Weekly Chamber COVID-19 Update

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December 4, 2020

For the most recent information on COVID-19 case numbers by jurisdiction, please visit the following dashboards:
Hamilton County
City of Cincinnati

December 3, 2020
The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Weekly update is designed to help you navigate through the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape in which you’ve been operating your businesses. As our communities enter different stages of reopening, our economy is beginning to restart and the way local, state and federal leaders are providing guidance has changed.
RC3 Update
TriState Strong: Getting to Zero
December 10, 2020 7pm-8pm
Six local television, radio and print news outlets are uniting to present an hour-long program created to generate hope and solidarity among regional residents facing the harshest season of the COVID-19 pandemic.Learn More
For the most recent information on COVID-19 case numbers by jurisdiction, please visit the following dashboards:
  • CDC revised its recommendations for anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The new, shortened quarantine period depends upon one’s test results and symptoms. If an individual does not develop symptoms, they must quarantine for 10 days; if they test negative, the quarantine period can be seven days.
  • The FDA is currently processing applications for COVID-19 vaccines. There is an advisory committee meeting scheduled for December 10 to review findings from clinical trial data, with authorization possibly coming three or four days after.
  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the House and Senate have introduced an emergency economic relief package of just over $900 billion in an attempt to pass legislation before the end of the year. This proposal has reignited negotiations in Congress about what Congress should try to do before it adjourns for this session.
  • President-elect Biden offered his support for the proposal, calling it a “down payment” on further stimulus he would be pursuing after his inauguration. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate still prefer a pared-down version of the HEROES Act, which the House passed earlier this fall, but are willing to reenter negotiations on the new bipartisan proposal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reintroduced a $500+ billion package focusing primarily on another round of business assistance and liability protections, but called the bipartisan measure a “step in the right direction” compared to previous proposals.
  • The Small Business Administration released data on Paycheck Protection Program loans made since the inception of the program.A Washington Post analysisof the data showed that 87% of all loans made were under $150,000, which typically went to smaller businesses, while more than half of the programs funding was disbursed in loans to larger businesses.
  • TheFederal Reserve reported modest economic expansionthroughout most of the country in October and November, although some regions started to see concerning economic signs as caseloads of COVID-19 increased in November.
  • Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed personal income decreased by 0.7% (about $130 billion) while consumer spending increased 0.5% (about $70.9 billion) for the month of October. The BEA cited the continued wind down of federal pandemic assistance programs as a key contributor to the decrease in income.
  • TheUniversity of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers showed a drop of consumer confidencein November with the onset of increased COVID-19 cases.
  • New weekly unemployment insurance claims dipped slightly this past week, after two consecutive weeks of increases. Ohio and Kentucky also saw modest decreases, while Indiana had a slight uptick.
  • There are no counties in our region that appear on state’s Watch List.8 counties are now purple.
  • For the first time since April, Ohio’s positivity rate is 15% and rising.The impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on this positivity rate is still unknown.
  • Ohio’s hospital crisis is worsening and becoming more serious.ICUs are under the most strain.Some hospitals are delaying elective, non-emergent surgeries and procedures. This will have impacts and fallout for individual healthcare outcomes.Healthcare of the sickest, non-healthcare patients will be impacted if the current COVID trends are not mitigated.
  • More information about the distribution of a COVID vaccine in Ohio is forthcoming.
  • The Ohio Department of Health is examining the CDC’s new guidelines for quarantining.Guidance from ODH will be coming soon.
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that less than half of the eligible permit holders have submitted an application for theBar and Restaurant Assistance Fund. Roughly 30 different permit types, including bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, wineries, casinos, and private clubs may be eligible. Ohioans can find a list of eligible permits, along with the application, atBusinessHelp.Ohio.gov.
  • At the urging of Governor DeWine, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) board voted unanimously to approve issuing $5 billion in dividends to Ohio’s employers in mid-December to ease the financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is nearly four times the dividend BWC issued in October, bringing total dividends this year to nearly $8 billion. Employers should expect to see their checks in the mail in mid-December.
  • In September, a new initiative was announced in collaboration with JobsOhio called “Ohio to Work,” to help Ohioans who are looking for a job during the pandemic. The next Virtual Career Fair is Thursday, December 10. To register, visitOhiotoWork.com.
  • According to ODJFS, Ohioans filed 27,750 initial applications for unemployment compensation last week. The total represented an 8% decline from the previous week.
  • DeWine appealed to congress for a stimulus package with additional unemployment assistance.
  • This morning, Governor DeWine vetoed SB 311, which would limit the ability of the governor to issue health orders quarantining Ohioans during a pandemic.
  • The new incidence map has 113 of Kentucky’s 120 counties in the highest level of spread, including all counties in Northern Kentucky.
  • Governor Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced the state is going to be receiving 38,000 doses of the first COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December. The majority will go to long-term care facilities with the remainder going to healthcare workers in hospitals.
  • The state’s draft vaccination plan is available online. The state is also posting information from the CDC and other resources about the vaccine on its COVID-19 website.
  • The state has set records for two consecutive days on the number of COVID-19 deaths, as cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths continue to rapidly increase. The total number of deaths has now exceeded 2,000 in the state.
  • The Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund still has $11M available to Kentucky residents struggling to pay their bills. The program offers $500 to water/wastewater and $400 for gas/electricity services. Applications instructions are available online.
  • The state has received 2,650 applications for the Food and Beverage Relief fund. Requests total $25.6 million in assistance. The state has already approved applications for $1.7 million. The program requirements and application for affected bars and restaurants is available online.
  • Per capita, Indiana has the third most people hospitalized for C-19 of any other state. The state’s all-test positivity rate is 11.4%.
  • At the Governor’s press briefing on Wednesday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Box said the state is adjusting its contact tracing process due to the large numbers of new cases. Tracers will now focus on notifying people of their positive result and informing them of social services and how to properly isolate. She said these changes have improved their services, allowing them to speak to more people.
  • She also reminded Hoosiers that a close contact is someone who has been within six feet of a COVID-19-positive person for 15 minutes or more.
  • This week the Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls releaseda PSA videoand a list of resources for women and girls in need of support during COVID-19. For the full list of resources, visithere
  • The Hamilton County Commissioners have continued to closely monitor COVID numbers associated with the Thanksgiving holiday. As of December 3, 2020 Hamilton County is at 34,402 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • If you are in need of testing, sites can befound here.

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