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Daily Briefing – 292

Post: Apr. 26, 2021

In Person Capacities Increase for New York Outdoor Events and More

Governor Cuomo yesterday announced that spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 percent beginning May 19. This increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other State health and safety protocols remain in effect.

The Governor also announced that capacities would be increased throughout several industries that have proven to safely reopen in accordance with the State’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Starting May 15:

  • Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity.
  • Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25% to 50% capacity.
  • Offices will increase from 50% to 75% capacity. 

Read the press release

Vaccine Hesitancy Poses Risk to Herd Immunity, U.S. Health Officials Say

Top health officials warned that vaccine hesitancy posed a risk to getting enough Americans inoculated to stop the spread of Covid-19, and they encouraged individuals to get vaccinated.

“If we’re going to be able to put Covid-19 behind us, we need to have all Americans take part in getting us to that point,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Read more at the WSJ

NYS Vaccine Update

As of Monday morning 8,847,020 (plus 47,302 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 6,270,033 are fully vaccinated (Plus 68,803).  In the Hudson Valley 941,216  (plus 7,064) have at least one dose and 640,830 (plus 9,223) are fully vaccinated. 


The Governor  updated COVID data through Sunday April 25th.  There were 41 COVID related deaths. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 3,174
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 315

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,001
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 385

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 2.13%
  • Mid-Hudson: 2.47%

Useful Websites:

US Vaccine Rollout – The End of U.S. Mass Vaccination Is Coming Sooner Than Later

After three months of vaccination across the U.S., a majority of American adults have gotten shots, and the effort will soon shift from mass inoculation to mop-up. 

As of Saturday, 138.6 million people in the U.S. have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot. About 1.3 million more are getting a first dose every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost all of those who get a first dose are likely to get their second. On top of that, more than 80% of people age 60 or over — the most vulnerable group — have had a dose and will likewise complete vaccination.

That may be sufficient, at least to see a significant impact on U.S. caseloads. The U.S. is currently about where Israel’s vaccine campaign was in mid-February, three weeks before cases there began to plunge. (Israel has, in total, vaccinated just under 60% of its population.

Read More at Bloomberg

US Agrees To Export COVID Vaccine Raw Materials To India, Lifts Embargo Amid Rising Cases

As India battles the devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic with the nation clocking more than 300,000 cases every day and making a new high in single day spike of COVID-19 infections, the US government has decided to lift the export ban on the essential raw materials required by the vaccine manufacturer in India for production of COVID-19 vaccine.

“The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India. To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India,” the statement read.

Read more at Republicworld.com

2020 Census: Slowest Population Growth Since Great Depression, NY Loses Congressional Seat

The U.S. population has increased by 7.4% since the last Census, to a total of 331,449,281 people. That’s a slower growth rate than recorded in 2010 and the second slowest growth rate in Census history.

In total, seven seats shifted affecting 13 states. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon each gained one seat in addition to Texas. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each lost one seat. The shift could affect the 2022 midterm elections and whether Democrats can hold onto control of the House, where they hold a narrow majority. It’s also part of a broader shift to the South and West of the U.S., with 84 seats shifting toward those states since 1940.

Read more at USA Today

U.S. to Export Entire AstraZeneca Vaccine Supply after Clearing Safety Regs

The U.S. will share its entire supply of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines with world nations once the shot is approved by federal safety regulators, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told the Associated Press on Monday.

The U.S. is expected to produce up to 60 million AstraZeneca doses that can be exported in the coming months. The news comes as coronavirus spread continues to ravage large nations including India and Brazil.

Read more at National Review

SUNY New Paltz Expects Mostly in-Person Classes in Fall

College President Donald Christian said vaccinations have helped in the decision-making process. “We are planning to have the great majority of our courses be on-campus and face-to-face, greater fill rate of our residence halls,” he said. “The vaccines that are now available and that people are taking advantage of will make a great difference for us.”

Christian also said the college is awaiting CDC guidelines about the possible lessening of distancing between students from six feet to three feet like what has been approved for K-12 schools. That, he said, will make a great difference in classroom capacity.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News

Steel Output Rising, but Slowly in US

Worldwide production increased 15.2% year-over-year in March and is 10.0% higher year-to-date, but the domestic industry’s output is up just 1.0% year-over-year — and is down -6.3% through Q1 2021.

Steel production worldwide is dominated by the Chinese industry, which produces well over half of all the raw steel in any given month. For March, China’s steelmakers produced 94.0 million metric tons, +19.1% more than their comparable total for March 2020. Through the first quarter of 2021, Chinese raw-steel output totaled 271 million metric tons, or 15.6% more than last year’s January-March total.

Read more at American Machinist

U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Rebound Following Dip

New orders for durable goods—products designed to last at least three years, such as computers and machinery—increased 0.5% to a seasonally adjusted $256.3 billion in March when compared with February, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Orders have increased 10 out of the last 11 months. Low business and retail inventories have translated to increased demand for manufacturers for much of the past year. But supply-chain issues continue to constrain production and delay some shipments.

Read more at the WSJ

Second Chance Business Coalition Launches

The Business Roundtable and a host of its members, including everyone from Visa and JPMorgan to Microsoft and Walmart, have launched the Second Chance Business Coalition that’s aimed at “providing employment opportunities to individuals with a criminal record, supporting their reentry into the workforce and improving equity in employment.”

Visit the program site

Measuring Financial Hardship In the Hudson Valley

The ALICE project by United for ALICE identifies households that are struggling financially but not usually captured by traditional measures of poverty such as the federal poverty level. “ALICE” is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. ALICE households represent working families who earn enough that they have limited eligibility for government assistance, but are still struggling to afford basic living essentials.

In the Hudson Valley, Greene County has the highest percentage of ALICE households and the second highest percentage of households in poverty. On the other end of the spectrum, Putnam county has the highest percentage of households that are neither ALICE households nor in poverty.

Read more at Pattern for Progress

Companies Should be Worried about Retention in the Second Half of 2021

Instead of doubling down on productivity in the second half of 2021, companies should consider easing up pressure on employees who have been going full speed for over a year, lest they lose them to other jobs or quitting without anything lined up, writes Lara Hogan. “What’s more risky: losing the people you’ve invested in and needing to start up a lengthy hiring and onboarding process which will cost you a ton of time, or slowing down the pace and creating more breathing room?” she writes.

Read more at Lara Hogan