Daily Briefing – 239

COVID Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Monday February 8th. “Our post-holiday surge reduction is continuing, and that is the direct result of the toughness of New Yorkers who have sacrificed and done what is needed to beat back this invisible enemy. Our infection rate is the lowest it has been since December 1, so we’re back to where we started on the holiday surge,” Governor Cuomo said.

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 7,875
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 875

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,320
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 427

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .88
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 5.12%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 5.34

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update – Allocation to the States Increasing 5%

The White House announced a 5 percent increase in vaccine allocations to the states for the next three weeks. The state has administered over 2,228.567 vaccine doses through the state’s vaccination program. New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,874,975 first doses and administered 90 percent (1,684,233) 56 percent of the 933,850 second doses (522,605) have been administered. Delivery of the week 9 allocation from the federal government begins mid-week.

In the Mid-Hudson Region a cumulative total of 264,710 FIRST and SECOND doses have been distributed, 201,953 have been administered (76%).

US Vaccination Progress 

The US CDC reported 59.31 million vaccine doses distributed and 42.42 million doses administered nationwide. The US has administered 71.5% of the distributed doses, an increase of more than 10 percentage points since Friday (61.2%). In total, 32.34 million people (nearly 10% of the entire US population) have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and 9.52 million (2.9%) have received both doses. The average daily doses administered is once again increasing, now up to a record high of 1.46 million doses per day.

A total of 4.95 million doses have been administered at long-term care facilities (LTCFs) through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program*, including residents and staff. This covers 3.78 million individuals with at least 1 dose and 1.15 million with 2 doses. Approximately 60% of the doses have gone to residents, and 40% to staff.

Read more at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Survey: Lower-Level Workers Are Less Willing to Receive the Vaccine than Senior Leadership

According to a new survey released on Feb. 8 by The Conference Board survey, there is a division based on job titles.  Lower-level workers are less willing to receive the vaccine than senior leadership.  Another issue that could be affecting acceptance of the vaccine is that nearly half of companies have yet to communicate a policy on getting the vaccine. Furthermore, even those companies that are encouraging workers to receive the vaccine are not mandating it as a condition of returning to the office.

Key findings include: One-fifth of US workers—19%—are undecided about whether to get the vaccine.  Three-quarters plan to take an FDA-approved vaccine when available.  Only 6% do not plan to get the vaccine.

Read more at EHS Today

Sen. Warren, Rep. Schakowsky Introduce Bill to Manufacture COVID-19 Supplies

US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced legislation to publicly manufacture personal protective equipment, prescription drugs, and other medical supplies necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Emergency Manufacturing Act of 2021 authorizes the federal government to manufacture medical products, including contracting with existing manufacturers, to ensure an adequate supply of critical materials to avoid rationing during this crisis.

Read more at Homeland Preparedness News

CDC Study: Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Growth Rates Associated with Statewide Mask Mandates

During March 22–October 17, 2020, 10 sites participating in the COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network in states with statewide mask mandates reported a decline in weekly COVID-19–associated hospitalization growth rates by up to 5.5 percentage points for adults aged 18–64 years after mandate implementation, compared with growth rates during the 4 weeks preceding implementation of the mandate.

Mask-wearing is a component of a multipronged strategy to decrease exposure to and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce strain on the health care system, with likely direct effects on COVID-19 morbidity and associated mortality.

Read the more at the CDC website

WHO: Virus Likely Came From Animal, Not Laboratory

The virus that causes Covid-19 most likely entered the human population through an intermediate animal and is highly unlikely to have leaked from a laboratory, a leader of a World Health Organization investigative team said at a press conference in the Chinese city of Wuhan. In laying out the possibilities for the origin of the pandemic, the WHO team said Tuesday it was also possible that it may have been transmitted to humans through frozen food, a theory heavily promoted by Beijing. But the team said the most likely scenario was one in which the virus spilled over naturally from an animal into humans, such as from a bat to a small mammal that then infected a person.

The preliminary assessment came during a news conference that followed a two-week-long mission to Wuhan, the original center of the pandemic, which included 17 Chinese and 17 WHO experts. It comes more than a year after the virus first began spreading in China and around the globe, killing more than two million people.

Read more at the WSJ

Latest Chinese Vaccine News

The COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Cansino is 90.1% effective at preventing severe illness and 65.7% effective at preventing symptomatic cases, according to Pakistan’s health minister. The good news: it’s another single-shot vaccine, like J&J’s, which makes it easier than most to roll out. The bad news: like the other Chinese contenders, Sinopharm and Sinovac, Cansino has not published much data beyond flashy headline efficacy figures.

Read more at Fortune

Trade Deficit Hit Highest Point Since 2008 Last Year

The deficit between U.S. exports and imports hit a 12-year-high in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered supply chains around the world. Full-year results for 2020 showed a deficit of $678.7 billion, 17.7% more than 2019 and the highest full year deficit since 2008.

That’s despite a slight dip in the monthly deficit in December, which saw a trade deficit of $66.6 billion, down $2.4 billion from November’s $69.0 billion. Pending revisions to the December figures, November had the highest single-month trade deficit of the year, but December’s three-month moving average, $66.5 billion, was the highest deficit period of the year.

Read more at IndustryWeek

CBO: $15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Poverty, Cost Jobs

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would increase wages for at least 17 million people, put 1.4 million Americans out of work, and lift some 900,000 out of poverty, according to the nonpartisan CBO.

This higher federal minimum could raise wages for an additional 10 million workers who would otherwise make slightly above that wage rate, the study found.

Read more at NPR