Daily Briefing – 250

COVID Update – Positivity Continues To Decline

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday February 23nd.   

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 5,876
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 611

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,278
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 402

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .80
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.36%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.18

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update – Eligible New Yorkers Can Begin Making Appointments at State-FEMA Vaccination Sites in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Yonkers

The  sites are scheduled to open on Wednesday, March 3 in the four cities. The four vaccination sites will operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily and each site has the capacity to administer 1,000 doses per day. 

As of 11 am Wednesday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 2,812,900 first doses and administered 89 percent or 2,517,003 first dose vaccinations. In total the state has administered and 86 percent of first and second doses (3,907,040) of the 4,530,640 received. In the Mid-Hudson Region a cumulative total of 446,000 first and second doses have been distributed, 358,896 administered (80 percent). 

US Vaccination Rollout – 82.1 Million Doses Delivered

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday about 44.5 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 19.9 million people who have been fully vaccinated. The federal government has delivered about 82.1 million doses to states, territories and federal agencies.

Figures show the date shots were reported, rather than the date shots were given.

Visit the interactive New York Times vaccine rollout site

The House Rules Committee COVID-19 Bill Text Has Spending Measures Far Exceeding the Agreed to  $1.9 Trillion Price Tag 

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday released new text of the COVID-19 relief bill, adding spending measures that far exceed the $1.9 trillion price tag planned for the bill.  The full House is expected to vote on the COVID-19 relief package on Friday, but the bill will need to be changed to hit the $1.9 trillion limit to move through the Senate under special budgetary rules that are being used to avoid a Senate filibuster.

The Rules measure includes spending on foreign aid, tribal assistance and the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology that will raise the price well above $1.9 trillion. The biggest point of contention in the measure is language that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. It’s not clear if that can be included in the package under the requirements for using the special budgetary rules avoiding a Senate filibuster.

Read more a The Hill

COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Tell Congress U.S. Supply will Soon Surge 

Executives from Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson – speaking at a hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives – said they would be able to supply enough vaccine to have fully inoculated 130 million people in the United States by the end of March.  The drugmakers also reaffirmed their commitments to supply more than enough doses necessary to vaccinate all Americans by the end of July.

Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young said it was plausible that there could be a surplus of vaccine in the United States sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Read more at Reuters

J&J’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is Safe and Effective, FDA Says, Paving Way for Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine works safely, paving the way for the approval of a third vaccine in the U.S. as early as this weekend. The vaccine was 66.1% effective in preventing moderate to severe disease and appeared safe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday, and the shot also showed tantalizing signs of slowing the spread of the virus.

The J&J vaccine involves only one shot, a factor that also may ease the logistics of delivering doses. The shot also doesn’t require ultracold temperatures, meaning that sites without expensive freezers can start vaccinations.

Read more at the WSJ

NAM “This is Our Shot” Has Resources For Manufacturers To Communicate With Employees

Hey manufacturers – this IS OUR shot.  We developed it and we are producing it – and soon we will be able to receive it on a large enough scale to end the COVID threat to our families, our friends, and our families. 

Now that vaccines for COVID‑19 are available, getting manufacturers—and more Americans—to receive their shot is one of the most important steps toward ending the pandemic and powering recovery and renewal. To accomplish this essential mission, the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM—are providing the resources below to ensure that manufacturers, their teams and their communities know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and available.

Visit the page and view the resources

Ghana is First Nation in World to Receive COVAX Vaccines

A shipment of covid-19 jabs from COVAX—a global vaccine-sharing initiative—arrived in Ghana, making it the first recipient of the scheme. Ghana received 600,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot, produced by the Serum Institute of India, after officials proved that the country had sufficient infrastructure to ensure quick distribution. Shipments to other west African countries are expected to follow.

Read more at the AP

Pfizer, Moderna Vow to Ramp Up COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery

The US could have 3 million available COVID-19 vaccine doses per day by April, based on numbers shared by major vaccine makers in a House committee hearing Tuesday. Pfizer said it plans to boost its delivery capacity to more than 13 million doses per week by mid-March, while Moderna expects to increase its supply capacity to more than 40 million doses per month by April.

Read more at Politico

Rival Drugmakers Team Up To Make More Covid-19 Vaccines

Normally big pharmaceutical companies compete to sell cancer, arthritis and other drugs. The desperate need for Covid-19 vaccines, however, is turning fierce industry competitors into fast pandemic friends. “This is a time when the pharma companies are saying, ‘We’ll go back to fighting when this is over. We’ll take you to the cleaners and maybe drive you to bankruptcy, but right now we need to be working together,’” said James Bruno, who consults for drug companies.

The collaborations, along with the authorization of newer vaccines and fine-tuning by the vaccine makers themselves, could help significantly boost global output, as health authorities scramble to vaccinate people amid the threat of emerging variants that may increase spread of the virus.

Read more at the WSJ

Events Up to 150 People Can Be Held Beginning March 15th – With Restrictions

Governor Cuomo announced Monday that as New York’s hospitalization and COVID-19 infection rates continue to decline, New York is issuing guidance to begin re-opening additional sectors of the economy. Specifically, billiard halls statewide and movie theaters in New York City are now permitted to re-open. Additionally, guidance is also being released for weddings and catered events which are scheduled to resume on March 15.