Weekly Chamber COVID-19 Update

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January 21, 2020

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

•    Ask the Experts! We understand that there are so many questions surrounding the #COVID19 vaccine, so we invite you to join us Friday, January 22 at noon for a virtual Live Q&A Chat on Zoom to answer your questions. Use this link to join the event: https://zoom.us/j/91399626440
•    Download the RC3 Cincinnati Chamber Update

•    Newly inaugurated President Biden has already issued or prepared executive orders on the following Covid-related issues: 
      o    Extending the federal eviction moratorium for mortgages with federal guarantees; 
      o    Extending the student loan forbearance and deferment program through September 30; 
      o    Ordering OSHA to adopt an emergency rule requiring businesses to have a Covid-19 prevention plan; 
      o    Reentering the United States into the World Health Organization. 
•    More details on the orders are expected in the coming days. The White House is posting executive actions online. 
•    President Biden is also requiring masks on federal property and encouraging all Americans to participate in a 100-day campaign of increased mask wearing. The president has promised to deliver 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines during his first 100 days in office. To date, about 16.5 million Americans have been vaccinated, even as national supplies of vaccines are rapidly dwindling. 
•    President Biden is asking Congress for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus program to help combat the devastating effects Covid-19 has had. The proposal includes funding for additional vaccine manufacturing and distribution, direct payments to individuals, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, aid to state and local governments, tax relief for families and more. Congress has not yet established a timeline to begin working on the proposal. 
•    The SBA announced that 60,000 borrowers were approved for over $5 billion in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program in its first week. For first-time applicants, loans averaged about $20,000, while second-draw applicants averaged about $75,000. Visit the SBA website to see all relief options available to small businesses. 
•    Industrial production grew by 1.6% in December, according to the Federal Reserve. It is one of the only positive economic indicators, offsetting the news that retail sales declined by 0.7% in December. This was the third straight month with a decline in retail sales and a sign that not even the holiday shopping season could make up for the significant losses taking place in the retail sector.   

•    New unemployment insurance claims, while slightly lower than last week, remain elevated. Approximately 900,000 Americans filed initial claims for jobless benefits this week, a sign the labor market is far from improving. 

•    Next week, vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, and who have a developmental or intellectual disability.   That list is illustrated above. 
      o    A representative from the local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a developmental or intellectual disability. 
      o    During the week of February 15, Ohioans with any of these conditions, and do not have a developmental or intellectual disability, will be eligible to receive the vaccination. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.  
      o    Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days. 
•    Starting February 1, vaccinations will also be available for personnel in Ohio schools in Phase 1B.  As of Tuesday, 96% of public school districts have committed to returning to school at least partially in-person by March 1.  Vaccination administration will be coordinated with school-provider partnerships, and a majority will be closed clinics for school personnel only.  
•    Ohio is partnering with Abbot Labs and eMED to roll out rapid at-home COVID antigen testing with results available in 15 minutes.  Individuals taking these tests will be guided by a live instructor via video chat software. Ohio will utilize $50M in federal funds to purchase 2 million of these tests. 
•    Hamilton County remains purple on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System map.  
•    Ohio’s overnight curfew will remain in place.   
•    Lieutenant Governor Husted thanked the business community for continuing to donate PPE and hand sanitizer to the Ohio Department of Health to be distributed across the state as needed.   
•    Kentucky has been distributing vaccines faster than the federal government has supplied the state. The state administered 83,000 vaccines for the week ending January 16, while the federal government is only supplying about 54,000 doses per week. 
•    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allocate between $800 million and $1 billion to Kentucky hospitals to advance caregiving options for Medicaid patients and provide economic stability to the healthcare system heavily burdened by Covid-19. 
•    Governor Beshear vetoed five bills from the Kentucky General Assembly, most of which would restrict his ability to issue emergency orders related to Covid-19. The Republican-led General Assembly is likely to try and override the vetoes when they return to Frankfort in February. 
•    On Thursday, Gov. Holcomb said that there are now 189 vaccination sites in Indiana.  
•    Indiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said to date the state has received about 736,000 doses of the vaccine, not including doses for long-term care facilities. 
•    For a list of who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/.  If you are eligible, register with ISDH to make an appointment. The timeline for additional phases of vaccine administration in Indiana is still yet to be determined. 
•    As of January 21,2020, there are 63,092 confirmed cases in Hamilton county. 
•    Commissioner Driehaus noted that in the first time during the Pandemic Hamilton county has reached the purple designation as shown by Governor Mike DeWine’s state COVID-19 map. She reiterated that all should continue to wear mask, wash your hands, and if possible, stay home. 
•    Hamilton County has designated a mapped schedule of Covid-19 vaccinations, but Commissioner Driehaus stated that there are not enough doses available in comparison to the eligibility groups. The distribution schedule will continue to be tweaked as needed.  
•    If you are in need of a COVID-19 test click here.  

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