Our Blog

Daily Briefing – 242

Post: Jan. 28, 2021

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday January 27th. 

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

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  8,520
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 32%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  1,046
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 40%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,877
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4,393
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  687
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  426
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 37%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .91
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 5.34%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 5.80

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update

New York’s Vaccine Tracker was, as of 9:00 p.m. last night, unchanged from Wednesday morning. the numbers below are the same as reported yesterday. 

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%)

US Vaccine Update

The US has now administered more than half of the distributed vaccine doses. As of Tuesday the  CDC reported 41.42 million vaccine doses distributed and 22.73 million doses administered (54.9%%), including 2.71 million administered in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). In total, 19.25 million people have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and 3.35 million have received both doses. The US is now averaging 1.13 million doses administered per day, an increase of 35% compared to this time last week. The breakdown of doses by manufacturer remains relatively even, with slightly more Pfizer/BioNTech doses administered (12.55 million; 55%) than Moderna (10.08 million; 45%).

Read more at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Fauci: COVID Vaccines Can Be Easily Adapted to New Variants

Pfizer and Moderna’s current Covid-19 vaccines can be easily adapted to target new strains of the virus, something the drugmakers are already working on, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.

New strains of the coronavirus have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil that have given scientists some cause for concern. Although it’s no surprise the virus is mutating, researchers are quickly trying to determine what the changes might mean for recently developed lifesaving vaccines and treatments against the disease.

Read more at CNBC

N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says

In the 76-page report released by the attorney general, Letitia James, a survey of nursing homes found consistent discrepancies between deaths reported to the attorney general’s investigators and those officially released by the Health Department. The attorney general accused the Cuomo administration of undercounting coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50 percent, according to a report released on Thursday.

The count of deaths in state nursing homes has been a source of controversy for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state Health Department officials, who have been sensitive to any suggestion that they played any role in the number of nursing home deaths, which the state put at more than 8,500 but the AG said could be as high as 13,000. 

Read more at the New York Times

Gross Domestic Product Rose 4.0% in Q4

Fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy, adjusted for seasonality and inflation—grew at a 4% annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. That joined a record 33.4% annual rate of growth in third quarter to further reduce losses from earlier in the pandemic.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic output, slowed considerably in the fourth quarter compared with the prior quarter. Continued strength in corporate and residential housing investment, however, has helped set the economy up “for what could be a really good 2021,” said James Knightley, an economist at ING Financial Markets LLC.

Read more at the WSJ

U.S. Unemployment Claims Fell Last Week

New jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, dropped to 847,000 in the week ended Jan. 23, down from a revised 914,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. New York had 64,793 initial claims. Only to Illinois (108,808) and Kansas (82,944) had more. 

Weekly numbers can be volatile, particularly around holidays. The 4-week moving average was 868,000 last week, the highest level since September, and an increase of 16,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

Read more at The Hill

US Employers are Positive About Productivity, Raises

An Indeed survey finds 92% of US employers say they think their workers have “pulled together to weather the crisis,” 73% are optimistic about workforce productivity and 54% are hopeful about increasing employee salaries this year. In addition, 27% of employers intend to “hire at higher volumes” in 2021 and 46% say their leadership teams have “greater awareness” regarding “the challenges of balancing caregiving” with work.

Read more at TechRepublic

Boeing Reports Record Annual Loss – Delays 777X

Boeing Co. reported its largest-ever annual loss and took a big financial hit on its newest jetliner, signs that the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding the aerospace giant’s problems.

The plane maker said the new 777X, its largest passenger jet, would be at least three years late for airline customers, the latest Boeing plane to hit trouble following the grounding of the 737 MAX after two fatal accidents. Quality problems with its popular 787 Dreamliner jet have halted deliveries since October.

Read more at Reuters

Biden Suspends Oil and Gas Leasing in Slew of Executive Actions on Climate Change

Biden’s orders direct the secretary of the Interior Department to halt new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters, and begin a thorough review of existing permits for fossil fuel development.  
In addition to the pause on leasing, Biden will direct the federal government to conserve 30% of federal lands and water by 2030 and find ways to double offshore wind production by that time.

The series of actions kick off the president’s agenda to reduce the country’s emissions and establish stricter targets under the Paris climate accord, the landmark agreement by nearly 200 nations aimed to mitigate climate change. 

Read more at CNBC

Biden Signs Executive Orders to Reopen Obamacare Enrollment

Biden signed an executive order for the Department of Health and Human Services to reopen insurance enrollment on HealthCare.gov from Feb. 15 through May 15, giving a new coverage opportunity to Americans who lost their jobs and employer-based insurance during the pandemic. The annual open enrollment for the plans ended in December in most states.

Nearly 9 million uninsured Americans could get free or subsidized health insurance through the special enrollment period, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health research organization.

Read more at USA Today