Web

The Coronavirus is a serious global public health threat with information rapidly evolving. We are proud of our Members who are working hard to bring forward potential Covid-19 solutions to prevent, diagnose and treat this deadly infectious disease. Georgia Bio Member Companies, as employers, are also rushing to develop policies in response to employee concerns and safety needs. In support, Georgia Bio is working diligently to gather valuable tools and information for our Members to use as resources and guidelines.

BIO Coronavirus Hub

We have heard and seen many requests from medical research centers, biopharmaceutical companies, testing developers and testing sites requesting supplies and inquiring about manufacturing capacity. The BIO Coronavirus Hub enables you to post requests, announce the availability of supplies and capacity and to respond to those requests and announcements.

Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Georgia's departments of Public Health are working with local health care providers throughout the state to ensure readiness to respond to this novel virus.

The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.

Hotline: (844) 442-2681

CDC COVID-19 Guidance

New/Updated CDC COVID-19 Guidance; Updated Website Information – Week of June 21

*To go directly to CDC’s complete searchable COVID-19 guidance documents, click here.

New COVID-19 Guidance/Considerations:

Updated COVID-19 Guidance/Considerations:

Updated COVID-19 Website Information:

CDC’s COVID-19 frequently asked questions page

Business Guidelines

Georgia Chamber Business Guidance During COVID-19:

  1. Every Georgia business should implement their plans to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers.  
  2. Every Georgia business should follow the CDC social distancing guidelines. All businesses should make every effort to ensure adequate social distancing occurs by maintaining at least six feet of personal space or as otherwise recommended by the CDC, and providing a station(s) to wash hands with warm water and antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, or both, according to the ordinance. 
  3. Businesses operating in localities that have not implemented restrictions should follow the Governor’s direction to limit public gatherings to 10 or fewer and, if they decide to remain operational, should strictly enforce social distancing. For example, if your manufacturing facility employees 400 you should ensure that they remain 6 feet apart or seek further guidance from the Department of Public Health. We also recommend providing employees with masks, gloves and other health personal protection equipment (PPE) as needed.  
  4. Essential businesses and services are not considered to be social gatherings
  5. If your community has implemented an “Essential Business and Services Only” order, we have strongly recommended that they follow the pre-approved Department of Homeland Security (DHS) list of critical industries for national continuity. That list can be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Those companies operating as “essential” should also continue to prioritize the safety of their employees.  
  6. If your community has implemented a “shelter in place” order without an “Essential Business and Services Only” order, we recommend you reach out to your local chamber or elected officials to comply with their specific order and continue to follow Governor Kemp’s Executive Order noted in (3) above

Suggestions to maintaining a safe workplace:

  • Educating employees on the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus and the precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.(94%)
  • Allowing sick employees to work from home or take leave as appropriate. (86%)
  • Minimizing unnecessary travel. (81%)
  • Minimizing unnecessary meetings and visitors. (75%)
  • Establishing first-line points of contact within the HR team responsible for managing employee questions or concerns. (39%)
  • Implementing and/or evaluating workplace emergency response protocols.(38%)
  • Training supervisors about strategies to address overreaction from employees and conflict in the workplace. (25%)
  • Other: Sending daily reports to all staff, updates pertinent to our office, colleagues, and clients

How organizations are handling travel concerns:

  • Providing other meeting options, such as video conferencing, to avoid such travel. (69%)
  • Suspending all travel to affected areas. (63%)
  • Monitoring and sharing travel advisories and warnings from relevant public health and governmental authorities with respect to areas where your employees may travel or where you currently have operations. (56%)
  • Asking employees who have recently returned from affected regions to work from home. (44%)
  • Implementing guidelines for travel to affected regions. (38%)
  • Contingency planning for operations and supply-chain disruptions that may occur due to travel restrictions in affected areas. (38%)
  • Developing a policy to address employees who refuse to work with co-workers returning from travel in affected regions. (to avoid anti-harassment and anti-discrimination) (10%)

What an organization's communicable illness policy and response plan should include:

Click here to download the World Health Organization's guide to developing a "Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for the New Coronavirus."

  • When an ill employee must stay home, when an ill employee will be sent home and when and in what circumstances the employee may return. (81%)
  • What illnesses or exposure to illness an employee must disclose to the employer, and when and how such disclosure should be made. (63%)
  • When an employer may require an ill employee – or those who have been exposed – to be quarantined. (63%)
  • Whether the employer will pay employees for the time spent in quarantine as well as an outline of the benefits that are available to employees. (56%)
  • Other: Provisions for critical employees (like manufacturing personnel ) who must work but you want exposure limited - hotel accommodations be provided to insulate their families

Business Tools:

Biopharma Initiatives

State Updates

Updates from the States

1/21/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 24,323,846 total cases and 404,689 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting
  • The U.S. reported a record 4,440 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. More than 61,000 people have died of COVID-19 since the start of January, making this month already the second deadliest of the entire pandemic, after December 2020. New daily deaths have risen more than 30 percent in the last two weeks.
  • Over the past week, there has been an average of 194,754 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases per day, a decrease of 16 percent from the average recorded two weeks earlier.
  • Arizona, South Carolina, California, New York, and Georgia are reporting the highest rates of newly confirmed infections per capita.
  • In hard-hit California, the daily number of new COVID-19 cases fell below 20,000 on Wednesday, and the number of patients in hospitals is also on the decline.
  • Health providers across the country are grappling with the difficulty of coordinating vaccine appointments as supply lags behind demand:
    • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that 23,000 vaccination appointments scheduled for today and Friday were postponed because of a shipping delay.
    • San Francisco’s public health department expects to run out of vaccine doses today.
    • At Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina, hospital officials canceled 6,000 scheduled appointments through Mar. 30 after they were notified that thousands of vaccine doses they expected would not be arriving.
    • Georgia’s 10-county Northwest Health District was swamped with more than 10,000 appointment requests in one weekend. Left without far fewer available doses, it shut down its scheduling website and told people to call their local health department to arrange an appointment instead.
    • New Jersey’s Bergen County, the state’s most populous county, is expected to run out of vaccine doses Saturday.
  • A Columbus, Ohio, vaccine distributor has been suspended after authorities said the company mishandled – and subsequently spoiled – 890 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced on Wednesday that he has activated the state’s National Guard to accelerate Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. One mass vaccination team will be assigned to each of the state’s nine Highway Patrol regions. Each team will have the capability to administer as many as 2,500 doses a day.
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced on Thursday that the state will distribute $2.5 million to local transit agencies to provide residents with free rides to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that the state will begin requiring proof of residency – either a utility bill or a Florida ID – for people getting COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The city of Chicago is moving to Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions from Tier 3, allowing indoor group fitness classes, retail shops, movie theaters, performance venues, and museums to open at reduced capacity. Face coverings must be worn indoors at all times.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Tuesday signed two EOs extending both the state’s public health emergency and face mask requirement.
  • Kansas lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill that would extend the state’s pandemic emergency declaration. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has until Jan. 26 to act before the declaration expires. The bill expands the use of telemedicine and adds flexibility in health care licensing through Mar. 31 but limits the governor’s ability to close businesses and allows counties to opt out of mask mandates and other health orders she issues.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Thursday extended a statewide order requiring people to wear face masks in public until Mar. 5.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Tuesday extended 26 emergency proclamations issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Louisiana Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D) on Thursday renewed his plea for businesses to move as many employees as possible to remote work as cases and hospitalizations continue to surge in the state.
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will allow indoor restaurants to reopen Friday, even as the rate of new daily COVID-19 infections in the city has remained above the target for reopening indoor dining and similar activities, considered Phase 2, for more than two months.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and State Superintendent Karen Salmon on Thursday called for immediate efforts to return students to classrooms, at least part time, no later than Mar. 1.
  • The airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, plans next week to begin screening passengers for symptoms of COVID-19 before they go through security, implementing a first-of-its-kind plan.
  • Useful state data:
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country. NPR's map can also be used to monitor you state's heat wave. 
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19.

1/19/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 23,653,919 total cases and 394,495 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reportingMost major news sources are reporting that the U.S. has surpassed 400,000 deaths and 24 million total cases.
  • The U.S. is currently averaging more than 3,300 new COVID-19 deaths per day. The country has recorded more than 52,000 deaths from the disease just since the start of the month, which is approximately one American death from COVID-19 every 30 seconds.
  • The U.S. accounts for nearly one of every five COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide.
  • There were 174,513 new cases of COVID-19 tallied in the U.S. on Sunday – the first time in two weeks the country has recorded fewer than 200,000 newly confirmed infections.
  • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country dropped six percent over the last 10 days, reaching its lowest level since Jan. 2 on Sunday. Arizona, Nevada, and Alabama currently hold the highest COVID-19 hospitalizations rates per million people in the country.
  • California has become the first state in the U.S. to record more than 3 million COVID-19 cases.
  • Public health officials in Maine said Tuesday that 4,400 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine exceeded the required temperature during their journey to 35 sites in the state. The sites have set the vaccine doses aside and will receive replacement doses on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said the state has doubled the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered to residents for the second straight week.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Monday called on hospitals and vaccination partners to vaccinate nearly 40,000 people for the first time using stored-up second doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city is set to run out of vaccines by Thursday if the state doesn’t receive more doses.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Monday said he may use his executive powers to end elective surgeries in order to free up staff at the state’s major hospitals, so they can administer more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents. Major hospitals had 78,500 unused doses as of Monday.
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) announced he will increase the number of available Idaho National Guard personnel from 250 to 400 guardsmen later this week to aid the state’s vaccine distribution.
  • Gov. Little also announced Tuesday that the state will offer health care providers new grants to increase staffing to administer shots, purchase needed equipment and supplies, and improve vaccine access for hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations.
  • Nevada’s Health Response issued additional guidance to clarify a directive regarding who is qualified to be a vaccinator in order to maximize the workforce available to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Minnesota is making COVID-19 vaccines accessible to the general public for the first time, opening nine sites as part of a pilot program where shots will be provided by appointment to people 65 or older, teachers, and child care providers.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the Safe Schools for All Hub, a one-stop-shop for information about in-person instruction to increase transparency, accountability, and assistance regarding information on planning for face-to-face schooling.
  • The Oregon Department of Education released new guidance for schools to reopen safely, recommending that counties that maintain a positivity rate of less than 5 percent can offer fully in-person instruction.
  • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) extended a disaster declaration issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic until Feb. 14.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) on Tuesday extended a coronavirus state of civil emergency for another 30 days.
  • Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (R) ordered that the bells at the Utah State Capitol ring on Tuesday in honor of the lives lost to COVID-19.
  • Useful state data:
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country. NPR's map can also be used to monitor you state's heat wave. 
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19.
  •  

1/14/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 22,965,957 total cases and 383,351 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • On Tuesday, the U.S. reported a record 4,327 COVID-19 deaths. The U.S. recorded another 4,131 deaths on Wednesday, the second day in a row that the country's daily COVID-19 death toll crossed 4,000.
  • The U.S. is averaging over 242,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. Wednesday marked the ninth straight day the country tallied more than 200,000 newly confirmed infections.
  • In the last week, 22 states and Washington, D.C. have reported a record seven-day average of daily cases. Arizona is recording the highest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita in the country.
  • Nearly all U.S. metro areas with over 500,000 people are in "full resurgence" of COVID-19, the White House Coronavirus Task Force said in its latest report. Several states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, and South Carolina, are also in "full pandemic resurgence."
  • California has the most hospitalizations of any state with more than 22,000 patients, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, and Georgia. Arizona, Alabama, and Nevada currently hold the highest hospitalization rates per million people in the country.
  • Chicago is opening six mass coronavirus vaccination sites that expect to deliver roughly 25,000 weekly shots once fully operational.
  • Mississippi has allotted its entire supply of COVID-19 vaccines and doesn't expect more doses until mid-February, the state’s health department announced Wednesday.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Thursday that the state has become the first to administer one million doses of coronavirus vaccines.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) sent a letter to HHS Sec. Alex Azar requesting permission to directly purchase up to 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the state.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced five state-run vaccination sites have begun accepting appointments and are scheduled to open this week.
  • New York City’s property tax revenues are projected to decline by $2.5 billion next year, the largest such drop in at least three decades. The shortfall is largely driven by a projected drop in the value of office buildings and hotel properties, which have practically emptied out since the pandemic began. Roughly half of the city’s tax revenue comes from real estate.
  • New Jersey announced Wednesday that smokers will be among its residents who get earlier access to COVID-19 vaccines. The state expanded its vaccination program to include people over 65 and people with underlying health conditions, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It included people who smoke on that list.
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) extended his modified Phase 2 order, keeping mitigation measures and a statewide mask mandate in place for another 28 days. Gov. Edwards strongly recommended that all businesses in Louisiana move to remote work for as many employees as possible.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced new COVID-19 guidelines for schools. Students and teachers exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 no longer have to quarantine, as long as the exposure was in a school setting, masks were worn, and proper social distancing was in place. However, quarantining is still required if masks and social distancing were not in place.
  • Connecticut’s health department issued guidance over the weekend to the state’s universities and colleges regarding the upcoming spring semester. The guidance includes a recommendation that testing and quarantining of all residential students be done prior to fully opening campuses. The department is also advising universities and colleges to implement weekly testing of all residential and off-campus students who attend class in-person through the end of February 2021.
  • Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) announced Wednesday that he is removing existing health mandates issued by his predecessor. Under the new rules, which take effect Friday, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos will no longer be required to close at 10 PM; capacity limits for businesses, previously set at 50 percent, are rescinded; and public gatherings, formerly restricted to 25 people when social distancing was not possible, no longer face a cap.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended an EO to increase the state’s Medicaid home health workforce and eliminate cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees.
  • Gov. Polis also amended an EO regarding the order of operations for surging hospital capacity for the state as it relates to elective surgery.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced yesterday that the state would open up eligibility for a coronavirus vaccine to anyone 65 or older.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued a proclamation that suspends the requirement that statewide elected officials be sworn in “at the capitol.” The waiver, which expires Friday at midnight, allows statewide elected officials to choose to either be sworn in remotely or in person.

1/11/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 22,322,956 total cases and 373,167 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • The U.S. has not seen a day with fewer than 100,000 new cases in more than two months, with a record-high average of 243,000 newly confirmed infections every day. Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina are averaging the most daily new cases per person.
  • The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for 40 days in a row. There are currently 129,223 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
  • Sunday marked the 41st consecutive day with more than 1,000 fatalities from COVID-19 reported nationwide. California alone reported more than 3,300 coronavirus deaths in the week that ended Sunday. No state except New York has recorded more than that in a single week.
  • D.C. has been averaging 290 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week, its highest figure for any seven-day stretch of the pandemic. The rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, is also surging: all three states set weekly case records on Sunday.
  • North Dakota has reported no COVID-19 deaths for three days in a row.
  • Arizona’s top provider of COVID-19 tests, which operates 60 testing locations statewide, said it may have to close locations or start charging people for tests in order to continue operating as the state faces a massive surge in COVID-19 cases.
  • Five new coronavirus vaccination centers opened in New York. Two sites are mass vaccination centers that, starting Monday, will operate 24/7.
  • Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Texas have expanded who is eligible to get a vaccine now, even though many people in the first priority group recommended by the CDC — the nation’s 21 million health care workers and three million residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities — have yet to receive a shot.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) activated Oregon National Guard members to support vaccination efforts, beginning with the Salem Health vaccination event at the state fairgrounds.
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Friday said the state will double the number of vaccine distribution locations available to residents after Mississippi’s vaccination rollout saw a slow start.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the expansion of the state's vaccination distribution network to help accelerate the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to New Yorkers currently eligible under group 1A and begin the vaccination of those eligible under group 1B.
  • Tennessee teachers, school staff, and child care workers must wait for COVID-19 vaccinations until after people age 70 and older receive their shots, state officials said Friday.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that the state will make weekly COVID-19 pool testing available to Massachusetts schools within the next month to help bring more students back into the classroom.
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance on school reopening, aiming to offer in-person learning options to all students no later than March 1. Teachers and other school staff began receiving vaccinations across the state today.
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that schools can reopen for in-person learning for eighth grade and below starting on Jan. 19. Grades 9 to 12 will not be doing in-person learning.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed an EO prohibiting price-gouging during the COVID-19 state of emergency, extending a previous order.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) amended and extended an EO that expands the health care workforce to administer COVID-19 vaccinations in outpatient settings.
  • Useful state data:
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country. NPR's map can also be used to monitor you state's heat wave.
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19.

1/7/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 21,259,997 total cases and 359,849 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • Wednesday marked the deadliest day on record for the U.S., with 3,865 COVID-19 deaths reported – a record death toll for the second consecutive day. On Tuesday, the U.S. tallied 3,775 deaths. The daily death tolls in California, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania also set records.
  • Twelve states hit a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
  • The average number of daily cases in the U.S. is now the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic, up by 21 percent in the last week after it surpassed 216,000 for the first time on Wednesday.
  • Illinois became the fifth state to record its millionth COVID-19 case since the start of the pandemic.
  • California officials are urging residents to limit all non-essential travel to within 120 miles from one’s home and avoid traveling to neighboring states or other countries.
  • Hard Rock Stadium in Miami is opening as Florida’s first state-operated drive-thru vaccination site for frontline health care workers and people ages 65 and older. The first few doses were administered during the site’s “soft launch” on Wednesday, and the location will become fully operational on Friday, offering 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine daily, free of charge.
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Tuesday announced he is deploying the state’s National Guard to provide support to local health providers and increase the pace of vaccinations in the state.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the state is escalating all hospitals to Tier 4 status, the highest level of concern.
  • Gov. Baker also announced the extension of the restrictions on social gatherings and businesses through Jan. 24. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and most businesses, including restaurants, are limited to 25 percent capacity.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced "Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery," a new COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning Monday, each of the state’s eight regions will enter Phase 1, in which indoor social gatherings are prohibited, most businesses are restricted to 25 percent capacity, and restaurants may offer outdoor dining only, with a maximum of six people from two households per table. To move to Phase 2 of the plan, which eases some restrictions, regions must meet four criteria: decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases, decreasing trend in two-week rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions, a total ICU occupancy of less than 90 percent, and a COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than 10 percent.
  • Newly elected Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) said Tuesday that he plans to rescind the statewide mask mandate put in place by his predecessor once more vulnerable people have been vaccinated and liability protections exist for businesses that make a “good-faith effort” to shield people from the virus.
  • Officials at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said they plan to launch a new COVID-19 vaccine registration website in about two weeks and a telephone hotline in roughly 10 days. The system will allow people to register for a vaccine even if they aren’t eligible right away.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended three EO’s related to COVID-19: one related to learning pods, one that temporarily expands health care workforces at hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities, and one that permits the operation of alternative care sites in response to the pandemic.
  • Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), the Delaware Division of Public Health, and the Delaware Department of Education sent a letter urging Delaware schools to return to hybrid instruction on Monday.
  • The superintendents of seven of California’s largest school districts on Wednesday blasted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) new school reopening plan, saying that it fails to address key factors keeping schools closed and does nothing to end the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic is inflicting on low-income communities of color.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) renewed his call on the federal government to test all travelers from outside the U.S.
  • Kentucky's five former governors and their spouses, spanning five decades of service to the commonwealth, received COVID-19 vaccinations in the Capitol Rotunda to emphasize the bipartisan support for safe and effective vaccines and urge fellow Kentuckians to take the vaccine.

1/4/2021

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 20,558,489 total cases and 350,664 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • In less than eight weeks, the U.S. has jumped from 10 million to over 20 million COVID-19 cases. Today is the third day in a row the U.S. has recorded more than 200,000 new confirmed infections.
  • New York has become the fourth state to record one million total COVID-19 cases. California has the highest total of any state by far with more than 2.4 million cases, followed by Texas's 1.8 million, and Florida's 1.3 million.
  • A record-breaking 125,544 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with six states –Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas – reporting record hospitalizations on Jan. 3.
  • California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington’s Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its review of the federal process and has concluded the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious for use in the Western States.
  • Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced updates to the state’s vaccine dashboard, which provides daily updates to the number of COVID-19 vaccinations distributed and administered across the state. Hospitalizations across the state have continued to decline in recent weeks since a peak in November, with 36 percent of hospital and ICU beds currently available.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday said hospitals in the state will now face fines of up to $100,000 and potentially lose the opportunity to distribute coronavirus vaccines if they do not step up the pace of inoculations. Approximately 300,000 people across the state have received their first dose of the vaccine thus far.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday warned that Florida hospitals may have future supplies of coronavirus vaccine reduced if they do not administer doses quickly enough. Long lines have formed when some county health departments in the state opened vaccination sites on a first-come, first-serve basis, and appointment hotlines and websites have been overwhelmed with demand – the Florida Department of Health’s own website crashed on Monday. So far, about 80 percent of Florida’s vaccine doses have been distributed to hospitals across the state.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed an EO that authorizes out-of-state pharmacists to administer vaccines in Minnesota during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced that he has directed the Connecticut Department of Public Health to add Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to the state's ongoing vaccination program following a recommendation from the governor's COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group's Science Subcommittee that it be authorized in the state.
  • Gov. Lamont also signed an EO authorizing the continued temporary suspension of requirements for licensure, certification, or registration of out-of-state health care providers.
  • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced New Mexicans may now order free, at-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests, with accurate laboratory-confirmed results returned within 24 to 48 hours of receipt of the sample. The free tests are available to New Mexico residents regardless of exposure risk.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced the state will make available at-home COVID-19 saliva collection kits to every resident in the state, regardless of COVID-19 symptoms, at no cost.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the state has opted into the federal COVID-19 Pharmacy Partnership. At no cost to the state or local government, CVS and Walgreens will administer the Pfizer vaccine to residents and staff in long-term care facilities.
  • Gov. Newsom also released California’s State Safe Schools for All plan, a framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced he will lower the state’s risk level for COVID-19 from high risk (orange) to moderate risk (yellow), increasing capacity limits for restaurants, bars, and social gatherings. Beginning Friday, bars, restaurants, and other food service businesses will be allowed to operate at 65 percent capacity, rather than 50 percent, and banquet, ballroom, and event venues, which have been limited to 25 percent capacity, will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. A statewide mask mandate will remain in effect until Jan. 18. North Dakota’s 14-day rolling average positivity rate has decreased from 16 to 4.4 percent since Nov. 17.
  • Several governors extended COVID-19 emergency declarations. Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) formally extended a state of emergency declaration another 30 days to confront community spread of COVID-19; New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) extended the state's public health emergency for 30 days; and Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) extended a state of civil emergency declaration through Jan. 20.
  • Gov. Murphy also signed an EO postponing New Jersey’s upcoming February fire district elections, March special school elections, and all other special elections for filling vacancies to Apr. 20.
  • Gov. Mills also announced the extension of a statewide order for certain businesses to close by 9 PM.
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) extended his modified Phase Two order, which includes a statewide mask mandate, through Jan. 13.
  • Several states issued extensions to bans on evictions. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), and Gov. Lamont all signed EOs on eviction moratoriums.
  • Gov. Inslee announced a one-week extension of his "Stay Safe–Stay Healthy" proclamation, which will now expire on Jan. 11, and issued a 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone returning to the state from the U.K., South Africa, and other countries where a new coronavirus variant has been identified.
  • Gov. Inslee also updated a proclamation and guidance for houses of worship, weddings, and funerals. Currently, houses of worship are permitted to hold indoor services with up to 25 percent room capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. The 200-person attendance cap, previously a requirement, is now a recommendation in response to recent court rulings.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R), and Govs. Murphy, Lamont, and Mills announced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least Jan. 31.

For updates previous to January, click here

Federal Updates

Washington, D.C

1/21/2021

1/19/2021

  • President-elect Biden arrived in the nation’s capital Tuesday evening for a somber inauguration-eve ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial, where 400 lights were illuminated along the perimeter of the reflecting pool. Each one represented approximately 1,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
  • President Trump issued a proclamation Monday that would lift the current travel ban on people flying in from Brazil and many European countries on Jan. 26., though travel from China and Iran would continue to be blocked. President-elect Joe Biden has indicated he may rescind the proclamation.
  • A web-based COVID-19 outpatient treatment locator maintained by HHS is now available to assist health care providers and patients in finding potential locations for treatment with monoclonal antibody therapeutics. These medicines are authorized for emergency use in treating patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalization.
  • Here is the most recent COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. The latest report shows weekly COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates reached the highest point of the pandemic in December and remain high. Rates have gone down recently, but are expected to go up as more data come in.
  • The most recent COVID-19 Science Update from the CDC is here
  • The CDC has published and updated a significant number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can now also keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
  • FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn penned a new FDA Voices, Unleashing the Power of FDA Data to Support COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to Food and Agriculture Workers.
  • The FDA updated its “Investigational COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma” guidance and corresponding webpage. The revisions provide recommendations regarding when individuals who have received an investigational COVID-19 vaccine as a participant in a clinical trial, or received an authorized or licensed COVID-19 vaccine, qualify as convalescent plasma donors. In addition, the agency has extended the period of enforcement discretion described in the guidance.
  • The FDA created a new collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU is intended to increase U.S. medical supply chain resilience and advanced domestic manufacturing of  pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices—including those necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic—through adoption of 21st century manufacturing technologies. These include smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and emerging manufacturing processes. 
  • As of today, 319 tests and sample collection devices are authorized by the FDA under emergency use authorizations (EUAs). These include 237 molecular tests and sample collection devices, 69 antibody tests, and 13 antigen tests. There are 32 molecular authorizations that can be used with home-collected samples. There is one molecular prescription at-home test, one antigen prescription at-home test, and one over-the-counter (OTC) at-home antigen test.
  • Rep. Luis Correa (D-CA) is the most recent member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19. 

1/14/2021

  • President-elect Joe Biden today announced his $1.9 COVID relief plan. The American Rescue Plan includes:
    • $1,400 stimulus checks
    • Raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour
    • $400 billion for fighting COVID-19
    • $350 billion for cities, states, tribal governments
    • Attached here is a 19-page summary from the Biden-Harris campaign.
  • The CDC announced that, beginning Jan. 26, those flying to the U.S. from foreign countries must take a COVID-19 test within three days before their flight, and airlines must confirm the negative test before they board.
  • The CDC has published and updated a significant number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can now also keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
  • HHS and the DoD announced the purchase of 1.25 million additional treatment courses of Regeneron’s investigational monoclonal antibody therapeutic, a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, to be delivered in the first half of 2021 to treat non-hospitalized, high-risk COVID-19 patients. This latest agreement brings the total supply of casirivimab and imdevimab purchased by HHS and DOD to over 1.5 million treatment courses. Allocations to state and territorial health departments are based proportionally on confirmed COVID-19 cases in each state and territory over the previous seven days, based on data that hospitals and state health departments enter into the HHS Protect data collection platform. 
  • The most recent DoD COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update is available here
  • FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Anand Shah have penned a new FDA Voices blog, "Pandemic Response, Pandemic Preparation."
  • Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) have all  tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days.
    • More than 10 percent of Congress has now tested positive at some point during the pandemic. 
  • The House of Representatives has implemented new mask requirements for members of Congress on the House floor. Members who fail to wear a face covering will be fined $500 for their first offense and $2,500 for their second offense. Fines will be deducted from members' pay.

1/11/2021

  • Last week, the FDA posted a new webpage, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions. Questions cover specifics, such as what data did the FDA review when deciding whether to authorize the vaccine for emergency use, how well the vaccine prevents COVID-19, and more.
  • You can now monitor the latest data for your county’s hospital admissions and hospital and ICU beds in use in the COVID Data Tracker. Search your county’s data to find the latest hospitalizations, cases, deaths, and more here.
  • Here is the most recent COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. The latest report shows weekly COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates reached the highest point of the pandemic in December and remain high. Rates have gone down recently, but are expected to go up as more data come in.
  • The most recent COVID-19 Science Update from the CDC is here.
  • The CDC has published and updated a significant number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can now also keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
  • The Department of Education announced that more than $4 billion in additional COVID-19 emergency relief is now available to governors to ensure learning continues for students of all ages and at all schools. This emergency relief aid, the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, has two components: supplemental GEER awards (GEER II) and the Emergency Assistance to Non-public Schools (EANS) awards, which comprise $2.75 billion of the total. These funds are authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) which was signed on Dec. 27, 2020.
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) is the most recent Member of Congress to have tested positive for COVID-19. Members of the House of Representatives and their staffs received a memo from the attending physician on Sunday morning that said “many” of them “may have been exposed” to the coronavirus while on lockdown in the Capitol last Wednesday.
  • President-elect Joe Biden got his second dose of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday in Newark, Delaware.

1/7/2021

  • HHS testing czar Brett Giroir said HHS is working to provide alternative COVID-19 testing for Congress after the FDA warned the test lawmakers have relied on is prone to false results.
  • HHS announced two upcoming actions by the CDC to provide more than $22 billion in funding to states, localities, and territories in support of the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as directed by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. The announcement stated that funding will provide critical support for testing and vaccination-related activities to jurisdictions before Jan. 19, 2021. Award recipients will include 64 jurisdictions including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five major cities, and U.S. territories/islands.
    • $19 billion will be allocated to jurisdictions through the existing CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) cooperative agreement. These awards will support testing, contract tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation to monitor and suppress the spread of COVID-19.
    • Over $3 billion will be made available in an initial award to jurisdictions through the existing CDC Immunization and Vaccines for Children cooperative agreement. These awards will support a range of COVID-19 vaccination activities across jurisdictions.
    • Today, the FDA posted a new webpage on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) highlighting authorities that are intended to enhance the FDA’s ability to identify, prevent, and mitigate possible drug shortages by, among other things, enhancing the FDA’s visibility into drug supply chains.
  • The FDA released a new episode of its podcast, FDA Insight. In this episode, Gail Bormel from the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research joins Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Anand Shah, M.D. for a discussion on drug compounding and its contribution to fighting COVID-19.
  • 310 tests and sample collection devices are authorized by the FDA under EUA. These include 235 molecular tests and sample collection devices, 64 antibody tests, and 11 antigen tests. There are 32 molecular authorizations that can be used with home-collected samples. There is one molecular prescription at-home test, one antigen prescription at-home test, and one over-the-counter (OTC) at-home antigen test.
  • The NIH announced that a phase 2/3 clinical trial has begun to evaluate a combination investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for its safety and efficacy in people who have mild or moderate COVID-19. The two experimental antibodies, BRII-196 and BRII-198, target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • The CDC has published and updated a significant number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can now also keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
  • HHS Sec. Alex Azar said how vaccines are delivered to Americans is entirely up to the states — not the federal government. Bearing that in mind, he said, it's more important now to get the vaccine into arms quickly, to save lives, than it is to keep it locked up until Americans in the right candidate pools step up to get their shot. "States can...accelerate vaccine administration by moving on to providing vaccinations to broader populations right now...There is no reason that states need to complete, say, vaccinating all health care providers before opening up vaccinations to older Americans or other especially vulnerable populations."
  • U.S. Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany conducted its first inoculations of first responders and health care workers with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week.
  • Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX.), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Michelle Steel (R-CA), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) are the most recent Members of Congress to have tested positive for COVID-19.

1/4/2021

    • BARDA and the NIH are funding the Phase 3 trial of Novavax's investigational COVID-19 vaccine, which has begun enrolling adult volunteers. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial will enroll approximately 30,000 people at approximately 115 sites in the U.S. and Mexico.
    • President Trump and CDC Director Robert Redfield signed an order requiring air passengers arriving from the U.K. to prove a negative COVID-19 test, via PCR or Antigen test, no more than 72 hours before departure from the U.K. to the U.S.
    • HHS and DOD combined to purchase an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.
    • The FDA published a new toolkit to help stakeholders communicate in English and Spanish about hand sanitizer safety and use during the COVID-19 pandemic. New materials include social media messages and graphics, consumer information, and health professional messaging. Furthermore, a new COVID-19 Communication Toolkits webpage provides links to all FDA toolkits on COVID-19 topics to help everyone communicate accurate and timely information to patients, the public, and health care professionals.
    • In a new FDA Voices entitled, 2020 at FDA: A Year of Unparalleled Contributions to Public Health, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn highlights a few of the FDA’s achievements, many COVID-19-related, from this past year.
    • The FDA published a new infographic, COVID-19 Tests and Collection Kits Authorized by the FDA in 2020, that provides a visualization of the wide variety of tests authorized.
    • As of Dec. 28, 309 tests and sample collection devices are authorized by the FDA under EUA. These include 235 molecular tests and sample collection devices, 63 antibody tests, and 11 antigen tests. There are 32 molecular authorizations that can be used with home-collected samples. There is one molecular prescription at-home test, one antigen prescription at-home test, and one over-the-counter (OTC) at-home antigen test.
    • The NIH published an in-depth study of how COVID-19 affects a patient’s brain. Researchers consistently spotted hallmarks of damage caused by thinning and leaky brain blood vessels in tissue samples from patients who died shortly after contracting the disease. In addition, they saw no signs of SARS-CoV-2 in the tissue samples, suggesting the damage was not caused by a direct viral attack on the brain.
    • CDC Director Robert Redfield signed a declaration determining that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Read more about the halt here.
    • Here is the most recent COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. (1/4)
    • The most recent COVID-19 Science Update from the CDC is here. (12/22)
    • The CDC has published and updated a significant number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can now also keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
    • Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA) passed away from complications due to COVID-19 on Dec. 29, 2020.
    • Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Kay Granger (R-TX) are the most recent members of Congress to test positive for COVID-19.

For updates previous to January, click here

Military/Defense

Military/Defense

Updated as of 11/30/2020

  • The number of new COVID-19 cases involving U.S. military personnel in Okinawa Prefecture hit a record high on Monday, with the Marines reporting 72 infections amid a nationwide surge of COVID-19 cases in Japan.
  • A North Dakota Army National Guardsman is the 12th service member to die of COVID-19 complications and the fourth reported service member to die this month from complications of the virus.
  • As part of OWS, the DoD and HHS agreed to pay $375 million to Eli Lilly for 300,000 doses of its antibody therapeutic, bamlanivimab.

For updates previous to 11/30/2020, click here

International Affairs

International Affairs

1/21/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • Hungary is the first country in the E.U. to approve the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V.
  • The U.A.E. also approved the Russian coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, making it the third vaccine approved for use in the country.
  • At 94,580 deaths, the U.K. now has the highest number of deaths in Europe and fifth highest in the world.
  • The Czech parliament has extended the country’s state of emergency until Feb. 14. The extension will allow the government to temporarily shut businesses and enforce strict social distancing rules.
  • Three people in Shanghai have tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed cases in the city in two months. The capital, Beijing, and Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shanxi, and Shandong provinces have all recently reported new infections. Beijing has restricted the number of passengers allowed on public transportation and extended the quarantine period for travelers returning from overseas.
  • A fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers. It is currently producing millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The fire did not disrupt production of the vaccine but did kill five people.
  • Australia is unlikely to open its borders in 2021, even if most of the population is vaccinated, according to Australia’s Health Secretary. Citizens and permanent residents are still allowed to enter but must complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.  
  • Northern Ireland will extend its lockdown until Mar. 5 due to a spike in cases. All non-essential businesses and schools will be closed.
  • India has started the world’s biggest coronavirus vaccine drive. The program aims to vaccinate 1.3 billion people with two approved vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin. Since Wednesday, the Indian Government has also sent 3.2 million free vaccine doses to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives.
  • South African government minister Jackson Mthembu has died from COVID-19. Mthembu was one of the government's key leaders in its response to the pandemic and served as the public face during many COVID-19 press briefings.
  • The COVID-19 fatality rate across the African continent stands at 2.5 percent, higher than the global level of 2.2 percent, a trend that is alarming experts.
  • Pfizer has slashed in half the volume of COVID-19 vaccines it will deliver to some E.U. countries this week.
  • E.U. leaders agreed on Thursday to selectively restrict nonessential travel within the 27-member bloc and from nonmember countries, in a bid to slow the spread of two highly contagious variants of the coronavirus that are already present in multiple countries in the region. All non-essential travel is highly discouraged, and the bloc will adopt a common framework for the use and requirement of rapid antigen tests prior to departure.
  • Portuguese prime minister António Costa said all flights to and from Britain will be suspended beginning Saturday.
  • Portugal’s government on Thursday ordered the closure of schools for two weeks amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. The country has been in lockdown since last week, but cases continue to climb sharply, setting almost daily records and threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
  • Lebanon has extended its strict general lockdown, which includes a 24-hour curfew, until Feb. 8. Hospitals in Lebanon are currently reporting 91 percent occupancy of ICU beds.
  • The World Bank said it approved a re-allocation of $34 million in funds to support Lebanon’s vaccination efforts, the first transfer of its kind.
  • France will require people to wear higher quality face masks in public, a measure likely to render many home-made cloth masks obsolete. Officials say most washable masks sold in French stores already meet the required standard. Germany mandated the use of surgical grade masks on public transportation, in office spaces, and in shops earlier this week, and Austria will implement similar requirements next week.
  • French president Emmanuel Macron on Thursday promised he would allow university students to attend in-person classes one day per week, subsidize mental health counseling, and ramp up access to inexpensive cafeteria meals.
  • Chile’s health regulator approved emergency roll-out of the CoronaVac vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinovac.
  • India’s government has cleared commercial exports of COVID-19 vaccines, with the first orders to be shipped to Brazil and Morocco on Friday.
  • China will gift Pakistan 500,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine, according to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
  • Australia recorded a fourth day of zero coronavirus cases on Thursday.
  • Global Cases: 95,612,831               Total Deaths: 2,066,176

1/19/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the world is nearing a “catastrophic moral failure” as wealthy countries control vaccine supplies that could leave poorer nations to struggle more with curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
  • The European Commission said that the bloc’s 27 member states should aim to have at least 80 percent of health care workers and citizens over the age of 80 vaccinated by March and at least 70 percent of the whole population vaccinated by this summer.
  • An estimated one in eight people in England have already been infected with COVID-19, according to antibody data from the U.K. Office for National Statistics.
  • Before the end of the month, London will open pilot COVID-19 vaccination sites that will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Americas reported more than 2.5 million new COVID-19 cases last week, more than half of all global infections. I.C.U. capacity remains strained in parts of Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador, with some hospitals reaching 90 percent capacity.
  • People aged 75 and over and those with high-risk conditions are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in France starting Monday. Previously, only residents of nursing homes and medical staff aged 50 and over were able to be vaccinated.
  • Denmark has announced it will include people experiencing homelessness among those given priority for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • On Tuesday, Serbia launched a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign and became the first European country to use the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine.
  • Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha warned that his government would prosecute anyone who shares false information about coronavirus vaccines on social or mass media.
  • Israel will extend its third national lockdown until at least Jan. 31. Most schools and nonessential businesses were closed earlier this month for two weeks, with outdoor gatherings restricted to 10 people.
  • Germany is extending its national lockdown until Feb. 14, with new rules mandating the use of medical masks, rather than fabric masks, in shops and on public transportation.
  • Some German states are planning guarded mandatory quarantine centers in places such as hospitals, refugee centers, and youth detention centers for the very few who repeatedly disobey quarantine rules.
  • Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that the country’s lockdown will be extended to mid-February, keeping schools closed and continuing to require people to stay at home for all but essential purposes.
  • Rwanda announced new restrictions in the capital, Kigali, on Monday. Places of worship must close, public transportation is shut down, travel between the capital and other parts of the country is banned, and all workers other than those providing essential services must work from home. Businesses selling food, medicine, fuel, or cleaning products may operate but must close by 6 PM.
  • Officials in Hong Kong said on Tuesday that current social distancing measures, which include a ban on dine-in service after 6 PM, the suspension of in-person classes, and a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, would be extended for at least another week.
  • Tanzania’s president John Magufuli urged farmers in the country to increase food production as he predicted global shortages later this year due to pandemic lockdowns, especially in some of the largest food-producing states.
  • Starting Jan. 26, everyone flying to New Zealand will have to show proof before departure that they have tested negative for COVID-19, unless they are coming from Australia, Antarctica, or most Pacific islands. Two weeks of quarantine continues to be mandatory for all travelers to the country, which last recorded a locally transmitted case in November.
  • Global Cases: 94,124,612               Total Deaths: 2,034,527

1/14/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • More than a year after a new coronavirus first emerged in China, a team of experts from the WHO arrived on Thursday in the central city of Wuhan to begin hunting for the source of the outbreak. In a sign of Beijing’s continuing efforts to control the investigation, the team of scientists and WHO employees almost immediately ran into obstacles. Two scientists were unable to enter China at the last minute and remained in Singapore because they had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  • COVID-19 deaths in the U.K. have increased by 51 percent over the past week. Patients are being transferred from overstretched hospitals in the capital of London to ICUs more than 100 miles away in order to accommodate all who need care.
  • China has reported its first COVID-19 related death in 242 days as daily new infections reached the highest levels since July.
  • A leading Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech was just 50.38 percent effective in late-stage trials in Brazil, significantly lower than earlier results showed.
  • Regulators in the Philippines granted EUA to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, making Pfizer the first foreign company to receive permission to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
  • Jordan has started giving COVID-19 vaccines to refugees free of charge, making it one of the world’s first countries to start providing vaccinations to U.N. registered refugees.
  • The African Union has purchased an additional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers to be distributed to its 55 member states. At least 50 million doses of vaccines supplied by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson will be available in April.
  • Italy’s vaccination program is moving faster than expected, with those over age 80 receiving their first injection this week instead of early February.
  • Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico issued a joint declaration earlier this week imposing coordinated health measures to deter migration, including requirements to produce negative coronavirus tests at border checkpoints.
  • Switzerland will enter new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday. All shops selling non-essential goods will have to close, a limit on private gatherings has been cut to five people from 10, and the closure of bars, restaurants, cultural centers, and sports facilities is extended until the end of February.
  • Denmark has extended COVID-19 restrictions that were set to expire Jan. 17 for three weeks. Non-essential businesses and schools will remain closed, social gatherings are limited to no more than five people, and face masks must be worn in indoor public areas.
  • Moscow will extend for one week its current COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the closure of bars and restaurants, limits on the number of workers in offices, and a mask mandate in shops and on public transportation.
  • On Thursday, the leader of Spain’s most populous region — Andalusia — asked residents to stay home voluntarily. The national health ministry reported more new coronavirus cases on Wednesday than on any previous day since the pandemic began, and hospitalizations across Spain are rising sharply.
  • Cuba will close schools, public transport, and cultural activities amid its worst outbreak of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
  • Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency in seven additional areas of the country on Wednesday. Under the state of emergency, which takes immediate effect and is expected to end Feb. 7 for all 11 regions currently affected, Suga said governors will ask residents to refrain from dining out and to stay home after 8 PM unless for essential reasons. They will also ask companies to decrease the number of employees commuting to work by 70 percent.
  • France strengthened border controls and extended a curfew to the entire country on Thursday. Starting next Monday, all travelers coming to France from countries outside of the E.U. will have to present proof of a negative virus test that is no older than 72 hours, and pledge to isolate for seven days before getting tested again. Starting on Saturday, shops will have to close by 6 PM and people will have to be home by 6 PM for at least fifteen days. Schools will remain open with stricter mitigation protocols.
  • France also said on Thursday that it planned to test up to a million school children and teachers every month for COVID-19 amid growing concern over the spread in classrooms of the coronavirus variant that was first detected in Britain.
  • More than 20,000 citizens from 12 villages in the Gaocheng District of the Chinese city of Shijiangzhuang have been relocated to quarantine sites as a preventative measure against COVID-19, according to Chinese state media.
  • New Zealand, which has kept its borders tightly controlled while largely vanquishing the coronavirus, will let 1,000 international students back into the country starting in April.
  • Starting Friday at 4 AM local time, arrivals to the U.K. will be banned from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip on Thursday received a first dose of CoronaVac, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac. Turkey approved CoronaVac for emergency use on Wednesday and began its vaccination rollout across all 81 provinces on Thursday, starting with frontline workers.
  • Global Cases: 91,061,072               Total Deaths: 1,970,741

1/11/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • A group of experts from the WHO are set to arrive in China on Thursday for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The WHO aims to launch COVID-19 vaccines in poor and lower middle-income countries in February through its Covax program.
  • Israel is leading the world in vaccinating its people, with almost 20 percent of the population having received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
  • Japanese health officials alerted the WHO of a new COVID-19 variant, which is different than COVID-19 variants first identified in the U.K. and in South Africa.
  • Indonesian regulators have granted emergency approval to the Chinese-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first country outside China to do so.
  • Russian vaccine scientists on Monday began a study to determine whether they can speed up the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign by providing only a single dose of its normally two-dose vaccine.
  • Seychelles, an island nation of just under 100,000 people, became the first African country to begin immunizing its population against COVID-19 with a vaccine developed by China’s state-owned Sinopharm.
  • India will begin a mass vaccination program on Saturday, aiming to administer doses to 300 million frontline workers and elderly and vulnerable people by August.
  • British authorities announced their decision to delay the administration of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines to help more people receive an initial dose, a policy shift that has not yet been backed by scientists. The U.K. opened seven mass vaccination centers across the country to bolster its vaccine rollout on Monday.
  • Hospital mortuaries in Britain are running out of room for bodies as the country grapples with a surge in infections.
  • Hospitals in Peru’s north, south, and central regions have no beds left in their ICUs. In the capital of Lima, only six ICU beds are left.
  • Germany implemented new COVID-19 mitigation measures Monday that will remain in place until at least Jan. 31. Residents may only have one home visitor at a time; those living in hotspot regions are confined to a nine-mile radius around their houses; only grocery stores and drugstores can remain open; and travelers entering Germany from high-risk areas must register upon arrival, quarantine for 10 days, and be tested for the virus.
  • More than half a million people were placed under lockdown in Beijing on Monday as the Chinese government imposed strict measures to stamp out a handful of COVID-19 cases. All rural villages in Shunyi district on the outskirts of Beijing are locked down until a fresh round of mass testing has been completed. Officials also said locals would be under “closed management,” suggesting they will be barred from leaving their residences.
  • Malaysia will impose a two-week partial lockdown in the worst-hit areas of the country on Wednesday, forcing all non-essential businesses to close.
  • Zimbabwe has banned families from transporting their dead relatives between cities as part of new measures to stop traditional funeral rites that are believed to be increasing the spread of COVID-19.
  • One week after enforcing a three-week lockdown, Lebanon introduced stricter COVID-19 mitigation measures under which there will be a 24-hour curfew, land and maritime borders will be closed to all travelers except those with transit visas, and supermarkets will be open for delivery service only. Medical workers, employees of oil and wheat sectors, journalists, and people who work in fields such as telecommunication, water, and electricity are exempt.
  • Teachers in Malta have returned to their classrooms and ended a two-day strike after the government agreed to give them priority in the island country’s vaccination campaign.
  • Primary schools and kindergartens in Greece reopened on Monday after a two-month closure. The country’s secondary schools and universities will remain closed, with classes being conducted remotely.
  • The city of Brisbane, Australia, will lift a strict three-day lockdown enforced last week after a case of the new variant of the coronavirus was recorded. The lockdown will end Monday evening, though masks will remain mandatory in crowded spaces in the city for another 10 days.
  • Thailand’s tourism minister hopes to boost the country’s economy by allowing overseas visitors to quarantine at golf resorts. Under a proposed plan, tourists would no longer be stuck in their rooms for the two-week quarantine period; instead, they would be able to golf and explore the resorts, presumably while keeping a safe distance from others.
  • Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Global Cases: 89,048,345 Total Deaths: 1,930,265

1/7/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • The WHO is reviewing vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Chinese developers for possible EUA.
  • The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use within the E.U., weeks after the shot began to be administered in the U.S., Britain, and elsewhere.
  • Health officials in Brazil said a COVID-19 vaccine made by the Beijing-based Sinovac is 78 percent effective after a prominent medical research institute carried out a large study of the candidate.
  • The U.A.E. will soon start manufacturing China’s Sinopharm vaccine in the country according to a new agreement. The Chinese state-owned drug maker announced last month that the shot was 79.3 percent effective against COVID-19.
  • The U.A.E. has also started Phase III clinical trials of Russia’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.
  • The Netherlands is the last country in the E.U. to begin distributing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was cleared by regulators in late December and has already been administered to hundreds of thousands of people in Germany. While most E.U. nations began immunizing vulnerable groups on Dec. 27, thousands of vaccine doses that were delivered to the Netherlands were placed in cold storage while the government finalized a distribution plan.
  • The WHO has called on European countries to intensify coronavirus mitigation measures as the region deals with a new variant that was first detected in the U.K.
  • Ireland has ordered the closure of most schools and construction sites for at least three weeks in an effort to curb a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, tightening a lockdown that has already closed most hospitality and retail outlets.
  • French prime minister Jean Castex on Thursday extended several restrictions already in place across that country that were set to expire on Jan. 20. Movie theaters, museums, and music halls will remain closed until at least the end of January, and bars and restaurants will remain shut until mid-February at the earliest. An 8 PM to 6 AM curfew will also remain in place for the time being.
  • Portugal has extended a state of emergency due to the pandemic through Jan. 15.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring regions on Thursday. Under the declaration, which takes immediate effect and will last for one month, governors ask that residents refrain from dining out or leaving home after 8 PM unless for essential reasons; companies will be asked to decrease the number of employees commuting to work by 70 percent; and bars and restaurants will be asked to stop serving alcohol by 7 PM and to close by 8 PM. Schools, museums, movie theaters, gyms, and shops will stay open.
  • Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to win approval in Japan until May due to requirements for local clinical trials, which are set to begin this month.
  • Israel will impose a full national lockdown, shuttering most schools and all nonessential workplaces for at least two weeks, beginning on Thursday. Gatherings will be restricted to five persons indoors and 10 outdoors, and movement and travel abroad restricted.
  • Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said vaccine supply agreements with Pfizer meant that all Israelis over the age of 16 would be able to be vaccinated by the end of March.
  • China is imposing a strict lockdown on Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million in the northern province of Hebei, after a small flare-up of COVID-19 cases prompted city officials to begin a mass testing drive that uncovered nearly 130 new cases in two days. Officials said all residents in the city will be tested. Flights, trains, and cars have been barred from leaving or entering the city.
  • Senegalese President Macky Sall declared a new state of emergency and imposed a nighttime curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM on Wednesday as coronavirus cases reach aggressive new highs in parts of the West African nation. Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Namibia have also announced new COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The critical care wards of major hospitals in Peru and Bolivia stand at or near collapse after end-of-year holidays, reflecting wider regional public health capacity concerns as much of Latin America struggles to secure adequate COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
  • South Korea plans to test 70,000 inmates and staff at the nation’s prisons in the coming days, an effort aimed identify COVID-19 clusters at 52 correctional facilities, which have been a major hotspot of infection.
  • South Korea also said it will extend its ban on incoming flights from Britain until Jan. 21. All foreigners entering South Korea will be required to submit negative COVID-19 test results starting Friday.
  • The U.K. said it will extend a ban on travelers entering England from southern African countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Angola, in a measure to prevent the spread of a new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa.
  • France’s borders with the U.K. will remain closed for the foreseeable future and any French residents returning must have a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Global Cases: 85,929,428 Total Deaths: 1,876,100

1/4/2021

  • Here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Update and here is the most recent edition of the WHO's Weekly Operational Update.
  • Britain became the first country in the world to begin distributing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday morning, with an 82-year-old Oxford native receiving the first shot just steps from where it was developed. The vaccine, approved in the U.K. on Dec. 30, was shown to be up to 90 percent effective after two doses.
  • Denmark on Monday approved a lag of up to six weeks between the first and second shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, although the vaccine is meant to be given in two doses three weeks apart. Germany and Ireland are considering similar policies.
  • Indian health regulators on Sunday approved two COVID-19 vaccines – a homegrown coronavirus vaccine called Covaxin and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Phase 3 clinical trials for Covaxin were not completed before the vaccine was given the green light, prompting concern from some medical experts.
  • Though India intends to help supply coronavirus vaccines to the developing world, the head of its largest manufacturer said on Sunday that the country will not allow the export of the doses overseas for several months, because vulnerable people living in India will receive priority.
  • Israel, which has inoculated a higher proportion of its population against the coronavirus than any other country, is delivering shots so quickly it is outstripping its supply of vaccine. While the U.S. vaccination rate is around 1 percent, Israel has reached 12 percent of its residents with the initial dose.
  • China has begun a nationwide drive to vaccinate some 50 million front-line workers against the coronavirus before the country’s Lunar New Year travel rush next month.
  • Spanish doctors and health experts have expressed frustration at the slow start to the country’s campaign to inoculate people, with only a few tens of thousands vaccinated since the E.U. approved a vaccine two weeks ago.
  • Several countries in West Africa are facing surges in COVID-19 infections as prospects for robust vaccination programs dim. Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, and Togo have all recorded significantly higher numbers of COVID-19 cases over the last month, close to or at record levels. The African Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said countries across the continent will not receive nearly enough vaccines through the global Covax agreement to vaccinate 60 percent of the continental population.
  • Ireland’s hospitals cannot manage the current trajectory of its COVID-19 outbreak and will cancel most non-urgent procedures this week to create as much spare ICU space as possible.
  • England will enter its toughest nationwide lockdown since March, with schools and non-essential shops closed and people allowed to leave home just once a day for exercise until at least Feb. 15. Currently, people must only leave home for work, if it is impossible to work from home, and for essential food and medicine.
  • Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new lockdown on Monday that will last until at least the end of January. People must stay home beginning at midnight except for essential reasons. Most students will move to remote learning until at least February. Beginning Friday, houses of worship will close, with exceptions for weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, and funerals.
  • Beginning Thursday, Catalonia will ban people from leaving their municipalities, close gyms and shopping centers, and allow only essential shops such as pharmacies to open. The restrictions will remain in place until Jan. 17.
  • Austria has scrapped plans to allow anyone with a negative COVID-19 test to exit the country’s lockdown a week early, effectively extending strict measures and keeping restaurants and non-essential shops closed until Jan. 24.
  • Lebanon has announced a full lockdown for three weeks, including a night curfew from 6 PM to 5 AM, to stem a rise in COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals while the country faces financial meltdown. Medical supplies have dwindled as dollars have grown scarce.
  • Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha urged people to stay home amidst a surge in COVID-19 infections. In the capital of Bangkok, schools, bars, entertainment venues, and gyms must close. Restaurants are allowed to serve food until 9 PM.
  • Authorities in Tokyo, Japan on Monday requested that restaurants and bars close by 8 PM. The Japanese capital recorded a record high of 1,337 cases in one day last week. Companies have been encouraged to allow employees to work from home, and universities have been asked to move classes online.
  • Strict measures have been imposed in several regions in the north of China, where officials are conducting mass tests, sealing off villages where there have been confirmed infections, and limiting entry into certain districts. Health authorities reported 33 new COVID-19 cases and 40 asymptomatic cases, which the country does not designate as confirmed cases, in mainland China on Monday. Beijing has begun vaccinating adults under 60, using the state backed Sinopharm vaccine.
  • Hong Kong has suspended all in-person classes until Feb. 15.
  • South Korea on Saturday expanded a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to the whole country and extended restrictions on in-person classes, karaoke rooms, bars, and other high-risk facilities until Jan. 17.
  • Schools fully reopened across Kenya on Monday for the first time in nearly 10 months.
  • Cambodia will begin to lift strict lockdown rules that have been in place since a small cluster of COVID-19 infections was detected in November.
  • Australia has initiated mass testing drives in its two most populous states, South Wales and Victoria, where small COVID-19 outbreaks have emerged.
  • People traveling to New Zealand from the U.S. and U.K. will now be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before departure and take a test upon arrival and on days three and 12 of their mandatory quarantine. The country’s border remains mostly closed to non-citizens.
  • Global Cases: 83,910,386 Total Deaths: 1,839,660

For updates previous to January, click here

Grants/Funding

FEMA Support

Suppliers, donors and clients, see the following website: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help

On the website under private sector you will find:

  • To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please email specifics to covidsupplies@fema.dhs.gov.
  • If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide us details on what you are offering.
  • If you are a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID response – email nbeoc@max.gov.
  • If you are a hospital and other companies in need of medical supplies, contact your state Department of Public Health and/or Emergency Management.
  • For non-medical supplies, services or equipment, if you are interested in doing business with FEMA, visit our Industry Liaison Program.

SBA Disaster Loan Funding

Small businesses in ANY state and territory may apply for the disaster loans online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Due to heavy usage, it is best for companies to go onto the site at night.  If possible always apply online.

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselors can help companies complete disaster applications remotely. Contact your local SBDC.
  • For anyone already having an current  SBA disaster loan, it is deferred until 12/31/2020.

For individual questions on disaster loans, companies can call, email or use the website:
Online:  SBA.gov/Disaster 
Email:    disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
Call:       1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)

Additional information about SBA assistance:

  • Borrowers with a current SBA 504  or 7(a) business loan can contact their lender to request a deferral for up six months.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million for working capital to help support small businesses overcome the temporary loss of working capital they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • SBA offers long-term loans up to a maximum of 30 years.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

Working Capital Loan Guarantee Program

Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank)

 https://www.exim.gov/fact-sheet-exim-covid-19-assistance

Working Capital Loan Guarantees can empower exporters to unlock cash flow and take on new business abroad. Exporters can borrow more with the same collateral, secure performance, bid bonds needed to win projects, and increase global competitiveness.

Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on Deferring Tax Payments Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Following President Donald J. Trump's emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

CDFA's COVID-19 Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)

CDFA has developed a set of policy proposals that would allow state and local governments, through development finance agencies, to be immediate problem solvers that can help alleviate the extreme economic challenges facing small businesses and communities to put America securely on the path to recovery.

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) SSBCI was a federal financing program that delivered flexible, affordable capital to small businesses around the country. The expiration of the SSBCI Program in 2017 left a void in the marketplace for affordable small business loans. Reauthorization of SSBCI is one of the key tenets of CDFA’s COVID-19 Comprehensive Recovery Strategy.  Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2020 (S. 3551) would provide $3 billion in funds to a reauthorized SSBCI Program and provide immediate access to capital for small businesses that desperately need it. The programs created by states under the original SSBCI are still in operation and would be ready to immediately deploy capital to businesses in need. Reauthorization is pending.

Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on Deferring Tax Payments Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Following President Donald J. Trump's emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

Economic Development Administration (EDA)

As of March 26, the EDA had yet to issue specific guidance for COVID-19 related programs but, based on past history is likely to do so. Additional information may be found at the EDA Disaster Recovery website:  https://www.eda.gov/disaster-recovery/

 

Grants/Funding

Lifestyle & Economy

Lifestyle and Economy

1/21/2021

  • More than 37.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and more than 15 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data.
  • The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response prepared and published their second report on progress for the WHO Executive Board.
  • A recent MMWR article looked at vaccination coverage among kindergarteners in the U.S. in the 2019-2020 school year. National coverage for that year was about 95 percent for diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis; measles, mumps, and rubella; and varicella vaccines. However, the article notes the disruption in vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, the authors recommend increased follow-up of undervaccinated students.
  • Another MMWR study examined contact tracing efforts from health departments for a month between June and July of 2020. The findings showed that, of case investigation and contact tracing metric data reported by 56 U.S. health departments, there was wide variation in capacity and ability to conduct timely and effective contact tracing. The authors suggest that increasing staffing capacity and improving community engagement could lead to more timely contact tracing interviews and identification of more contacts.
  • Eli Lilly released new data showing that a laboratory-made protein delivered by infusion may help prevent infections at nursing homes. A Phase 3 clinical trial found that nursing home residents who got the monoclonal antibody drug were 80 percent less likely to develop symptomatic COVID-19 compared to nursing home residents who got a placebo infusion.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appears to work just as well against a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus first identified in the U.K. as it does against earlier forms of the pathogen, the companies reported in a study Wednesday.
  • United Airlines said it expected to have voluntary COVID-19 testing available at all of its hubs by February.
  • Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said the 2021 Rio Carnival will be postponed due to Brazil’s second wave of coronavirus and a lagging vaccination campaign.
  • The UK’s largest music festival “Glastonbury” has been canceled for a second time.
  • While the French ski slopes have remained closed, resorts in Switzerland have decided to open. Although the French Government have urged people to stay away, many ignored the recommendations. The large crowds make social distancing difficult have heightened public health concerns, as highly contagious variants of the virus spread across Europe.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The New York Times has a very helpful vaccine tracker as well, which you can view here. This AVAC pipeline tracker is great, too. 
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has an extensive list of commercial and lab-developed tests. 
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.

1/19/2021

  • More than 31 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and nearly 11 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data updated as of Jan. 15.
  • COVID-19 vaccine coverage is twice as high among white people than it is among Black and Hispanic people according to one recent analysis. At least 14 states publish vaccine administration data by race on local dashboards or reports, and at least 13 states report it by ethnicity.
  • New York State is having a difficult time vaccinating nursing home workers who are opting out. As of Monday, only about 37 percent of the more than 130,000 people working in “skilled nursing” facilities in the state have been vaccinated, according to the governor’s office.
  • A new commentary co-authored by NIH's Dr. Tony Fauci and other leading NIAID scientists in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine provides an overview of the seven COVID-19 vaccines furthest along in development in the U.S. For each vaccine candidate, the authors describe the platform used, the current stage of development, and the clinical trial results that have been reported or when results are expected. 
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found over 211,000 new COVID-19 cases among kids last week – the highest number since the pandemic began, according to a newly released report.
  • Widespread use of face masks in a community can significantly help prevent large outbreaks of COVID-19, according to a study published Tuesday in The Lancet Digital Health. A 10 percent increase in self-reported mask-wearing could lead to a three-fold increase in the odds of maintaining sufficient control over virus transmission in a community, the study said.
  • Pfizer said shipments to Canada and the E.U. from its vaccine facility in Puurs, Belgium, will be temporarily reduced as it scales up to produce two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021. The company said there will be fluctuations in orders and shipping schedules from the facility in late January and early February.
  • Seventy-two tennis players who arrived ahead of the Australian Open, set to begin Feb. 8, have been confined to their hotel rooms and prohibited from practicing as part of strict quarantine rules implemented after passengers on their flights to the grand slam tournament tested positive for COVID-19. Two players and one non-player associated with the tournament tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
  • Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways said they have partnered with the International Air Transport Association to trial IATA Travel Pass ­– a mobile app that serves as a “digital passport” to verify pre-travel COVID-19 testing or vaccination status. Emirates Airlines said it plans to roll out the first phase to passengers departing Dubai in April, and Etihad will first offer the travel pass on some flights out of Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021.
  • A Scottish woman who lived through two world wars and the 1918 flu pandemic has received her first dose of coronavirus vaccine on her 108th birthday.
  • The 2021 New Orleans Jazz Fest has been postponed until October.
  • Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been canceled for the second year in a row.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The New York Times has a very helpful vaccine tracker as well, which you can view here. This AVAC pipeline tracker is great, too. 
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has an extensive list of commercial and lab-developed tests. 
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.

1/14/2021

  • More than 30.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and more than 11 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data.
  • Early-stage trials of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine show it generated an immune response in nearly all volunteers, with minimal side-effects, after a single dose.
  • People who received two shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in its earliest, Phase 1 clinical trial are being offered a third shot, a so-called booster, as part of a continuing study to determine whether repeated vaccinations are needed, and whether they are safe and effective.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 may have immunity to the virus for around five months, according to preliminary findings in a new study led by Public Health England.
  • In an HHS-funded study, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who were not receiving mechanical ventilation had a lower risk of death if they received a transfusion of plasma with higher coronavirus antibody levels than a transfusion of plasma with lower antibody levels.
  • Based on global surveillance data collected through late last month, the WHO says flu activity in the Northern Hemisphere is at “interseasonal levels,” meaning it’s as low as in an ordinary summer. In the U.S., the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness is at 1.6 percent, far below the 2.6 percent baseline used to define a seasonal epidemic. U.S. clinical labs have collected 925 positive samples since the end of September 2020, versus 63,975 at this point in the 2019–20 flu season.
  • Scientists at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new variant of the coronavirus that is similar to the mutation found in the U.K. but probably originated in the U.S., researchers announced Wednesday.
  • After declining over the summer, coronavirus infections among children, teens, and young adults rose steadily from September through mid-December, paralleling the virus’s trajectory among older adults in the U.S. population, the CDC reported on Wednesday.
  • Another study of children, adolescents, and young adults, published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday by researchers at the University of Minnesota, found that the increase in the percentage of children hospitalized with COVID-19 was more than double that of adults over the same period. Child hospitalizations surged by 760 percent, while adult hospitalizations increased by 300 percent.
  • A coalition of leading technology companies, health organizations, and nonprofits — including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Cerner, Epic Systems, and the Mayo Clinic — said on Thursday that they were developing technology standards to enable people to obtain and share their immunization records through health passport apps.
  • New claims for state unemployment benefits in the U.S. sharply increased last week. A total of 1.15 million workers filed initial claims for state unemployment benefits during the first full week of the new year.
  • Unlike the jobless rate, which has declined markedly from the peak in April, the rate of absenteeism has remained stubbornly high. More than 1.9 million people missed work in December because of illness, according to Labor Department data, almost matching the 2 million record set in April and underscoring the impact of a third wave of coronavirus infections. This is beginning to greatly affect U.S. supply chains.
  • The Vatican said on Thursday that Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had each received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Tennis player Andy Murray has tested positive for COVID-19, putting in doubt his participation in next month’s Australian Open.
  • The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. said on Tuesday that they would offer contactless delivery and pickup of their cookies through Grubhub. It’s the first time that the Girl Scouts, who have sold cookies for more than a century, have collaborated with a national delivery service.
  • The English Premier League announced on Thursday that Aston Villa’s home game against Everton has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at the Midlands club. A total of six Premier League matches have been postponed due to the pandemic so far.
  • Flights were delayed when an air traffic control center near Jacksonville, Florida, closed for several hours for extensive cleaning after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The New York Times has a very helpful vaccine tracker as well, which you can view here. This AVAC pipeline tracker is great, too. 
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has an extensive list of commercial and lab-developed tests. 
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.

1/11/2021

  • More than 25.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and nearly 9 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data.
  • States are increasingly abandoning guidelines from the CDC and taking their own approaches to giving people coronavirus vaccines, new analysis finds.
  • Reports on new SARS-CoV-2 variants are available here.
  • Two independent analyses have found that a new SARS-CoV-2 variant overtaking the U.K. is indeed more transmissible than other forms of the virus. Both found it to be roughly 50 percent more transmissible than other variants.
  • Under a range of assumptions of presymptomatic transmission and transmission from individuals with infection who never develop symptoms, the model presented in this study estimated that more than half of transmission comes from asymptomatic individuals.
  • In a study investigating the long-term health effects of COVID-19, 76 percent (1265 of 1655) of the patients reported at least one symptom that persisted 6-months after being diagnosed, with fatigue or muscle weakness being the most frequently reported symptom (63 percent, 1038 of 1655). More than half of patients presented with residual chest imaging abnormalities.
  • A recent MMWR article found rates of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff members increased during June and July 2020, and again in November. Trends in reported COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and staff members were similar to trends in incidence of COVID-19 in surrounding communities.
  • Pope Francis says he will soon receive a COVID-19 vaccination, perhaps as early as next week, and said receiving the vaccine is a duty for everyone.
  • Nurses in the Chicago Public Schools district have objected to officials’ plans to begin bringing students back to classrooms on Monday, saying they do not think it is safe to do so.
  • COVID-19 killed more law enforcement officers in the line of duty than anything else in 2020, according to a new report.
  • The NBA has postponed two games due to COVID-19 safety protocols: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks originally scheduled for Monday night and Tuesday’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and host Chicago Bulls.
  • Support for holding the Olympics in Japan this summer has plummeted, according to a new poll from Kyodo News Agency that found that roughly 80 percent of respondents felt the event should be canceled or rescheduled.
  • Two captive gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19 after falling ill, and a third gorilla appears also to be symptomatic.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said global carbon emissions, which have been reduced by the pandemic, are set to rebound in 2021 unless governments take swift policy action.
  • After an 18-hour flight from Dubai landed in Auckland, New Zealand, in September, local health authorities discovered evidence of an outbreak that most likely occurred during the trip. Using seat maps and genetic analysis, the new study determined that one passenger initiated a chain of infection that spread to four others en route.
  • An international trial of the use of convalescent blood plasma on COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe illness has halted enrolment of severely ill patients requiring intensive care after it found no benefit.
  • Delays were reported at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after an air traffic control center that serves the area reported a coronavirus infection and closed for cleaning on Sunday.
  • The University of California is planning to return to primarily in-person instruction statewide beginning fall 2021 as access to COVID-19 vaccines becomes more widely accessible.
  • Dodger Stadium will become a COVID-19 vaccination site by the end of the week and will no longer offer testing after today. Once the site is fully operational, up to 12,000 people can be vaccinated per day.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The New York Times has a very helpful vaccine tracker as well, which you can view here. This AVAC pipeline tracker is great, too.
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has an extensive list of commercial and lab-developed tests.
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.

1/7/2021

  • More than 21 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and 5.9 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data.
  • Nearly 60 percent of all COVID-19 spread may come from people with no symptoms, according to a new MMWR report from the CDC.
  • The spread of the coronavirus accelerated sharply in counties where large universities held classes in person last fall, according to another MMWR study by the CDC.
  • The CDC released an MMWR report with data estimates that life-threatening allergic reactions could occur in about 11 out of every 1 million COVID-19 vaccine shots given. The CDC’s estimate is based on 21 cases of anaphylaxis following a 10-day period after the administration of 1.9 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The vast majority of these reactions – 71 percent –occurred within 15 minutes of the vaccination.
  • As of January 4, national forecasts predict that 12,900 to 24,900 new COVID-19 deaths will be reported during the week ending Jan. 30. These forecasts predict 405,000 to 438,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by Jan. 30. In an interview with NPR, Dr. Fauci said the continued high toll would probably be a reflection of increased travel and gatherings over the holidays.
  • Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can help older adults avoid getting seriously sick with the coronavirus if the therapy is administered within days of the onset of the illness, a clinical trial in Argentina found.
  • New data suggest that nearly all COVID-19 survivors have the immune cells necessary to fight re-infection. The findings, published in the Jan. 6, 2021, online edition of Science, could mean that COVID-19 survivors have protective immunity against serious disease from the SARS-CoV-2 virus for months, perhaps years after infection.
  • The Grammy Awards, originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 31, have been postponed to March 14 due to the crisis-level COVID-19 situation in Los Angeles.
  • Saudi Arabia is urging Muslims to receive a coronavirus vaccine before performing Hajj or Umrah, religious pilgrimages to the country’s holy city of Mecca.
  • A pilot program will provide vaccines to some people imprisoned in federal prisons in Ottawa, Canada starting Friday. Six hundred inmates will each get two doses of vaccine in the first round, with prioritization of the sick and elderly.
  • So many dogs have been adopted during the pandemic that animal shelters in the DMV area are running out of pets.
  • Most nursing-home employees in North Carolina are refusing coronavirus vaccines, the state’s top public health official said Tuesday. And a third of health workers in the New York City public hospital system declined COVID-19 vaccines, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
  • Native American tribes are prioritizing vaccinations for speakers of endangered languages.
  • Holy Cross beat Boston University 68-66 on Tuesday, during the first men’s college basketball game this season in which players wore masks on the court.
  • Jury trials in states across the U.S. – including California, Florida, Arkansas, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Idaho – have shut down as a result of the pandemic. The inability to conduct jury trials has wreaked havoc with the dockets of many courts.
  • Two-time World Cup winner Alex Morgan announced she and her family have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • North Carolina prison officials are considering offering rewards, such as increased guest visitation privileges, to inmates who accept a coronavirus vaccine that will soon become available to them.

1/4/2021

  • The number of inmates and guards known to have been infected with COVID-19 at American correctional institutions has now exceeded 500,000.
  • Moderna said it will produce at least 600 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million from its previous forecast.
  • More than fifteen million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the U.S., and 4.5 million people have received their first dose, according to CDC data.
  • BioNTech and Pfizer warned they had no evidence their vaccine would continue to work if the booster shot was given later than tested in trials. They said the “safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules.”
  • In an attempt to limit the threat of coronavirus among teams, the N.C.A.A. announced an agreement Monday to hold its signature men’s basketball tournament entirely in Indiana in March and early April.
  • The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 1.3 million travelers Sunday, marking yet another pandemic travel record.
  • Sandra Lindsay, director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, became the first person in the U.S. to complete a two-dose coronavirus vaccine course on Monday, 21 days after she was given her initial dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 14.
  • The Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative today announced a new resource designed to address healthcare professionals' questions about COVID-19 vaccination. The videos which feature an introduction from Dr. Anthony Fauci–include experts from a diverse coalition of leading healthcare organizations and medical institutions sharing information around COVID-19 vaccine development and safety with their fellow physicians and nurses.
  • Two more studies show contracting COVID-19 prevents against future infection for 6-8 months. The studies, one from Oxford University and the other by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, are the latest in a series of medical findings that have shown getting COVID-19 provides temporary immunity from reinfection, the Associated Press reported.
  • Sixty percent of nursing home staff in Ohio have refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The University of California, San Diego has installed vending machines on campus where students and staff can pick up self-administered COVID-19 test kits. To use the kits, which are free, test takers use the swab outdoors and return the vile within 72 hours, for results in less than two days.
  • Some Chicago Public Schools teachers expected to report to the classroom ahead of preschool students’ anticipated return next week have stayed home over coronavirus concerns. The Chicago Teachers Union opposed the nation’s third-largest district’s plans to bring students back in phases.
  • The Greek Orthodox church has announced it will defy government lockdown orders aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus and open places of worship to mark Epiphany on Wednesday.
  • Pope Francis on Sunday criticized people who have been traveling abroad for leisure during the pandemic, saying he was disappointed by their lack of consideration for others.

For updates previous to January, click here

Articles/Media

Other Resources

Common Acronyms

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Central Command (CENTCOM), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Executive Order (EO), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Emerging Therapeutic Company Investment and Deal-making 2010-2019

Contents:

  • Acquisitions
  • Licensing 
  • IPOs and FOPOs 
  • Venture Funding 
  • Methodology 

https://www.bio.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/BIO_2020_BIO_Industry_Analysis_2010_2019.pdf

Gov. Kemp Calls on Georgia Businesses to Aid with Critical Health Care Needs

  • Governor Kemp calls on all Georgia businesses who are able to help the state provide, produce, distribute, or store critical health care items needed to fight the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Click here to read the press release and to complete the information form, visit: www.georgia.org/covid19response.


Georgia-Specific Resources

COVID-19 Updates and Information Georgia Department of Economic Development

Economic Assistance for Atlanta Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Invest Atlanta

State-administered revolving loan program

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) - Department of Community Affairs

  1. Georgia Loan Participation Program. The State purchases a participation of up to 25% of an approved loan, for loans ranging from $100,000 to $5,000,000. (Maximum participation amount depending on program liquidity; current maximum participation is $250,000.)  
  2. Georgia SBCG (Small Business Credit Guaranty) is a 50% loan guaranty program with a current maximum loan amount of $400,000 with a $200,000 guaranty.

Roadmap to Recovery

A set of recommendations intended to guide governors and state agencies on reopening and operating their states in this new environment. Developed by NGA and the Association of State & Territorial Health Officers (ASHTO). 

Moody COVID State Budget Stress Test

A report from Moody’s concerning the precariousness of state budgets as a result of COVID-19.

Gilead Sciences statements on trials of remdesivir (COVID-19)

Mental Health

Johns Hopkins University Real-Time Coronavirus Tracker

RSS COVID-19