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Daily Briefing – 241

Post: Jan. 27, 2021

Vaccine Update

 As yesterday morning, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,304,050 first doses and already administered 96 percent or 1,246,946 first dose vaccinations and 77 percent of first and second doses. The week 7 allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers for administration. 

In the Mid-Hudson Region 179,475 FIRST and SECOND doses have been distributed, 126,191 have been administered (70%)

Orange Zone and Most Yellow Zone Restrictions Lifted

NYS is making modifications to the micro-clusters. All Orange Zone restrictions, and some Yellow Zone restrictions, have been lifted statewide—including all cluster zones in Western New York. The Yellow Zones that remain are in Newburgh and in New York City (two in the Bronx, one in Queens, and one in Washington Heights).

Yellow Zone restrictions, which include mandatory weekly testing of a portion of students and faculty at schools, remain in place in those zones. Statewide limits remain the same—a 33 percent cap on gym occupancy, a limit on private gatherings of 10 people, a 50 percent cap of occupancy in retail establishments— masks are still required in public when social distancing is not possible to maintain. 

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update 

Governor Cuomo held a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday January 26th. The Governor also announced additional cases of the UK variant have been found in Long Island, New York City, Westchester, Saratoga, Tompkins, Niagara, Onondaga, Essex and Warren Counties, bringing the statewide total to 42 cases. 

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

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  8,771
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 32%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  1,056
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 40%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,900
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4,393
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  695
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  445
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 37%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .91
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 5.44%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 6.50

Useful Websites:



NAM Launches “This is Our Shot” Vaccine Resource Page

The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute are launching the “This Is Our Shot” project today, an initiative to encourage manufacturing team members, their families and their communities to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The project is live at NAM.org/ThisIsOurShot, where our members can find the latest resources on the importance of getting vaccinated, vaccine safety, vaccine distribution and how to talk about vaccines. T It includes six main components: (1) science-based messaging research; (2) emergency industry convening and education, such as webinars; (3) an online vaccine information hub; (4) PSA campaign; (5) Yellow and Red Ribbon initiative (for vaccinated individuals to show their peers they’re a part of the fight); and (6) a rapid response media and digital campaign.

Visit the site at NAM.org

Fed Interest Rates

In a policy statement released after a two-day meeting, The Federal Reserve said “The pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic.”

The Fed has set short-term interest rates near zero, launched a bond-purchase program of $120 billion per month, and said it will keep stimulative measures in place until its goals of lower unemployment and 2% inflation are achieved. They think the economy will bounce back later this year as vaccines are more widely distributed and begin to bring the deadly coronavirus pandemic under control. That, in their estimation, would allow restaurants, hotels, airlines and other businesses to begin moving back toward operating at full capacity.

Read more at the WSJ

Biden Orders OSHA to Issue New COVID-19 Guidance

One day after he was inaugurated, President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to labor unions by ordering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to begin the process of developing COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for employers.

If OSHA chooses to issue ETS—something that it is generally expected to do—the standards would take effect immediately and last no longer than six months, unless they are eventually adopted as a permanent standard

Read more at EHS Today

House Democrats Introduce $15 Minimum Wage Measure

Democrats introduced legislation in the House Tuesday that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15, but Republicans are expected to oppose the bill. A 2019 Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the increase would ultimately move 1.3 million Americans above the poverty level, but it also would result in an equal number of job losses.

Read more at NBC News

December Unemployment Up in Hudson Valley

Unemployment inched up in all Hudson Valley counties in December 2020, the State Labor Department reported.  New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% in November to 8.2% in December 2020.

Unemployment Rate Rank Releasable DEC 2020

Stewart Cargo Tonnage Reaches New Levels

In the first 10 months of 2020, the most current data compiled by the Port Authority, cargo tonnage has skyrocketed, said Michael Torelli, the airport’s business director, who briefed the Stewart Airport Commission virtually on Tuesday. “Through October we have already broken any record that we had at Stewart for tonnage with still two months to go,” he said.  When you add up cargo and mail shipped, a total of 47,788 tons have flowed through Stewart, the most ever in a 10-month period.

Passenger traffic, meanwhile, is down 86.7 percent.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News

U.S. Consumer Confidence Edges Higher

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased to a reading of 89.3 this month from 87.1 in December. The slight gain likely reflected nearly $900 billion in additional pandemic relief provided by the government at the end of December, which lifted consumers’ near-term expectations.

The survey’s present situation measure, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, fell to a reading of 84.4 from 87.2 in December. The expectations index based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions increased to 92.5 from a reading of 87.0 in December, suggesting households foresee conditions improving in the near term. The cut-off date for the survey was Jan. 14. 

Read more at Reuters

Cutting-Tool Orders Took Another -10% Drop

U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers purchased $151.3 million worth of cutting tools during November 2020, dropping -9.9% from the October purchase volume and -20.0% from the November 2019 level. For the 11 months from January to November 2020, U.S. cutting-tool orders totaled $1.7 billion, or -22.7% less than the comparable figure for 2019.

The data is compiled by AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology and the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute in their jointly issued Cutting Tool Market Report. The CTMR presents cutting-tool consumption as an indicator of overall manufacturing activity, as cutting tools are used in production of components used by virtually every industrial sector.

Read more at American Machinist

Hudson Valley Counties Authorize Higher-Risk Sports to Proceed, Effective Feb. 1st

The Hudson Valley region has reviewed the updated “Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,” dated January 22, 2021 published by New York State. Following discussion with the New York State Association of County Health Officials, regional County Executives, and area public health officials, the Hudson Valley region will authorize “Higher-Risk” sports — both scholastic and non-scholastic — to proceed, effective February 1st, 2021, at the sole discretion of the governing school district or non-scholastic athletic organization. These activities include, but are not limited to, football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, contact lacrosse, volleyball, martial arts, and competitive cheer/dance. In accordance with the state guidance, county health departments in the region will also monitor whether there has been a more-transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area, as well as the percent of local residents that test positive.

Read more and view the guidelines