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Daily Briefing – 297

Post: May. 3, 2021

Governors Cuomo, Murphy and Lamont Announce Easing Of COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions on Businesses, Gatherings and Venues

  • Effective May 19, most business capacities—which are currently based upon percentage of maximum occupancy—will be removed in New York and New Jersey. Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. 
  • In New York beginning May 10, the outdoor social gathering limit will increase from 200 to 500 people. Beginning May 19, the indoor social gathering limit will increase from 100 to 250 people. 
  • The outdoor residential gathering limit of 25 people will be removed, reverting to the social gathering limit of 500 people with space for appropriate social distancing, and the indoor residential gathering limit will increase from 10 to 50 people. 
  • Starting May 19, large-scale indoor event venues will operate at 30 percent capacity, which is an increase from the current 10 percent capacity limit. Large-scale outdoor event venues will operate at 33 percent. Social distancing, masks, and other applicable health protocols will still apply, including the requirement of attendee proof of full vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test result.

NYS Vaccine Update 

As of Monday morning 9,307,6551 (plus 28,004 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 7,019,594 are fully vaccinated (Plus64,493).  In the Hudson Valley 985,102 (plus 2,335) have at least one dose and 711,987 (plus 6,110) are fully vaccinated. 

NYS COVID Update – Vaccines Driving Down Infections

Governor Cuomo yesterday that the numbers are declining as we make progress fighting this pandemic and as vaccination rates go up.

The Governor  updated COVID data through Saturday May 2nd  There were 37 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,088. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,539
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 253

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 3,900
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 402

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 1.79%
  • Mid-Hudson: 1.77%

Useful Websites:

US Vaccine Rollout – Daily Doses Administered Continues to Decrease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday about 147 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 104.8 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Providers are administering about 2.42 million doses per day on average, about a 29 percent decrease from the peak of 3.38 million reported on April 13.

Read More at The New York Times

FDA expected to approve Pfizer vaccine for ages 12-15 this week

The FDA could expand COVID vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds as early as this week. Health experts say any day now, the agency is expected to authorize Pfizer’s drug for that younger age group. The decision would allow middle school students and all high school students to get the shots.

Pfizer says clinical trials showed the vaccine was, “100% effective for 12 to 15-year-olds” that have that good immunity. If authorized, that age group may start receiving the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

Read more Yahoo News

U.S. to Restrict Travel from India Effective Today

The Biden administration will restrict travel from India as that country grapples with a gigantic surge in coronavirus cases, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. The policy will take effect Tuesday, May 4, Psaki said in a statement. The administration made the decision on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she said.

India reported record daily death tolls from Covid on Wednesday and Thursday. The country is averaging about 3,050 Covid deaths per day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, though media reports indicate the official figure is being understated.

Read more at CNBC

Next Generation of Covid-19 Vaccines Could Be Pill or Spray

These newer vaccines, from U.S. government labs and companies including Sanofi SA, Altimmune Inc. and Gritstone Oncology Inc., also have the potential to provide longer-lasting immune responses and be more potent against newer and multiple viral variants, possibly helping to head off future pandemics, the companies say.

New vaccines could “constitute some improvement” over those limitations and more easily accommodate vaccination efforts in rural areas, said Gregory Poland, professor and vaccine researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “You will see second-generation, third-generation vaccines,” he said.

Read more at the WSJ

ISM: Manufacturing Economic Activity Increases in April

The manufacturing economy grew in April and the overall economy showed an 11th consecutive month of growth, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The April PMI of 60.7% was four percentage points lower than the March reading of 64.7% but well above the 50% level that indicates a generally expanding economy. 

While the report projected strong economic activity among manufacturers, survey members expressed a number of concerns.

“Survey committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing rates of demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts limiting availability of parts and materials,” Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said. “Recent record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices are continuing to affect all segments of the manufacturing economy. Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to part shortages, and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues that limit manufacturing-growth potential.”

Read more at IndustryWeek

Do Manufacturers Need to Create Better Jobs?

For the National Fund for Workforce Solutions the answer is “yes.”  The organization works with a network of 30 collaboratives across the country in an effort to improve both business practices and public policies that strengthens the workforce. It also funds specific programs and companies.

Read the four solutions they employ  to advance workforce strategies at IndustryWeek

US Steel Ends Plans for $1.5B Pennsylvania Plant Upgrades

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. said Friday that it is canceling a $1.5 billion project to bring a state-of-the-art improvement to its Mon Valley Works operations in western Pennsylvania, saying the world has changed in the two years since it announced its intentions. Project permits initially stalled by the pandemic never came through, U.S. Steel has added capacity elsewhere, and now it must shift its focus to its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 2050, it said.

The loss of what would have been one of the largest industrial investments in Pennsylvania quickly led to recriminations by Pittsburgh-area politicians, labor unions and business organizations over why the project could never secure permits. Some worried it will diminish the future of steelmaking there.

Read more at the AP

EU Pushes to Ease Travel Restrictions 

The European Union’s executive arm recommended welcoming tourists from countries with relatively low infection rates as well as those who are fully vaccinated. The European Commission’s new travel proposals require approval from member states. A Commission official said he was hopeful they would be adopted by the end of this month.

The new parameters would replace a current blanket ban for non-essential travel to the EU for residents of all but a handful of countries that has been in place for more than a year. The bloc is working on the introduction of a vaccine passport system.

Read more at Bloomberg

OSHA COVID-19 ETS Coming Soon

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) will issue Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that employers will be expected to adhere to regarding COVID-19 in the workplace.  It is estimated that the ETS will be published no later than June.

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh was believed to have held up the OSHA standards because the “emergency” they were designed to address no longer exists. Walsh said he suspended the rules’ issuance because the proposed standard did not “reflect the latest scientific analysis of the state of the disease.” It is not known why the change of mind occurred.

Read more at EHS Today