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Dily Briefing – 271

Post: Mar. 25, 2021

COVID Update 

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

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,600
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 549

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,218
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 408

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.37%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.74%

Useful Websites:

State Lawmakers Reach Deal to Legalize Marijuana

After years of false starts, New York state lawmakers said Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by adults starting next year. State Sen. Liz Krueger said lawmakers were finalizing a bill that would create a new state regulator for cannabis products and decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. New Yorkers will be allowed to cultivate marijuana for personal use and the state will study a new system for determining whether drivers are inebriated because of marijuana use, she said.

The bill is set to be taken up next week by the state Assembly and Senate, lawmakers said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has proposed legalizing marijuana in the state budget that is due by next week. He put marijuana legalization into his budget proposals in 2019 and 2020, but it was taken out after disagreements with Democrats who dominate the state Assembly and Senate.

Read more at the WSJ

NYS Vaccine Update – 14.6% of New Yorkers Fully Vaccinated

Governor Cuomo announced that for the first time more than 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered over a 24-hour period in New York State. 202,123 doses have been administered in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. 27.5% of New Yorkers have at least one dose, 14.6% are completely vaccinated.

As of 11 am Tuesday 5,496,075 (plus 122,121 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 2,920,527 are fully vaccinated (Plus 90,351).  In the Hudson Valley 546,113 (plus 13,857) have at least one dose and 258,584 (plus 6,792) are fully vaccinated. 

U.S. Update – Cases Hit 30 Million – Vaccines 95 Million – as Infections Rise in Most States

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States was nearing the 30 million mark Thursday as new infections continued to trend upward in a majority of states despite an escalating vaccination campaign. Cases rose by 4 percent nationwide over the past week with states such as Michigan, Colorado and Connecticut all reporting spikes of more than 30 percent, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. 

At least 85.5 million people have received one or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States. More than 546,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the country, out of almost 30 million confirmed cases.

Read more at the Washington Post

NAM Webinar: Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Communications: Do’s and Don’ts

We know manufacturers are working hard to communicate effectively with their teams about the need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of our “This Is Our Shot” project, the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute continue rolling out resources to support these efforts. And next up: 

  • What: Webinar on Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Communications: Do’s and Don’ts
  • When: Wednesday, March 31, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT
  • Who: Ann Christiano, Director, Center for Public Interest Communications, University of Florida

Register here

India Delays Big Exports of AstraZeneca Shot, Including to COVAX, as Infections Surge

India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine-maker, to meet domestic demand as infections rise, two sources told Reuters.The move will also affect supplies to the GAVI/WHO-backed global COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, through which 64 lower-income countries are supposed to get doses from SII, the program’s procurement and distributing partner UNICEF told Reuters.

There have been no vaccine exports from India since Thursday, the foreign ministry’s website shows, as the country expands its own immunization effort.

Read more at Reuters

AstraZeneca Revises Vaccine Efficacy Down to 76% After Criticism of U.S. Trial Data

Following U.S. criticism of the data it provided from its local trials, AstraZeneca has revised the efficacy rate of its vaccine down from 79% to 76% (which is still really good as vaccines go, but not the 90+% being touted by BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik V.) For people over 65, the efficacy rate actually increased from 80% to 85%.

The latest twist created another layer of uncertainty for a product already facing dwindling public support in Europe following months of confusion and missteps. The data kerfuffle may delay the shot’s ability to win U.S. regulatory clearance, although it will likely still play a crucial role in curbing the global pandemic.

Read more at Fortune

Ship in a Bottleneck: The Suez Canal

The ship that has completely blocked the Suez Canal remains stuck in place. While operations to free the channel continue today, the best chance to move the vessel may not come until Sunday or Monday when the tides are highest. The blockage is halting $9.6 billion a day of traffic, and the knock-on effects of closing one of the world’s most important transit points is likely to worsen for ships carrying everything from crude oil to cement to live animals. 

Read more at Bloomberg

IHS Markit: U.S. Factory Activity Picks Up in March; Cost Pressures Building

U.S. factory activity picked up in early March amid strong growth in new orders, but supply chain disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to exert cost pressures for manufacturers, which could keep inflation fears in focus. Data firm IHS Markit said on Wednesday its flash U.S. manufacturing PMI increased to 59 in the first half of this month from a final reading 58.6 in February, when activity took a step back after a cold snap hit large parts of the country.

Britain’s overall PMI was also strong, at 56.6.

Read more at Reuters

Deloitte: CFOs Express Increased Optimism and Expectations for Economic Growth

CFOs’ outlooks appear to be improving overall and shifting upward for key operating metrics, with the exception of earnings growth. Despite myriad internal and external risks, including the well-being of talent, ongoing concerns over the pandemic, and the potential for increased taxes, CFOs have a greater appetite for risk-taking.

CFOs’ perceptions of the North American economy are growing more positive, with 29% citing current conditions as good,  Their perceptions of China’s current economy are more positive, with 51% considering it good, and 6% as very good. Perceptions of Europe’s current economy are far less positive: Only 7% consider it good, and 48% view it as bad and 1% as very bad. 

Read more at Deloitte

Jobless Claims: 684,000 Americans Filed New Unemployment Claims

U.S. states saw a bigger than expected drop in initial unemployment claims filings last week as claims fell to a fresh pandemic-era low. 

The Department of Labor released its weekly report on new jobless claims on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus data compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended March 20: 684,000 vs. 730,000 expected and a revised 781,000 during the prior week.
  • Continuing claims, week ended March 13: 3.870 million vs. 4 million expected and a revised 4.134 million during the prior week.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Replay: County Execs Reflect on a Year of COVID – What They Learned and What’s Next In Pattern For Progress Webinar 

Pattern For Progress CEO Jonathan Drapkin The County Executives of Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties in this hour long webinar.  Marcus Molinaro, Steve Neuhaus and Pat Ryan reflect on the past year and look toward what is next for the region.

If we might editorialize a moment…. We believe the Hudson Valley is fortunate to have such effective leadership at the County level. In addition to the three on this webinar we acknowledge Ed Day in Rockland, MaryEllen Odell in Putnam and George Lattimore in Westchester. Our CE’s have proven themselves time and again to the be pragmatic, humble, caring, non-partisan, collaborative and most of all effective. We appreciate their leadership.

See the webinar here (60 minutes)