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Daily Update 86

Post: Jun. 15, 2020

Cuomo: Phased Reopening is Working

The governor announced that 3 more regions should enter phase 3 this coming week. He added that New York is progressing through the phased reopening without spiking infection rates unlike other states that have seen their infections rates increase since reopening. Nearly half of the states have reported an increasing number of COVID-19 cases and fourteen states have seen an increase of over 25% in the last week. New York has experienced a continued steady downward trend in new infections. The Governor said the State will continue a smart and disciplined re-opening to avoid a spike in new COVID-19 cases that other states who have re-opened too quickly are experiencing.

Read Saturday’s press release

Stock Futures Tumble on Virus Fears, Chinese Economic Data

Market participants continued to eye coronavirus cases across the country for signs of resurgences. New cases in the densely populated state of Florida grew faster than the past week’s average as of Sunday’s tally, according to Bloomberg data, and Washington State Department of Health issued a report warning of state-wide increases in the virus.

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow during CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday downplayed economic concerns posed by potential new waves of the coronavirus, saying, “There’s a very good chance you are going to get the V-shaped recovery,” and asserting growth would pick back up in the second half of the year. The remarks contrasted with some of the more cautionary outlooks from officials including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who last week underscored the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Kudlow also said the current $600-per-week unemployment payment paid out to some Americans who had lost their jobs during the pandemic as part of Washington’s sweeping coronavirus relief plan would end on schedule at the end of July, calling the program “a disincentive” for people to return to work.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

DiNapoli: A Look at New York’s Economy

“The current public health and economic crisis we are facing as a state, nation and world is something we have never dealt with before and it will continue to impact our state and local finances for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever we need partnership and communication between all levels of government. I renew my call for the federal government to provide financial assistance to the states and communities hit hard by COVID-19.

Despite the grim outlook, I remain optimistic for our future. We are New York Tough and I believe our resilience, as a state and nation, will pull us through these challenging times.”

A Look at New ‘s Economy from the Comptroller 0613 2020

PPP Flexibility Act – Interim Final Rules Provide Some Clarification, but Leave Important Questions Unanswered

Joshua Steele, attorney with our friends and Associate Members Harris Beach, writes that “the most significant element of the June 11 Interim Final Rules is the clarification it provides on the PPPFA’s requirement that borrowers must spend 60 percent of the PPP loan on covered payroll costs.  Originally, the April 2, 2020 Interim Final Rules indicated that 75 percent of the forgiveness amount of a PPP loan must be attributable to covered payroll costs.  In application, this meant that a borrower that failed to spend at least 75 percent of the loan amount on covered payroll cost would receive a reduced amount of forgiveness.  While the PPPFA lowered that percentage to 60 percent, it also included language indicating that: (1) the 60 percent requirement is based on the total loan amount, not the eligible forgiveness amount; and (2) failing to meet this 60 percent threshold would preclude a borrower from receiving any forgiveness, as opposed to simply resulting in a decrease in forgiveness.”

Read more at Harris Beach

Auto Makers’ Reopening Complicated by Worker Absences Amid Covid Cases

Auto makers are grappling with absent U.S. factory workers and Covid-19 cases at their reopened plants, complicating the companies’ efforts to recoup production lost to the pandemic.

The impact on output has been minimal as many plants aren’t yet operating at full capacity, the companies said. Still, the challenges have required auto makers to adjust shifts and add temporary workers. Such moves highlight the complexities businesses face upon reopening as they look to insulate their workplaces from potential outbreaks while restoring moneymaking operations after weeks of lockdown.

Read more at the WSJ

Best Practices from Ford’s Return to Work Handbook

Having a playbook is always the best strategy, so when Ford Motor Co. had to tackle reopening manufacturing plants they developed a very detailed playbook. The 64-page book, “Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook,” covers an expansive list of topics providing very specific instructions and documentation on how to keep workers safe.

 The workbook is also being given to Fords’ suppliers, business partners and third parties to ensure they are aware of the company’s health and safety practices when onsite at Ford facilities or interacting with Ford personnel. The company considers the playbook a working document that will change to reflect both regulatory guidance and industry practices as they evolve. 

Read the article at IndustryWeek

Read the playbook

A To-Do List for Restarting—and Rethinking—Plants Post COVID-19

While some global strategic consulting experts have already begun offering high-level suggestions on how industrials can operate in a post COVID-19 world, more hands-on advice is available, offering a realistic to-do list to run plants to their fullest potential under the conditions of less-available manpower.

However, being realistic does not mean avoiding the unique opportunity to challenge presuppositions on how plants are operated into the future. In the long run, 2020 presents a golden opportunity to come out of our cocoons and try an approach that is dramatically different in order to adequately navigate uncertain times.

Read more at IndustryWeek

CDC Guidance: Considerations for Events and Gatherings

The CDC has released guidance on large community gatherings and events. As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The advice is practical for anyone who is even planning a graduation or family birthday.

Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Because COVID-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.

The guidance can be found here

Deeper Dive: the Economist on The Future of Cities Focusing On NYC and How the Virus Wears Down the Body (Podcast)

Workers and firms have continued to pile into cities like New York, even as travel and telecommuting have become easier, because there is so much to be gained by proximity to other human beings, especially when it comes to the “knowledge economy” reliant on highly skilled, highly educated and highly productive workers.

Read more at The Economist

Slavea Chankova and Kenneth Cukier investigate the ways in which SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes covid-19, wears the body down. Apart from pneumonia, there are other facets to the disease that are less understood such as damage to the kidneys, blood vessels and heart. And, how does covid-19 continue to harm the body—and patients’ mental health— in the long term? Runtime: 26 min.

Listen at the Economist