000 to 926,000. 

Delayed filings by workers over the Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as $300 a week in extra jobless benefits included in a coronavirus-relief package signed into law last month, also could have factored into the large claims increase for the week ended Jan. 9. Still, the four-week moving average for claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, rose in the week ended Jan. 9.

Read more at the WSJ

Hudson Valley Manufacturers Add 400 Jobs in December – Still Down 3,700 Year on Year

Hudson Valley manufacturers continued to add workers in December according to the NYS Department of Labor but are still of more than 3,700 since the start of the pandemic. 

Category              Dec 2020     Nov 2020      Dec 2019     Net Month   % Month    Net Year      % Year 

Manufacturing    39,700         39,300             43,400           400               1.0%         -3,700         -8.5%

See the Report

Workplace Policies Affected by Biden’s First Orders

Among President Joe Biden’s first 17 executive actions were issues that affect employers, including increased COVID-19 protections such as testing and mask-wearing, and speeding up the vaccination rollout. Also, workplace discrimination protections have been strengthened regarding gender identity and sexual orientation.

Read more at Human Resource Executive

Will You Pay Employees to get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Some big-name companies are offering payouts for shots. Last week, Instacart announced they will pay workers $25 if they get the COVID-19 vaccine. They joined Trader Joe’s who said it will give employees two hours of pay per dose.  That’s a payment plan none of us have ever heard of before. But the company is determined to ensure its workers are protected and will even move their schedules around to accommodate vaccine schedules. Dollar General is matching that and will give employees four hours of pay to get the vaccine.

Read more at EHS

CFOs See Struggle, Slow Recovery and Silver Linings

Eight-three percent of respondents to BDO tax accounting and advisory firm’s 2021 Manufacturing CFO Outlook Survey say their business will take at least a year to recover from the pandemic. The BDO survey polled 100 manufacturing industry CFOs with revenues ranging from $250 million to $3 billion in September 2020.

According to the survey, about a quarter of CFO’s rate technology and infrastructure investments as their top business priority for 2021. Cost-cutting, managing through the downturn, integrating mergers & acquisitions, outsourcing function and data privacy also ranked above 10% of respondents. Fewer respondents ranked recruiting and retaining talent as their top priority, at 6%.

Genome-Sequencing Pioneer Eric Lander to Lead Science Policy for Biden

President Biden nominated Broad Institute president Eric Lander to serve as his science adviser and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with a slate of other top science adviser nominations. Biden also announced that he will elevate his science adviser to a Cabinet-level post, marking the first time in history that the OSTP head has served alongside the heads of federal agencies.

Lander has for years been one of the top figures in American science. From his perch atop the prestigious Broad, the genetics pioneer has overseen an explosion in genetics discoveries, as well as pioneering psychiatric research, from a team of scientists affiliated with Harvard, MIT, and some of the country’s leading academic medical centers. He helped steer the Broad from its founding in 2004, seeded with a $100 million gift from the Broad Foundation, into a superlative science center, one that continued to pull in eye-popping donations.

Read more at STAT