Daily Update 89

Cuomo: 60,000 Tests in the Past 24 Hours With Fewer Than 1% Positive – New York Has Moved from the Worst COVID State to One of the Best.

The State performed 59,341 tests on June 16th, of which just 567 tests returned positive, which is less than 1% of all results. New York has gone from the highest infection rate to the lowest infection rate in the Nation. New York City COVID-19 positive tests have fallen during phase one of reopening. Positive tests dropped from 57% per day on April 1st, to 2% on June 8th, to 1.4% today. Hospitalizations have fallen for weeks from a peak of 12,000 to 1,280 on June 8th, to 761 today. The daily percent positive of all cases remains low in all boroughs in the City.

New York City is on track to enter phase two on Monday (6/22).

The Capital Region began phase three yesterday. Our Mid-Hudson region is on track to enter phase three on Tuesday (6/23). The Long Island region is on track to enter phase three on Wednesday (6/24). 

New York City specific guidelines for these industries can be found here.

Phase three guidelines are here

The regional dashboard is here

PPP – New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications Released

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.  

View the EZ Forgiveness Application.

View the Full Forgiveness Application.

Main Street Lending Program – More Details 

Council Associate Member and friend PKF O’Connor Davies Provides some further details on the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program.

The Federal Reserve announced on June 15, 2020 that lenders may begin registering to be an approved lender under the Main Street Lending Program (the Program). Once registered, the lenders will be allowed to offer loans under the Program. Previously, on June 8, 2020, the Federal Reserved announced changes to loan terms under the Program. The Federal Reserve’s purpose is to promote maximum employment, maintain steady prices, and support the stability of the financial system. The Program is being conducted under authority granted by the CARES Act. Businesses seeking loans under the Program would obtain them from approved lenders. The loans are generally available to commercial companies employing up to 15,000 workers or with 2019 annual revenues up to $5 billion.

Read more at PKF O’Connor Davies

Data: 37.7M workers at high risk for COVID-19

A Kaiser Family Foundation study found more than 90 million adults are at higher risk for serious health outcomes from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions or age. Almost 38 million of that cohort is employed — most of them full time — and likely face financial hardship preventing them from remaining absent from their job, if their employer wants them back.

“These data suggest employers should take into account the higher risk some workers will face, allowing them to work at home where possible, to be tested and to minimize their risks if they return to work,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement.

Read more at HealthCareDive

Pharma Groups to Ramp Up Output of Virus Drug Dexamethasone

Pharmaceutical companies are preparing to ramp up the mass production of a cheap generic drug that UK scientists say is the first treatment to significantly cut mortality in severe coronavirus patients.

Dexamethasone cut the death rates for patients receiving oxygen by one-fifth and it reduced the total 28-day virus mortality rate by 17 per cent, according to the UK trial.

Read more at the Financial Times

GM CEO Mary Barra ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ on Coronavirus Recovery, Consumer Demand

General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barra told CNBC on Wednesday she is “cautiously optimistic” about consumer demand returning as well as a global economic recovery as businesses continue to reopen following shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised how demand has come back,” she said in a “Squawk Box” interview. Barra said the company is “hopeful that we’ll have a strong recovery” overall but is planning for multiple scenarios “to make sure the company is strong from a business perspective and can weather any outcome.”

Read/watch at CNBC

Retail Sales Increase by a Record 18% – A Little Closer Look

U.S. retail sales posted their most impressive jump in May, suggesting that the recession caused by the pandemic might be ending. Retail sales jumped 17.7% last month, the biggest advance since the government started tracking the series in 1992 and data for April was revised to show a record 14.7% drop in sales instead of the previously reported 16.2%.  Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would rise 8% in May.

Bloomberg dives in on more specifics on May’s strong numbers:

  • Sales in the automotive sector—led by car truck dealerships—rose more than $30 billion from April, accounting for more than 40% of the overall retail sales increase.
  • Clothing retailers noticed the largest percentage increase in May—a stunning 188%….[But] sales are just a third of February’s level.

Read the Bloomberg Story

All Good Things…. Cuomo Will Hold Last COVID Briefing Friday

Governor Cuomo also announced he would stop his daily press briefings after this Friday (6/19) and move back to a similar schedule of briefings that was in place before COVID-19. We will continue to monitor his briefings and update you with any relevant information.