Weekly Chamber COVID-19 Update

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January 28, 2020

HEALTH DASHBOARD UPDATES
For the most recent information on COVID-19 case numbers by jurisdiction, please visit the following dashboards:
Ohio  
Kentucky
Indiana
Hamilton County

FEDERAL NEWS 
•    The national economy grew at an annualized rate of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. For the entire year, GDP decreased by 3.5%, compared to 2019 when the economy grew by 2.2%. 
•    President Biden is working on an order for 200 million additional Covid-19 vaccine doses that would be available this summer. This would bring the total number of doses to 600 million, enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans with the recommended two-dose method. As of January 28, 26.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. 
•    The Senate confirmed former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as the new Secretary of the Treasury. Yellen will be the first female to lead the Treasury Department and is primed to take a leading role in negotiating President Biden’s economic stimulus proposal with Congress. 
•    Democrats have officially taken control of the Senate after Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer reached a power sharing agreement. The chamber is split 50-50 between the parties and Democrats have the tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. 
•    The move now opens the door for Democrats to use a procedural tactic called reconciliation to advance any measure related to the federal budget, including potential economic stimulus, by a simple majority vote rather than the 60-vote threshold required to defeat a filibuster. 
•    President Biden and his administration are still pursuing a $1.9 trillion deal that would include stimulus checks, state and local government funding, unemployment assistance, vaccine development and distribution, school funding and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans have criticized the package as being much too expensive and broad. 
•    Unemployment claims fell this past week, but remain elevated. Another 847,000 Americans are estimated to have filed for jobless aid. Kentucky and Indiana also experienced a decrease in claims, while Ohio saw an increase for the fifth consecutive week. 

  

 
STATE NEWS 
OHIO 
•    Hamilton County is no longer purple on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System. 
•    New unemployment claims in Ohio have increased for three weeks in a row, signaling that the state’s economy is still struggling to rebound from the pandemic.  Last week, nearly 50,000 Ohioans filed first-time jobless claims, according to data released today by ODJFS. That’s the fourth-highest jump of any state in the nation last week, and the most first-time claims filed in Ohio since early May of 2020. 
•    In accordance with ODH’s recommendations to amend Ohio’s curfew as COVID cases decrease, the curfew will be shortened today to run from 11pm to 5am for at least two weeks.  This is a result of COVID hospitalizations below 3,500 for the past 6 days. 
•    If hospital utilization subsequently drops below 3,000 for seven consecutive days, Ohio's curfew would be amended to 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. for at least two weeks. If hospitalizations drop below 2,500 for seven consecutive days, the Ohio Department of Health would recommend lifting the curfew.  
•    If, at any point, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations begins to rise, health officials could reinstitute the appropriate curfew measures. 
•    Ohio has been averaging about 146,000 first doses of the vaccine coming into the state every week. As Ohio's Phase 1A begins to wind down, more doses will be available for those in Phase 1B.  
•    Next week, Ohio will make vaccine available to 91,000 elementary and high school teachers and school personnel who are necessary to provide in-person education to students.  Cincinnati Public Schools will be the first district in the state to begin offering vaccinations to their staff.  
 
KENTUCKY 
•    Gov. Andy Beshear announced up to $38 million is available to local governments to help Kentuckians with overdue utility bills in their jurisdiction. Each unit of local government may request up to $200,000 for assistance in their communities. 
•    Gov. Beshear indicated that Kentucky should expect to see a 16% increase in vaccines to the commonwealth. 
•    Two cases of the more contagious U.K. COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in Kenton County, while cases and positivity rates are lower than they have been in recent weeks. 
 
INDIANA 
•    The state's map of viral spread shifted to mostly orange this week, with only five counties falling within the highest, or red, zone for and eight appearing yellow, the second-lowest category. Gov. Holcomb said Wednesday that map is showing counties "trending in the right direction." 
•    The state announced Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available at some Kroger, Meijer and Walmart locations. Appointments are required and ways to make an appointment may vary. A list of participating sites can be found at ourshot.in.gov
•    Over one million vaccination appointments, including those for second doses, have been scheduled so far, according to ISDH. 
•    More than 1,500 Indiana National Guard members will begin to leave nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The Guard was initially activated by Gov. Holcomb to help overwhelmed staff care for residents during the pandemic. Guard members are scheduled to begin leaving January 31 and transitioned away by March 15. 
 
LOCAL NEWS 
•    As of January 28th, 2020 there are 65,638 confirmed cases in Hamilton County.  
•    Previously Hamilton County had gained the highest designation of case rate in the form of being at a purple alert but as of January 28th , 2020 Governor DeWine has moved the county back down to a red alert designation.  
•    If you or someone you know is in need of a COVID-19 test click here to find a location near you.  
•    Cincinnati Public will resume in person classes as of February 1st. The schedule will follow the same blended learning schedule that occurred in the fall. Most students will attend classes two days per week in person and two via remote learning. For more details click here.  



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