Daily Briefing – 248

COVID Update

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Sunday February 21st. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 5,804
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 605

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,168
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 385

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .80
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.52%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.22

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update

As of 11AM Saturday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 2,406,535 first doses and already administered 93 percent or 2,228,283 first dose vaccinations. In total the state has administered and 90 percent of first and second doses (3,384,153) of the 3,743,810 received. In the Mid-Hudson Region a cumulative total of 352,475 first and second doses have been distributed, 287,559 administered (82 percent). 

The week 10 allocation from the federal government was been delayed due to winter storms impacting much of the country but the remaining week 10 deliveries are arriving today and over the next few days. The week 11 allocation will begin arriving mid-week.

US Vaccination Rollout – Urgency to Ramp Up Vaccination Clashes with Biden’s Equity Focus

The race to vaccinate as many people as possible while more contagious coronavirus variants march across America is colliding with lagging efforts to steer shots to people of color and underserved communities bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

Though the Biden administration has prioritized equitable vaccine distribution, putting that goal into practice is difficult. Local public health officials are under pressure to quickly distribute their limited supplies and reach high-risk groups first in line. So far, limited data continues to show that people in hard-hit minority communities are getting vaccinated at a much slower pace than people in wealthier white ones.

Read more at Politico

India Will Prioritize Vaccine Production For Domestic Use

The Serum Institute of India will prioritize India itself before making more vaccines for the rest of the world. That’s a big deal, because the Serum Institute is one of the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturers, and its output (it has a licensing deal with AstraZeneca) is critical for developing economies during the pandemic.

In June 2020, the Serum Institute struck a deal with firm AstraZeneca to manufacture 1 billion doses of the British pharmaceutical firm’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has demonstrated efficacy rates between 62% and 90% in Phase III clinical trials. From the start of the partnership, the Serum Institute pledged to share the vaccines with non-wealthy nations.

Read more at Fortune

Also from Fortune – Will Vaccine Prevent a Person From Being Infectious?

One of the biggest questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccines from the likes of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca is whether or not, and to what extent, they can prevent actual transmission of the coronavirus rather than just making someone less sick if they do contract it (the latter an important goal itself). We’re beginning to get more answers to that crucial query—and the early findings are promising. 

Read more at Fortune

Manufacturing Economy Report: Retail Sales, European Activity, Housing and More

Retail spending soared 5.3% in January, boosted by new stimulus payments enacted at year’s end and ending three straight months of declines. Indeed, retail sales weakness in the fourth quarter of 2020 helped lead to passage of additional relief. Excluding gasoline and motor vehicles, retail spending increased 6.1% in January.

In Europe, manufacturing activity expanded at the strongest pace in three years, even as raw material prices rose at rates not seen since April 2011, and the services sector contracted sharply for the sixth straight month due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

Monday Economic Report 0222 2021

McKinsey Report: Virus May Cause 100M Workers to Seek New Careers

More than 100 million workers across the world’s top eight economies may be forced to change occupations by 2030 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday. This would add up to one in 16 workers having to change jobs in China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated globally trending changes in the workplace, prompting consultant firm McKinsey & Company to raise its prediction for how many workers will likely need to switch jobs in the top eight economies by 12 percent.  

Read more at The Hill 

Here’s What’s in the House Democrats’ Stimulus Relief Plan 

The House Budget Committee Friday released the Democrats’ massive coronavirus relief package, pulling together President Joe Biden’s stimulus proposal into a 591-page bill.  The Committee is expected to consider the legislation, which is based off measures approved by at least nine committees, on Monday. The full House may pass the legislation this week, but it could face hurdles in the Senate. Already, two Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — have voiced opposition to one element of the plan, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Much of the Bill seems beyond the definition of COVID Relief.  

How Companies Can Continue Supporting Employee Mental Health

According to the Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, published on February 19, 2021, there’s positive news on the state of workers’ mental health for the first time in the past year. The index shows vast improvements but still cause for concern. Stress, negativity and general anxiety risks have taken a positive turn at the beginning of 2021. By the end of January, employees’ stress and risk of general anxiety dropped down to pre-pandemic levels. Resilience and social connectivity climbed back to positive levels not seen since before February 2020.

Data comparing December 2020 to January 2021 revealed a notable decline in risk of depression (down 30%) and PTSD (down 25%) along with a considerable increase in sustained attention (up 21%). These statistics, while encouraging, belie the mental health crisis that remains. Risk of depression and PTSD and sustained attention levels remain alarmingly worse than before Covid-19

Read more at Forbes