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At the request of our customers, March 9th, RiskIQ’s team of trained intelligence analysts began compiling disparate data and intelligence related to COVID-19 into comprehensive reports. Each report combines major updates around COVID-19 and its impacts on cities, neighborhoods, schools, and businesses as well as essential cybercrime data that helps raise the situational awareness of both physical and cybersecurity teams.

Purpose

This intelligence will help inform the decisions of security teams, who face new requirements during these unprecedented times. Here, RiskIQ strives to provide the security community with a single source of factual reporting and informed analysis to help the security community discover unknowns about their environment and investigate threats.

Notice

RiskIQ will be changing the format and frequency of the COVID-19 Daily Update beginning Friday, 05/15/2020. The report will be released every Friday rather than every day. The report will compile the week’s major stories and events and present them in the Notable Events and Digital Exploitation sections. RiskIQ has established a microsite for COVID-19 coverage, located at https://www.riskiq.com/covid19-cybersecurity/. Thank you for your continued readership.

6/18/20 Notable Events in the Past Week

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  • Beijing on Saturday reported four new local cases of COVID-19, adding to fears of a possible second wave of infections. The four cases all appear to be tied to a specific location, with three of four working at the Beijing Xinfadi Market and the other made several visits to the market. So far, only one of the new confirmed cases has been classified as severe.
  • As Europe moves to return to some level of normalcy, many countries in the European Union are reopening their international borders with some exceptions. Tourists from the U.S., Asia, Latin America and the Middle East will not be permitted to enter immediately, and it is not clear when such travel will be allowed.
  • After reporting a single-day increase of 12,881 new cases, India’s total number of infections rose to 366,946. The country’s death toll climbed by 334, putting the total tally at 12,237 dead.
  • New infections continued to rise in Saudi Arabia, reaching new daily highs approaching 5,000 cases and over 40 deaths a day, with the biggest increase occurring in the nation’s capital.
  • New Zealand announced that it will be tightening border requirements and appointing the defence force to supervise quarantine facilities after two infected people were allowed to move around the country. While on mandatory quarantine after arriving from Britain on June 7th, two women were given permission to travel to visit their dying parent. Assistant Chief of Defence, Air Commodore Digby Webb will now oversee isolation facilities to ensure exit processes are properly followed.
  • Scientists have discovered a “major breakthrough” in treating COVID-19, reporting that dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has shown very promising results in treating COVID-19 patients. Trial results showed dexamethasone reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill patients admitted to hospital. The preliminary results have yet to be peer-reviewed, but the researchers said the results suggest the drug should immediately become the standard care in patients with severe cases of the disease.
  • A consensus is beginning to form around how the virus spreads as the pandemic nears its sixth month. Scientists say that the virus is not commonly spread through touching contaminated surfaces or by brief outdoor encounters with others. The main vector is close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods. Crowded events, poorly ventilated areas, and places where people are talking loudly maximize the risk. Two other recent studies also showed that various lockdown procedures prevented millions of infections around the world.
  • The number of workers applying for and receiving unemployment benefits has stabilized at historically high levels, signaling that hundreds of thousands of workers are still losing their jobs each week though the labor market is showing signs of recovery. New applications for benefits edged lower by 58,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.5 million in the week ended June 13, the Labor Department said Thursday, showing that the pace of layoffs is no longer significantly easing. At the same time, the number of Americans receiving benefits payments fell by 62,000 to 20.5 million in the week ended June 6.
  • Americans have skipped more than 100 million debt payments, including student loans and auto loans, since the pandemic began. The number of accounts that enrolled in deferment, forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 and remain in such a state rose to 106 million at the end of May, according to TransUnion. Student loans accounted for the largest increase, with 79 million accounts in deferment or relief status.
  • Several bars and restaurants in northern and central Florida temporarily shut down following reports that infected patrons had visited their establishments. This comes just a week after bars were allowed to reopen with restrictions in place. These closures are in line with a spike in new COVID-19 cases in Florida, including two consecutive days with more than 2,000 new cases in the state.
  • COVID-19 waivers are increasingly being used by businesses and schools as a way to protect against lawsuits in absence of blanket immunity. Despite uncertainties around if these waivers are legally binding, the thought is that they will deter individuals from pursuing legal actions. The use of waivers has faced some backlash, particularly because they may encourage businesses to reopen prematurely. On the contrary, it is also being argued that businesses should be protected and that a liability shield is needed.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested football teams would need to emulate plans by the NBA and MLS for a “bubble” format or consider not playing in 2020. “Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

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6/12/20 Notable Events in the Past Week

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  • New York City recorded zero COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, 06/03/2020, marking a significant milestone as the city moves towards recovery. That was the first time the city recorded no coronavirus-related fatalities since 03/10/2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio reported on Thursday, 06/04/2020, that only 3% of people tested positive for the virus.
  • The state of California gave approval for film and television production to resume on 06/12/2020, subject to approval from county public health officials. Film and television production has been halted since early March. The California Department of Public Health also issued extensive guidelines for schools, daycare facilities, and casinos to reopen.
  • Texas health authorities said there are currently 2,153 patients sickened with COVID-19 across its hospitals, making Wednesday the third-straight day of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations in the state. The new total is up from 2,056 patients on Tuesday and 1,935 patients Monday, according to updated data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • A young woman whose lungs were destroyed by the coronavirus received a double lung transplant last week at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the first known lung transplant in the United States for COVID-19. The 10-hour surgery was more complicated and took several hours longer than most lung transplants because inflammation from the disease had left the woman’s lungs completely plastered to the tissue around them, the heart, the chest wall, and diaphragm.
  • As tens of thousands of Americans take to the streets in protest of the killing of George Floyd, new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. Case numbers have been on the rise in at least fourteen states following the relaxation of stay-at-home orders. It could possibly be July before there is a clear picture of new cases relating to the protests due to the lengthy incubation period, and the time it takes to receive results from a test.
  • A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have prevented sixty million coronavirus infections in America. The study also evaluated the effects of such policies around the world, reporting that the measures prevented 530 million infections across the U.S., China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and France.
  • NHL teams have begun limited workouts with small groups at their team facilities, the start of Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said last week that teams are allowed to decide when they want to open.
  • Talladega Motor Speedway will allow a few thousand people to watch its June 21 Cup Series race in person. The track said Tuesday that 5,000 people could attend its rescheduled race. Talladega is hosting a race in 12 days to make up for its postponed May race because of the coronavirus pandemic. The track’s decision to allow a limited number of fans comes a week after Homestead-Miami Speedway will allow “up to” 1,000 military members to attend the race in the grandstands.
  • The World Health Organization has walked back a top official’s claim that asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is “very rare” after it sparked controversy and confusion worldwide. The remarks Monday by epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the pandemic, contradicted advice given by health experts and policymakers in most countries, who have based calls for social distancing and mask-wearing on the idea that people without symptoms can unwittingly spread infection.
  • The World Health Organization said on Monday that most people across the globe are still at risk of coronavirus infection and that the biggest threat to further spread is complacency, as mass gatherings resume in countries worldwide. The coronavirus pandemic is worsening across the globe as the number of new COVID-19 cases on Sunday reached an all-time high, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.
  • The outgoing president of Burundi has died of a sudden illness, suspected by many to be COVID-19. The cause of Pierre Nkurunziza’s death was described as a heart attack in a government statement. The 55-year-old was due to stand down in August following elections last month. It was unclear exactly when he died. A government statement said the president, a keen sports enthusiast, had attended a game of volleyball on Saturday but fell ill that night and was taken to hospital.
  • European Union countries should remove borders within the bloc on June 15, and allow citizens from selected countries outside the bloc to return July 1, the European Commission said Thursday. The recommendations come as Europe, a center of the coronavirus epidemic in March and April, starts to emerge from the crisis and gears up for an economically vital summer season, where it hopes to see tourists return.
  • New Zealand appears to have eradicated COVID-19, at least momentarily, after health officials reported the last known person with the virus had recovered on Monday, 06/08/2020. It has been seventeen days since someone has tested positive for the virus; 40,000 tests have been conducted in that span.
  • Latin America continues to be ravaged by the pandemic, as COVID-19 cases and deaths in the region rise faster than anywhere in the world. The region has recorded nearly 1.2 million cases and more than 60,000 deaths. The WHO does not believe Central and South America have reached peak transmissions, meaning the number of people affected could continue to rise. As the region grapples with the current wave of infections, Brazil’s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections.

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6/5/20 Notable Events in the Past Week

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  • Geneticists have been scouring human DNA for clues. A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and COVID-19. Variations in two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19. One of these spots includes the gene that determines blood types. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator.
  • Dr. Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, said COVID-19 has lost its potency and has become less lethal. Zangrillo said that swabs performed over a ten-day period show “viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago.” Still, the Italian government urged caution, saying residents need to continue to follow safety precautions.
  • The public healthcare system in Mumbai, India is overwhelmed as the pandemic ravages the city. Stories are emerging of corpses being left in hospital hallways and patients being asked to sleep on the floor while the hospitals wait for beds to open up.
  • President Trump said the U.S. would go ahead on its threat to withdraw from the WHO. Trump accused the WHO of helping China cover up the threat of the virus and also criticized the organization for failing to sound the alarm on the virus quickly.
  • The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent. That’s down from 14.7 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The surprising data comes amid the phased reopening of businesses across the country after months of economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed up unemployment to Great Depression-era levels.
  • Many Americans are struggling to cope with the realities of the pandemic and its associated economic impacts. A survey conducted by the Census Bureau and the CDC shows that nearly one-third of Americans reported anxiety and depression symptoms since April, up from 11% during the first three months of 2019.
  • The NBA’s board of governors intends to approve a league proposal on a 22-team format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida. Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s advisory/finance committee have shared the broad details of a plan with teams to play at the Walt Disney World Resort. The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams, nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs.
  • Two decades of using borrowed money to pay for new stadiums is coming back to haunt many cities across the country. At Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of eight NHL games, a Celine Dion concert, and a professional bull-riding tour, but it didn’t change the schedule for the city’s $10.7 million 2020 debt payment for the venue.
  • Chief Information Officers and industry experts say manufacturers will be spending far more on data management and analytics tools in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. Using those tools for deeper insight into operations, sales, and supply chain disruptions. This effort will build its data capabilities to enhance the ability to remotely monitor plant equipment, which engineers had limited access to during the pandemic.
  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly began the first study of an experimental drug derived from a blood sample of an early U.S. survivor of COVID-19. The trial aims to evaluate the drug’s ability to treat hospitalized patients, and the company plans to eventually evaluate the drug’s ability to prevent infections in at-risk individuals.
  • On Wednesday, Florida saw its largest number of new cases of the coronavirus since mid-April as the state works to reopen its economy. The Florida Department of Health announced the state has a total of 58,764 confirmed cases, a jump of 1,317 from the day before. Wednesday’s total is Florida’s largest since April 17, when it had a daily total of 1,413 cases. Some 2,566 people have died from the virus in Florida. More than half of the state’s cases are concentrated in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties in South Florida.
  • The Florida Keys reopened for visitors on Monday after being closed down for more than two months. Roadblocks were taken down near Key Largo, though beaches will remain closed due to ongoing protests in South Florida relating to the death of George Floyd.
  • The Las Vegas Strip opened Thursday after a nearly 80-day slumber due to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Most of Virginia will be moving into Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan on Friday, 06/05/2020. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said he is confident the state is ready to move into Phase Two as the percentage of positive tests continues to trend downwards. For the entire state of Virginia, excluding Northern Virginia, the rate of positive cases is trending downward towards 10 percent while the number of tests has increased.

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5/29/20 Notable Events in the Past Week

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  • Joining a growing list of prominent companies, car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, 05/22/2020. The move comes after Hertz furloughed and laid off 20,000 employees as business dried up.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state’s sports teams can run their respective training camps and activities without violating the state’s COVID-19 guidelines. While New York has three NFL teams, only the Buffalo Bills training camp takes place in the state; the Jets and Giants complete their activities in New Jersey. Likewise, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf reported that the state plans to allow professional sports teams to resume practice activities on 06/05/2020, pending a coronavirus safety plan. Despite the policy changes in New York and Pennsylvania, NFL teams will not return to practice immediately, as the league has not yet allowed teams to practice.
  • For the first time in its 124-year history, organizers canceled the Boston Marathon. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh cited difficulties adhering to social distancing guidelines due to the volume of participants and spectators; each year, the race includes more than 30,000 runners and over one million spectators. The race will be replaced by a virtual event, where runners will be awarded finisher’s medals if they verify they ran 26.2 miles.
  • Doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California—located in the Bay Area region—reported that they have seen more suicides than COVID-19 deaths during the quarantine period. Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of the hospital’s trauma team, said he believes it is time to end the shelter-in-place order because mental health is suffering. Dr. deBoisblanc said the suicide numbers are higher than he has ever seen, stating that the hospital has observed a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the past four weeks.
  • Over Memorial Day Weekend, Americans were leaving home in numbers not seen since the pandemic triggered lockdown restrictions across the country. Phone data from Apple’s COVID-19 mobility trends report showed a 25% increase in people driving around the country on Saturday, 05/23/2020. Similarly, the phone data also showed Americans were walking around at levels not seen since mid-March.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of voters to request their ballots by mail, a rapid increase that is likely to change the shape of the 2020 electorate, and put a strain on an already limited United States Postal Service (USPS). Now, voting rights activists are raising questions about whether USPS can handle the millions of ballots that will flood their processing centers in the days leading up to the presidential contest. In a statement, a Postal Service spokesman said the agency is working with local elections officials to manage the anticipated surge in absentee ballots.
  • U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she would force public school districts to spend a large portion of federal rescue funding on private school students, regardless of income. Ms. DeVos announced the measure in a letter to the Council of Chief State School Officers, which represents state education chiefs, defending her position on how education funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, should be spent. “The CARES Act is a special, pandemic-related appropriation to benefit all American students, teachers and families,” she wrote in the letter on Friday. “There is nothing in the act suggesting Congress intended to discriminate between children based on public or nonpublic school attendance, as you seem to do. The virus affects everyone.”
  • Anthony Fauci, a top member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said Wednesday that it’s possible the party nominating conventions will be able to proceed as planned in August if the coronavirus outbreak has dramatically subsided by then. “I think we need to reserve judgment right now to see what the situation would be,” Fauci told CNN.
  • Antibody tests that determine if someone has had the coronavirus in the past should not be used for making decisions about people returning to work, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in new guidance. The CDC raised concerns with the accuracy of the tests and said that even if someone has antibodies indicating they have already had the virus, it is unclear how long immunity from the virus lasts or how durable it is.
  • The US has passed 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in less than four months. It has seen more fatalities than any other country, while its 1.69 million confirmed infections account for about 30% of the worldwide total. As many Americans have died from COVID-19 than from the Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars combined.
  • Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies leader, warned countries with declining COVID-19 cases could face a second wave if they ease restrictions prematurely. Ryan stressed that North American and European countries should “continue to put in place public health and social measures, surveillance measures, testing measures, and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak.” Public health experts have warned of a second wave later this year, but Ryan’s concern is that the arrival could be accelerated without appropriate countermeasures.
  • On Monday, 05/25/2020, Brazil passed the U.S. for daily COVID-19 deaths for the first time; Brazil recorded 807 deaths compared to 620 deaths in the United States. Brazil now has the second-most confirmed cases in the world, trailing only the U.S. As a result of the growing crisis in Brazil, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the administration would be restricting entry for most non-U.S. citizens who have been to Brazil in the past fourteen days. The administration’s proclamation exempts green card holders and some other categories of foreign nationals, such as family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  • In South Korea, more than 500 schools closed Friday to students after briefly reopening, as the country attempts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus in the capital, Seoul. Parks, art galleries, museums, and theaters operated by the government in the Seoul metropolitan area — home to about half the country’s population of nearly 52 million — are closed to the public for the next two weeks. Government-hosted events in the metropolitan area will be canceled or postponed as well.
  • The European Commission has unveiled plans for a 750 billion euro ($826.5 billion) recovery fund as the region faces the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. The 750 billion euros includes 500 billion euros in grants and 250 billion euros in loans to member states. Out of the 500 billion euros in loans, 310 billion will be invested in the green planet programs and digital transitions.
  • Tech giants including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon report that the plan to tackle COVID-19 spread is stumbling, noting that health tracking apps will not fix it. According to the Wall Street Journal, the cohort of influential tech leaders formed a task force to devise tech solutions for the pandemic.

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5/22/20 Notable Events in the Past Week

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  • Italian government announced that it will open its regional and international borders on 06/03/2020. Italians are hopeful that reopening borders will bolster the nation’s struggling tourism industry, which accounts for 13% of Italy’s gross domestic product. For the first time in months, Italian officials reported a daily death toll of fewer than 100 after reporting 99 fatalities on Tuesday, 05/19/2020.
  • South Korean health officials discovered that a group of COVID-19 patients who tested positive again had not passed the virus on to others, suggesting that the suspected relapses were possibly a testing fluke. While the results are preliminary, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced that they would no longer require quarantine for discharged patients.
  • Pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. reported early results from the first human study of its COVID-19 vaccine, which were described as positive. Moderna said the vaccine induced immune responses in some of the healthy participants, and the shots were generally safe and well-tolerated. Though the trials have shown promise, the vaccine has not yet demonstrated to be effective against COVID-19 infection.
  • S309, an antibody first found in blood samples from a patient who recovered from SARS in 2003, inhibits coronaviruses, including the cause of COVID-19. S309 is now on a fast-track development and testing path at Vir Biotechnology. David Veesler, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, said they still “need to show that this antibody is protective in living systems, which has not yet been done.”
  • Uber announced that it is cutting several thousand additional jobs, closing more than three dozen offices, and is re-evaluating future plans for the company. The move comes two weeks after Uber announced it was cutting 3,700 jobs as the company grapples with the ongoing pandemic.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company will be permanently moving toward a work-from-home model. During a live-streamed conference on Thursday, Zuckerberg said the changes will initially be for U.S.-based senior engineers. Zuckerberg said he expects half the workforce to be working remotely within ten years.
  • Airlines are making significant changes to policies as they move to resume operations. Airports and airlines are conducting temperature checks for all crew and, in some cases, passengers, while face masks are becoming increasingly common. Several airlines are boarding passengers from the back to avoid traffic jams. Many airlines are removing in-flight magazines, declining meal services on shorter flights, and discontinuing the duty-free cart.
  • President Trump threatened to permanently cut funding for the WHO if the agency “does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days.” Trump sent a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus detailing grievances, specifically that the agency has displayed an “alarming lack of independence from the People’s Republic of China.”
  • On Tuesday, the Trump administration extended a public health order that prohibits migrants from crossing the border without giving them access to the asylum system until the government determines the pandemic no longer poses a risk to public health. The order was published in March with a thirty-day limit, and it was extended for another thirty days in April. The U.S. also announced on Tuesday that it was extending its ban on cross-border travel at the Canadian and Mexican borders for another thirty days.
  • Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said the U.S. is ready to begin reopening, but said the country needs to further invest in public health infrastructure and contact tracing. Redfield said the CDC aims to expand the contact tracing workforce by between 30,000 to 100,000 employees.
  • The CDC has shifted its stance on how COVID-19 spreads, now saying the primary transmission is person-to-person and downplaying the role of touching contaminated surfaces in spreading the virus. The CDC still recommends regular hand washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
  • A leaked Pentagon memo revealed that Department of Defense officials are preparing for a “globally-persistent” pandemic well into 2021. The memo also cautioned that a vaccine may not be available until “at least the summer of 2021.”
  • Strikes, walkouts, and protests over working conditions are occurring across the U.S. as workers demand better pay and safer working conditions. Various industries, including food service, meat processing, retail, manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare, are protesting about issues related to low pay, working conditions, and a lack of safety precautions.
  • American workers filed 2.4 million unemployment claims last week, representing a slight decline in previous historically high numbers brought about by the pandemic. In the week ended 05/09/2020, continuing unemployment claims jumped from 22.5 million to 25.1 million.
  • CO Gov. Polis signed off on a state policy that will allow sports to be played in the state without fans in attendance. Polis said the state will be ready to host sporting events as soon as sports leagues are ready to resume activities.
  • For the first time since 03/12/2020, California’s Bay Area reported no deaths from COVID-19 for two consecutive days. Los Angeles County officials said they are aiming for a “safe reopening” as early as 07/04/2020. Officials previously announced the county was targeting an August reopen date, but the new announcement provides hope for an accelerated timeline.

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5/15/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Officials from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) will vote on whether to allow athletes back on campus June 1 or June 15. LSU Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry said the SEC is aiming to have student-athletes back on June 1.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning the public about the reliability of COVID-19 tests made by Abbott Laboratories. A study released this week found that up to 48% of tests may produce false-negative results. The tests can still be used to confirm COVID-19 cases, but further testing should be used after negative results for symptomatic patients.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to doctors to be on the lookout for a new syndrome that may be associated with COVID-19 infection. The condition, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), has been reported in Europe and in eighteen states, plus the District of Columbia. The syndrome was initially identified as Kawasaki disease, but researchers determined that the frequency of cases was inconsistent with Kawasaki disease. Many, but not all, children with MIS-C tested for either current or prior COVID-19 infection.
  • The head of JBS USA Holdings Inc.—the nation’s largest beef producer—said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely hamper meat production for several months. Several companies, including JBS, Cargill Inc., Tyson Foods, and Smithfield Foods, closed plants down last month as the virus spread. JBS has since reopened in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Wisconsin; these plants are said to be operating between 70% to 95% of their normal capacity.
  • NY reversed a mandate that required nursing homes to take in discharged COVID-19 patients after thousands of residents in nursing homes died. As of 05/12/2020, there have been 5,398 presumed deaths in nursing homes relating to the virus. The original policy was initially put in place to help provide more hospital beds.
  • The government of Wuhan, China said it will be testing all 11 million residents for COVID-19 after a new cluster of infections raised fears of a second wave. Wuhan officials have so far tested 3 million individuals. Jiang Qingwu, former director of the Institute of Public Health at Fudan University, said testing every resident of Wuhan would cost $282 million.
  • Areas in South and Central America are experiencing a heavy toll from the pandemic. Death tolls in some areas of Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador are five times higher than normal, according to an analysis by the New York Times. Gravediggers in Lima, Peru are reportedly burying bodies in mass graves, with coffins stacked three layers deep.

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5/14/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Some countries that have opened up are closing down again as cases of COVID-19 spike. Lebanon ordered a four-day, near-complete lockdown to give officials time to assess the recent spike in cases. South Korea reversed course on allowing bars and clubs to reopen as the President warned citizens to brace for the second wave of the pandemic. Germany is warning that there may need to be renewed restrictions in areas with localized spikes in cases. Conversely, some countries, such as India and Russia, are easing lockdown restrictions despite evidence the disease is on the rise.
  • Moncef Slaoui has been selected to lead President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort to develop a vaccine. Army General Gustave Perna has been selected to be the chief operating officer overseeing logistics. The vaccine development goal is to make 100 million doses available by November, 200 million doses available by December, and 300 million doses available by January. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress on Tuesday that a vaccine could possibly be developed in a year or two.
  • A report released by the U.N. warns of a looming mental illness crisis as millions of people cope with death and disease and face isolation, poverty, and anxiety caused by the pandemic. The report highlighted sections of people who are more at risk of adverse mental health consequences, such as children and young people isolated from friends, and healthcare workers dealing with the disease.
  • On Thursday, whistleblower Rick Bright told a U.S. House of Representatives panel that the country could face its “darkest winter” of recent times if the pandemic response does not improve. Bright said he feared the pandemic would be prolonged and worsened if the nation does not improve its response, further stating that, “our window of opportunity is closing.”
  • Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has stepped aside as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Burr reportedly turned his phone over to FBI agents after they served a search warrant on his residence. The warrant is part of a Justice Department investigation into Burr potentially selling millions of dollars in stocks after attending coronavirus briefings. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was questioned last month about the sale of stocks, which Feinstein says have been in a blind trust since she came to the Senate. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who also sold stocks early in the pandemic, did not give a response to if she was questioned by the FBI.

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5/13/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • AZ Gov. Ducey announced the state will end its stay-at-home order on Friday, 05/15/2020. Ducey specifically stated that major league sports will be allowed to resume activities, though there will be no fans allowed at the games. The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals will not be allowed to use their practice facility due to league rules that all teams must have the consent of state and local officials to resume activities.
  • Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged that the county’s stay-at-home order will be extended for at least the next three months. Ferrer said restrictions would be gradually relaxed even if the stay-at-home order extends through the summer. Los Angeles County officials also voted to extend the eviction moratorium through the end of June.
  • MI Gov. Whitmer said that, even though the NFL may be planning for fans to be in attendance when the 2020 season begins, she does not expect to see capacity crowds at Michigan sporting events. Some teams may be independently planning to limit attendance; the Miami Dolphins are planning to limit attendance to 15,000 fans, and the team may also stagger entry to and from the stadium to help social distancing efforts. The NFL remains optimistic about a normal start to the season, but Dr. Anthony Fauci also cautioned that it is too early to predict if the league’s season will be able to start on time.
  • The airline industry is facing challenges with adapting to new safety measures. Some airlines, such as EasyJet and American Airlines, have proposed removing middle seats from rows to better meet social distancing guidelines, though other airlines have been resistant to those calls. The International Air Transport Association warned that losing one-third of seating capacity would raise ticket prices by 43% to 54%. Airlines may also face an increased financial burden due to the increasing Minimum Connect Times, and some analysts are bracing for a 15% sustained decrease in corporate travel.
  • After allowing businesses to open back up in early May, Texas has reported five consecutive days of 1,000 or more new cases of COVID-19 per day. Since allowing businesses to reopen on 05/01/2020, Texas has only been below 1,000 new cases per day twice. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned cities and localities not to try to enact stricter guidelines than the state orders, saying such moves would not be permissible by Texas law.
  • Wall Street’s indexes fell after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of an extended period of weak growth and stagnant wages. Powell warned that the recovery would not be v-shaped and that the Fed would not push interest rates below zero. As of 11:31 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.DJI was down 1.29%, at 23,457.55, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 0.92%, at 2,843.64. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 0.54%, at 8,954.12.

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5/12/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • An undisclosed coronavirus task force document highlighted that new cases are increasing in different regions of the country despite White House assurances that “ throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.” The 05/07/2020 report showed surges of 72.4% or greater over the seven-day reporting period compared to the previous week.
  • Broadway League, a trade organization representing theater owners and producers, announced that New York City’s Broadway will remain closed through at least 09/06/2020. Broadway has been closed since 03/12/2020, and the exact reopening date remains unclear. The continued closure of Broadway, which contributed $14.7 billion to the city’s economy during the 2018 to 2019 season, will have a noticeable effect on the city’s revenue.
  • A new CDC report released on Monday assessed that the pandemic has killed thousands more in New York City than official numbers indicate. The study found 24,172 more people died than usual between 03/11/2020 and 05/02/2020, suggesting those deaths were likely related to the novel coronavirus or circumstances caused by the outbreak.
  • New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner is not performing widespread post-mortem testing on people who have died at home but will conduct interviews with surviving family members to identify possible indicators of disease in individuals prior to their deaths. Other states’ medical examiners are conducting post-mortem testing in individuals who are determined to be “COVID-probable.”
  • Officials in Northern Virginia are asking Virginia Gov. Northam to reconsider allowing businesses to reopen in the state’s five largest localities. The officials said that Northern Virginia has still not met the guidelines for a safe reopening.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he plans to tell members of the Senate that opening the country up too early would cause “needless” deaths. Fauci warned that skipping over the checkpoints in guidelines to reopen America would lead to unnecessary deaths and suffering and that such a move would set back efforts to get the country back to normal.
  • Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) said China pressured the WHO to delay a global warning about the novel coronavirus and asked the organization to hold back information on human-to-human transmission. BND estimated that China cost the world four to six weeks to fight the virus.

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5/11/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 171,458 (+15%) between 05/04/2020 and 05/11/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 11,842 (+15%) during the same period. NY remains the hardest-hit state in the country, accounting for 335,395 (25%) of the nation’s confirmed cases.
  • Three U.S. health officials have been placed under quarantine as COVID-19 spreads through the White House. The three quarantined officials are Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. President Trump and Vice President Pence will now be tested for the virus daily. Pence is under self-isolation after his press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive on Friday.
  • Some doctors are changing their approach to treating patients with low oxygen levels. During the initial stages of the pandemic, doctors were seeing patients with dangerously low oxygen levels and were treating those patients with mechanical ventilators. Now, doctors are turning to less invasive treatments, such as high-flow nasal cannulas and prone positioning. Mortality is high for patients placed on ventilators, with 58.8% of British patients on invasive breathing support dying.
  • Marriott International experienced a significant drop in profit compared to last year. The company reported a net income of $31 million compared to $375 million this time last year.
  • Beginning Wednesday, Britons will be allowed to go outside to exercise for unlimited amounts of time, marking a departure from current limitations that only allow individuals to go outside once per day. Prime Minister Johnson said the residents must continue to follow social distancing measures, and those found to be in violation of the guidelines will face fines.
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported 4.2 million complaints of child abuse during the month of April. April’s numbers are up 2 million from March and up 3 million from this time last year. The spike is likely due to the fact that both adults and children are home in greater numbers, and they are operating online more frequently than before.
  • Tech giants Facebook and Google announced last Thursday that most employees will be allowed to work from home for the remainder of 2020. Facebook is still identifying which employees will need to physically come to work.
  • J.C. Penney is in talks with multiple lenders to negotiate a bankruptcy deal. J.C. Penney, like other retailers, has been hard-hit by the pandemic, and the company currently plans to close at least 200 of its locations.
  • RI will begin to ease its stay-at-home order on Friday, shifting to phase one of its reopening plans. Phase one will allow some nonessential businesses to reopen, though social groups will still be limited to five or fewer people.
  • Sioux tribes in South Dakota refuse to take down COVID-19 checkpoints that the state’s governor has declared illegal.
  • PA Gov. Wolf criticized local elected officials who plan to reopen in defiance of his shutdown orders, threatening on Monday to yank coronavirus aid.
  • IL Gov. Pritzker and several employees in his office will self-quarantine for an “appropriate isolation period” after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
  • Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred held a conference call on Monday with the 30 owners to discuss the league’s plan to begin the 2020 season. The plan was approved and will be submitted to the MLBPA on Tuesday.
  • The NCAA shot down a proposal by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and others to have students play college sports in the fall semester while the rest of the student body completes classes remotely. The NCAA still has not decided if college basketball’s season will start on time, though a decision is expected to be made by Labor Day.

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5/8/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • One of President Donald Trump’s personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus, raising concerns about the President’s exposure to the virus. However, the President and the Vice President have tested negative for the virus.
  • MI Gov. Whitmer eased the state’s stay-at-home order, while also extending its end date to 05/28/2020. Under the new policy, auto and other manufacturing workers can return to work beginning on Monday, 05/11/2020. The manufacturing plants are required to adopt safety measures, such as temperature checks and daily entry screening.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo announced the stay on evictions will continue through August. Renters are allowed to use their security deposits to pay rent and landlords will be prohibited from charging late fees. Nationally, there are no uniform protections from eviction; some states apply their own protections for renters while others allow evictions to continue as normal.
  • Health officials in Westchester County, NY announced that a child being treated for Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19 has died. The illness resembles Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after developing COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms. NY Gov. Cuomo reports there are now 73 cases of the illness in the state. Separately, a five-year-old child in New York City has died of complications from COVID-19, though it is not immediately clear if the complications are related to the inflammatory condition.
  • Facebook, YouTube, and other social media outlets are blocking access to a viral documentary-style video called “Plandemic” that promotes COVID-19 conspiracy theories. The video alleges that wearing face masks makes it easier to contract the virus, that the virus was made in a laboratory in order to promote vaccines, and that stay-at-home orders hurt the immune system.
  • At least 2 million Canadians lost their jobs in April, adding to the 1 million who were already unemployed through March. Canada’s unemployment rate stands at 13%, the second-highest ever recorded.
  • The European Commission is encouraging countries in the European Union to extend restrictions on nonessential travel and to keep external borders closed until June 15.

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5/7/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • The sports industry is reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. ESPN assessed that the unplanned hiatus for many sports will cost the industry $12 billion in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs. These projected losses will more than double if the NFL and college football are canceled this fall.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted production at U.S. meatpacking plants, leading to higher prices and scarcity for popular items like ground beef and chicken breasts in supermarkets. Grocers, seeking to head off panic buying, have begun limiting purchases and are preparing for intermittent shortages through May, if not longer.
  • NJ Gov. Murphy extended the public health emergency by thirty days, moving the end date to at least 06/05/2020. The state of emergency, meanwhile, will remain in place indefinitely. Murphy said the state would not be tightening any restrictions in place, but would still encourage social distancing, staying home as often as possible, and wearing face masks in public.
  • New York City is hiring 1,000 contact tracing workers to help track the spread of COVID-19. The tracers will conduct phone interviews with individuals who test positive for the virus to identify who the individual has been in contact with over the last fourteen days.
  • Epidemiologists believe data now shows that New York City’s COVID-19 outbreak was the primary source for others that popped up across the country, including outbreaks in TX, LA, AZ, and parts of the West Coast.
  • Los Angeles County announced the first businesses that will be allowed to reopen on Friday as the county moves to relax parts of its stay-at-home restrictions. Los Angeles County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger said that florists, trails, golf courses, car dealerships, and retailers that sell toys, music, sporting goods, clothing, and books will be allowed to reopen, but only for curbside pickup.
  • U.S. workers filed 3.2 million unemployment claims for the week ending 05/02/2020, marking the fewest weekly claims filed since 03/14/2020. Nearly 33.5 million unemployment applications have been filed in the seven weeks since the pandemic started forcing businesses to close.
  • Germany’s Bundesliga will become Europe’s first soccer league to resume play, with the federation announcing it expects to resume matches later this month. Fans will not be allowed to be in attendance during the matches.

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5/6/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • VA Gov. Northam ordered non-essential businesses to remain closed and the state could possibly begin a phased reopening plan as soon as next week. Phase one could last two to four weeks or longer. Phase one would see a branding shift from “stay at home” to “safer at home”, and would also limit social gatherings to ten people or less, encourage social distancing and telework, and encourage residents to wear face masks.
  • Workplaces, from factories to offices, are evaluating ways to safely resume operations as stay-at-home orders around the nation are eased. Many of these workplaces are looking at surveillance technology as a way to monitor employee activity and reduce the risk of a virus breakout. Some workplaces may utilize thermal imaging cameras to track body temperatures, while other environments may use phone apps that track employee movements and contacts. Some experts warn that companies do not have an incentive to remove the surveillance tools after the pandemic ends.
  • The national meat shortage is now affecting some restaurants around the country. Around 18% of Wendy’s 5,500 franchise locations are not serving hamburgers or other meat-based products as the locations struggle to secure meat shipments. Analysts at Stephens, a financial services firm, noted that Wendy’s may be more susceptible to meat shortages than other fast-food restaurants because of its reliance on fresh beef.
  • President Trump on Wednesday said the COVID-19 task force would remain in place, but with a focus on medical treatments and reopening businesses. Trump suggested the task force could see a personnel shakeup, adding or removing members “as appropriate.”
  • ADP released a report showing 20.2 million private-sector jobs were lost in April, marking the worst monthly showing in the report’s history. The report only covered losses up to 04/12/2020, meaning the current numbers are likely much worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its official jobs report on Friday. Erica Groshen of Cornell University said she expects unemployment to exceed 16% in the BLS report—the highest since the Great Depression.
  • Scientists at University College London’s Genetics Institute studied samples from more than 7,500 individuals infected with COVID-19 and found almost 200 recurrent genetic mutations of SARS-CoV-2. The finding suggests the virus has been around since late 2019 and began circulating globally during that time frame. In a separate study, researchers at Britain’s University of Glasgow found that there is only one strain of the virus, contradicting earlier work suggesting there were two different strains.

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5/5/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • NJ Gov. Murphy warned the state is possibly weeks away from “fiscal disaster” as a result of decreased revenue and increased spending relating to the pandemic. Murphy is urging Congress to provide financial relief to the state, saying that NJ is facing “historic” public worker layoffs without federal assistance.
  • One day after reopening, Florida recorded a record number of new deaths Tuesday from COVID-19, with 113 fatalities reported. The new cases bring the state’s total death count to 1,536. Tuesday marks the first time since the epidemic took hold in Florida that the state reported more than 100 deaths in a single day.
  • NM Gov. Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act to lock down the city of Gallup. The Riot Control Act increases law enforcement’s ability to enforce social distancing guidelines by allowing law enforcement to issue misdemeanor citations for first-time violators, and repeat offenders could face felony charges. Gallup acts as a hub for the Navajo Nation and other Native American pueblos. The Navajo Nation has been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19, reporting a higher death rate than every state in the country except NY, NJ, CT, and MA.
  • Several FedEx employees at the company’s Newark, NJ air hub have died from COVID-19. FedEx declined to comment on the number of cases and fatalities at the facility. NJ Senator Booker wrote a letter to FedEx leadership asking for more information on illnesses and safety procedures at its facilities.
  • Arizona State University researchers collected 382 COVID-19 samples from Arizonans and discovered a unique mutation—81 letters from the genome sequence have been deleted. The mutation is of interest to the scientific community because it mirrors a large deletion that occurred during the 2003 SARS outbreak. The SARS mutations ultimately weakened the virus, and researchers have speculated that a weakened virus that causes less severe disease may have a selective advantage.
  • Separately, scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide. The new strain appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States, and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March.
  • An experimental coronavirus vaccine entering human trials in the U.S. may be available in many millions of doses by the end of 2020, according to the CEO of BioNTech. The German drugmaker has partnered with Pfizer to distribute a potential vaccine that is already in human trials in Germany.
  • Number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the UK is now the highest in Europe and second only to the U.S. globally. The UK today surpassed Italy’s death toll, as Britain’s foreign secretary announced the number of those who have died from the virus has now reached 29,427. In Italy, 29,315 people have died.

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5/4/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 192,408 (+20%) between 04/27/2020 and 05/04/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 12,809 (+23%) during the same period. NY remains the hardest-hit state in the country, accounting for 316,415 (27%) of the nation’s confirmed cases.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Remdesivir-maker Gilead Sciences said it will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug to hospitals around the country in coordination with the federal government. The FDA also gave emergency approval for an antibody test that boasts near-perfect accuracy. Roche, the maker of the antibody test, claimed the test can detect the presence of antibodies with 100% accuracy and is 99.8% accurate at ruling out their presence in blood.
  • More than 500 protesters gathered at Huntington Beach in California on Friday, 05/01/2020. The protesters called for Gov. Newsom to end lockdown measures in place in the state. The protests came a day after Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close.
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) officials said the league is hoping to start the season in late June. MLB officials said the league is planning to realign the league into three regional divisions, and teams will only play other teams in their division to cut down on travel.
  • OH Gov. DeWine issued a modified stay-at-home order, called the “Stay Safe Ohio Order.” DeWine stressed the new order is not a stay-at-home order, further stating that “Stay Safe Ohio” will allow businesses to begin slowly reopening in a way that will slow the spread of the virus.
  • NM Gov. Lujan Grisham placed the city of Gallup on lockdown following a surge in cases. Lujan Grisham said all roads leading into Gallup will be closed from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily and she encouraged residents to stay in the city except for emergencies and trips for health, safety, and wellness.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo announced public schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, and he would make a decision on summer school by the end of May. Cuomo said virtual learning, meal assistance, and child care for essential employees would continue.
  • Oklahomans were allowed to return to restaurants, malls, and other stores on Friday as stay-at-home orders expired in the state’s biggest cities, bringing local governments in line with Gov. Stitt’s plans for reopening the state’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing rules still apply.
  • People in Italy will be allowed outside to stroll in parks and visit relatives after two months of lockdown. Additionally, restaurants will be allowed to open for takeaway services and wholesale stores will be allowed to open for business. Lockdown procedures are easing elsewhere in Europe, including in Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, and Hungary.
  • Preliminary research conducted at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust and the University of East Anglia in England found a “significant relationship” between low vitamin D levels and poor outcomes related to COVID-19. Based on their study, the researchers recommend taking vitamin D supplements to protect against the virus. The research is still awaiting peer review.
  • Mexico’s health ministry reported 1,383 new coronavirus cases and 93 more deaths on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 23,471 cases and 2,154 deaths. Of Mexico’s 32 federal entities, only two have registered fewer than 100 cases.
  • The Central Park field hospital in New York City will stop seeing new patients beginning 05/04/2020 due to COVID-19-related hospital admissions falling to manageable levels. The field hospital has so far treated 315 patients.
  • CT Gov. Lamont said he will cancel tax relief and impose $400 million in emergency spending cuts to help the state get through the projected multi-billion-dollar deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • President Trump said he is confident a vaccine will be available by the end of the year, though public health officials cautioned a vaccine could take a year to eighteen months to develop, test, and release to the public. Meanwhile, researchers at Oxford University are hopeful they will have enough data from their phase two trials to understand the efficacy of their vaccine by June. The researchers aim to have one million doses available by September. The production of these vaccines will be at-risk because they are being produced during trials, meaning they will be rendered useless if ongoing trials fail to show efficacy for the vaccine.

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5/1/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • NASCAR will return on 05/17/2020, becoming the the first American sport to resume activity since the COVID-19 pandemic began. NASCAR currently has two races planned for May, and neither race will allow fans to attend. The NHL hopes to move to “Phase 2” by mid-May, which would allow teams to open team facilities for small workouts.
  • NBA announced that it is targeting 05/08/2020 as the earliest date to open practice facilities in areas where stay-at-home orders have been lifted. Just three days after that announcement, however, team executives and player agents called on the league to cancel the rest of the season.
  • Forty percent of the workers at a Tyson Food plant in Indiana have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The coronavirus infected 890 of the 2,200 people at the plant located in Logansport, Ind., local station WISH TV reported Wednesday.
  • Protesters in MI, some of whom were armed, entered the Michigan Capitol in protest of the stay-at-home orders. Outside the Capitol building, between 800 and 1,000 protesters gathered for the American Patriot Rally, but the event was much smaller than the 04/15/2020 protests.
  • COVID-19 death toll in the UK is rapidly rising toward that of Italy, Europe’s hardest hit nation.
  • Italy on Thursday experienced its largest daily drop in active cases since the pandemic began, reporting a decrease by 3,106 of active cases. Recoveries are also climbing, with 75,945 patients now considered recovered. However, Italy’s commissioner for the pandemic said the country was now prepared for a second—and likely worse—wave of infections.
  • French officials announced a plan to reopen the country but cautioned they may need to take a “stop-and-go” approach based on new waves of cases. Under the “stop-and-go” strategy, there would be alternating periods of lockdowns and then easing restrictions. Some epidemiologists speculate that cycling through lockdown periods may be necessary for an extended period of time, possibly years until a vaccine is widely available.
  • Germany experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases after easing lockdown measures. During the lockdown period, patients were infecting 0.7 individuals, but the rate jumped to 0.96 after lockdown measures were scaled back. Experts cautioned that the infection rate is too close to 1.0, which is the threshold countries should aim to stay below to keep the virus manageable.
  • Since February, just 10,981 residents of Tokyo have been tested for Covid-19. Of those, just over 4,000 were positive. These testing numbers are beginning to raise questions.

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4/30/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • CA Gov. Newsom announced the closure of all beaches and state parks effective 05/01/2020. The announcement comes after media coverage showed crowded conditions at the state’s beaches, in violation of the stay-at-home order.
  • According to the Department of Labor, there were 3.839 million new unemployment claims for the week ending 04/25/2020. There are 30.307 million unemployment claims filed since 03/30/2020, which represents 18.6% of the working-age population.
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a statement saying it had concluded COVID-19 was neither man-made nor genetically modified. The ODNI said it is continuing to answer whether the virus came from a laboratory or an animal market in Wuhan, China.
  • Food plant workers are clashing with employers over safety concerns at work. Union officials and worker advocates are pushing for unpaid sick leave and other accommodations, but companies are resisting the demands. In some cases, companies have allegedly threatened to fire workers who took leave while feeling ill. The Mission Foods plant in Mountain Top, PA reported 109 employees out of 500 tested positive for the virus, but one worker alleged that he would be fired if he took sick leave. The company, in turn, responded that it has not terminated any employee who has taken approved leave.
  • U.S. workers on unemployment receive an average of $978 a week from state and federal government payments, compared to approximately $378 a week last year. Approximately half of the individuals receiving unemployment benefits are now making more than when they were working.
  • According to data provided by the Bureau of Prisons, over 70% of inmates tested in federal prisons have COVID-19. As of 04/29/2020, 31 inmates at federal correctional facilities have died from the virus. Officials have taken steps to curtail the spread of the virus, including limiting inmate movement, setting up tents to increase bed space, isolating inmates, and identifying others for possible home confinement.
  • NFL commissioner Goodell announced the NFL will cut pay for some employees and will furlough others. The pay cuts will range between 5% and 15%, with higher-ranking employees seeing the largest cuts. Goodell will cut his own salary from $40 million a year to no pay at all.
  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson suggested British people will be encouraged to wear face masks when the UK’s lockdown is slowly eased, in a major shift from the government’s previous advice. Boris also said that the UK is “past the peak” of its COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Florence’s Peretola airport and Rome’s Ciampino airport will fully reopen May 4, according to the Italian Transport Minister. Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte said the country will slowly relax lockdown measures based on how the contagion spreads in different regions. Conte’s comments come as 13 out of the 20 Italian regions have asked the government to reopen certain activities.

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4/29/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Detroit automakers are aiming to resume some production operations by 05/18/2020. Executives from the Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler—settled on the timeline after talks with the United Auto Workers union (UAW) and MI Gov. Whitmer. The Big Three are working with UAW leadership to develop safety procedures for returning workers.
  • NJ’s two biggest toll roads took a multi-million hit in lost revenue last month due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Revenue on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway were down in March, as traffic dropped due to more employees working from home to avoid exposure to COVID-19. NJ Turnpike Authority earnings dipped by 23% for the first three months of 2020 and the Garden State Parkway’s revenue dropped by 29%. Figures from Inrix, a traffic research company, said that overall traffic in the state was down 62%.
  • CA Gov. Newsom released details on how California plans to modify its stay-at-home order in the future. The plan consists of four stages, and the state is currently in the first stage. In stage two, lower-risk businesses (retail, manufacturing, and offices) will be allowed to open with some adaptations. In stage three, higher-risk businesses (entertainment venues, personal care, and in-person religious services) will be allowed to reopen with adaptations. The stay-at-home order will be lifted in stage four, which will allow the highest-risk environments to reopen.
  • U.S. COVID-19 deaths have now surpassed the amount of U.S. fatalities during the Vietnam War, which was responsible for 58,220 deaths. While some governors move to reopen their states, others urge a more cautious approach. For example, NY Gov. Cuomo said the state will monitor for indicators of the virus’s spread, such as if emergency rooms exceed 70% capacity.
  • CA Gov. Newsom said the school year could start in July or early August, recognizing concerns about learning losses incurred due to the pandemic. It is unclear whether academic campuses would reopen physically or if classes would be online during an early start.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci warned it may be difficult for sports to resume this year, stating that plans to resume play should tie to widespread testing with quick results. Fauci suggested that some sports may have to cancel their seasons if they cannot guarantee the safety of players and fans.
  • Ridesharing company Uber’s CTO, Thuan Pham, announced he will be resigning effective 05/16/2020. Pham was one of the last remaining executives hired by ousted co-founder Travis Kalanick. Uber also announced it will be laying off 5,400 employees in a cost-cutting move.

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4/28/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • More than 3.4 million Americans are temporarily skipping their mortgage payments because they lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many mortgage companies are asking borrowers to make balloon payments, meaning they would have to pay all the money for the skipped payments in a lump sum at the end of the forgiveness period.
  • JetBlue will be the first airline to require passengers to wear face masks while on flights. The policy change comes after the company announced all crew must wear face masks. Similarly, American Airlines said they would provide face masks for all passengers, but stopped short of requiring passengers to wear them.
  • Quest Diagnostics announced that customers can now skip visits to the doctor’s office and request COVID-19 antibody tests online. The test, priced at $119, will be able to tell individuals if they have had the virus and if they may have some level of immunity to future infection. Health officials have warned that having antibodies present in the body may not guarantee immunity.
  • House leaders announced they have reversed plans to return to Congress for in-person sessions, citing concerns about potential exposure to COVID-19. House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the House’s physician warned that returning to Capitol Hill now would present a substantial risk to lawmakers. The Senate is still planning on reconvening next Monday according to Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
  • U.S. COVID-19 fatality rates are increasing even though case totals are flattening due to a lag between initial diagnosis and death. Officials speculate that the wave of people dying now were likely infected between three and five weeks ago. The number of deaths will likely not decline until three to four weeks after the total number of cases diagnosed on a daily basis begins to decline.
  • Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Games, said the Olympics could possibly be canceled if the pandemic is not brought under control by next year. The games have already been postponed until July 2021 as a result of the pandemic. Olympic officials have said no additional postponement of the games is possible.

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4/27/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 206,147 (+27%) between 04/20/2020 and 04/27/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 4,194 (+8%) during the same period. NY remains the hardest-hit state in the country, accounting for 288,045 (30%) of the nation’s confirmed cases.
  • WHO warned that there is currently no evidence suggesting that catching COVID-19 once and having antibodies will prevent a second infection from occurring. This warning has possible implications for countries that are considering issuing “immunity passports” for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, which would allow an individual to travel or return to work based on the presumption they cannot get sick again.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo said the state continues to see a decline in new COVID-19 cases, with new cases falling to levels not seen since March. Cuomo stressed testing is critical to combating the outbreak, and, as a result, NY is authorizing all independent pharmacists to operate as collection sites for testing.
  • The NY State Board of Elections on Monday canceled the state’s presidential primary, scheduled for June 23, after removing Senator Bernie Sanders’ name from the primary ballot.
  • The Japanese island of Hokkaido experienced early success against COVID-19 by utilizing lockdown procedures but lifted lockdown restrictions after just three weeks due to declining case numbers. Hokkaido had to reinstitute a new lockdown in less than a month due to a second wave of infections. Now, Hokkaido scholars are warning the world against relaxing safety controls prematurely.
  • Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Fauci said the U.S. currently conducts between 1.5 million and 2 million COVID-19 tests a week but will need to double those numbers before being able to safely reopen the economy. Fauci said high rates of positive results could suggest there is not enough testing, and the U.S. should aim for less than 10% positive results.
  • U.K. COVID-19 fatalities now exceed 20,000, becoming the fifth nation in the world to top that number.
  • Canadian health authorities announced one million KN95 respirators supplied by China are unfit for use and will not be distributed. Chinese-made products account for approximately 70% of Canada’s PPE imports.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said the country should not reopen its economy until there is enough PPE to protect businesses. Trudeau said the federal government continues to work with provincial governments to determine the best, science-based approach to reopening economies in each province.
  • In just five weeks, the economic fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic has erased eleven years’ worth of job gains. Total unemployment numbers now sit at 26.45 million, which eclipses the 22.442 million nonfarm jobs added since 2009.
  • American farmers are being forced to dump milk, throw out eggs, and plow under crops as demand for produce drops. President Trump announced on Friday a $19-billion relief package for farmers that will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers and $3 billion in mass purchases of dairy, meat, and produce that will be provided to food banks.
  • State and local governments are warning of a wave of layoffs and pay cuts for government workers after being excluded from the newest federal COVID-19 relief bill expected to be passed this week. Higher expenditures on healthcare coupled with decreased revenues continue to hit state and local governments. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said states could be $500 billion in the hole over the next two years.
  • In a full-page ad, Tyson Foods’ board chairman John Tyson warned that the food supply chain is breaking and further cautioned that millions of livestock animals will be depopulated due to decreased demand. Tyson said there will be a limited supply of their products in stores until they are able to reopen closed-down facilities.

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4/24/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 4/24

  • 3,000 NY residents were tested for COVID-19 antibodies, and 14% of those tested had antibodies. Using these numbers, NY Gov. Cuomo speculated that 2.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with the virus. Cuomo said the implied fatality rate of 0.5% is much lower than anticipated.
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc. is buying fresh produce and milk from farmers and will donate the goods to Feeding America food banks. Publix estimates 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk will be purchased and donated during the program’s first week. This program is expected to last several weeks.
  • IL Gov. Pritzker announced the state’s stay-at-home order—originally set to expire on 04/30/2020— is extended through May. The extended order contains modifications to the original order, such as requiring residents to wear face masks when out in public and lifting some restrictions on the order.
  • UBS analyst John Hodulik said Disneyland and Disney World will likely be unable to reopen until at least January 2021. Even once opened, the theme parks will be impacted by effects of the pandemic, including continuing social distancing measures, travel restrictions, and crowd aversion. Hodulik said the theme parks could see a $500 million earnings hit in 2020 and a $200 million earnings hit in 2021.
  • The House passed a $480 million relief package aimed at helping small businesses, and the bill now awaits the President’s signature. The bill mostly provides relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which will receive $310 million in funding, with another $10 million provided for administrative costs. The bill also contains $75 million for hospitals and $25 million for COVID-19 testing.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the U.S. needs to ramp up its testing capabilities, saying the country needs to ensure it has not only an acceptable number of tests but also the capacity to conduct the tests. Fauci said the U.S. is not at that point yet, but is improving. President Trump on Thursday said he disagreed with Fauci’s statement on testing, saying the country is “very advanced in testing”.
  • Lysol issued a warning statement to consumers not to use its products internally as a means to treat COVID-19. The warning comes on the heels of President Trump musing about whether a disinfectant could be injected into the body to treat COVID-19. Medical professionals were quick to warn that no cleaning product should ever be used internally, whether injected, ingested, or otherwise.

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4/23/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Las Vegas Mayor Goodman called for the city’s businesses to reopen but did not provide any social distancing guidelines. Goodman further stated the responsibility to set safety guidelines and policies is on individual businesses, not the government.
  • Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) expressed a desire for businesses nationwide to reopen. In an interview with Fox News, McConnell said: “all of us are going to be encouraging our states to begin to move in the direction of getting back to normal.”
  • OK Gov. Stitt said the state will begin reopening in phases since they have flattened the curve and have made progress in obtaining personal protective equipment. In phase one, everyone will be encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines, but only the elderly and otherwise at-risk individuals will be told to continue following social distancing guidelines in phase two.
  • Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, warned that it is not a matter of whether infections will increase after easing up on stay-at-home orders, but rather how much infections will increase. As many states move to relax or end stay-at-home restrictions, experts warn that such actions will likely lead to an increase in case numbers. Epidemiological models suggest the best strategy for reopening the country would be to push the case numbers as low as possible before easing restrictions, which would allow time to react during new case surges.
  • President Trump signed a proclamation that placed restrictions on immigration for sixty days. The order does not shut off applications for permanent residence, despite earlier claims it would do so. The order will block some entrants who do not already have visas or other travel documents but will leave in place a number of exemptions for foreign workers and employers.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to contradict President Trump after Trump suggested that the virus may not come back at all. Fauci stated the virus will be back in the fall, but stressed what happens with the resurgence of cases will be determined by how the country is able to contain the virus.
  • In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that 20% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York died from the disease. The researchers also found that 88% of patients placed on a ventilator died, which is about 8% higher than when patients were placed on ventilators prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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4/22/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Air Canada, Canada’s largest domestic and international airline, has announced it will suspend services to the United States between 04/26/2020 and 05/22/2020.
  • Hydroxychloroquine—the anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump as a “game changer”—has been widely used in a bid to treat COVID-19 after anecdotal reports surfaced suggesting the drug could prove beneficial to patients. Data provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VA), however, suggests the drug offers no benefit and may increase the risk of mortality among patients. The VA reported the risk of death was more than double in patients who received hydroxychloroquine.
  • MS Gov. Reeves said he had discussions over the weekend with the governors of FL, GA, AL, and TN. The discussions centered around the states’ approaches to reopening their respective economies.
  • CDC Director Redfield warned the second wave of the novel coronavirus could be worse than the first, as the second will likely coincide with the onset of flu season.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday told President Trump the state no longer needs the hospital ship USNS Comfort to treat COVID-19 patients, recommending he send the ship to other hard-hit states. Trump later stated the ship would depart New York and head back to its base in Virginia in preparation of future deployments.
  • There are indications from Chicago Mayor Lightfoot and IL Governor Pritzker that both the city and state could see extensions of stay-at-home orders.
  • Nearly 2,500 employees at one of MI’s largest healthcare systems learned on Tuesday they would be furloughed, due to particularly dire financial circumstances related to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
  • Six hundred severely-ill COVID-19 patients received plasma donated by those who have already recovered from the virus in a study aimed at evaluating the efficacy of the treatment. In one hospital, eleven patients received the plasma infusion and showed promising results. All eleven patients are either in some stage of recovery or their condition has remained stable.
  • State Department has assessed that Russia, China, and Iran are mounting increasingly intense and coordinated disinformation campaigns against the U.S. relating to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to an internal report. All three countries are using state-controlled media, social media, and government agencies and officials to disseminate information to domestic audiences and global audiences alike that denigrates the U.S. and spreads false accounts, the State Department report says.
  • U.S. ethanol production has hit an all-time low. Nearly 30% of the nation’s 204 biofuel plants have been idled since March 1, while many others have slashed production.
  • COVID-19 is tearing at the European Union’s binding principles, raising questions about the viability of an economic system built on borderless migration and a single marketplace that matches labor supply with demand. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the sudden reordering of its agricultural industry.

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4/21/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Senate passed a roughly $480 billion relief package that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus outbreak along with other priorities like money for hospitals and expanded COVID-19 testing. The bill goes to the House, which is expected to vote on the package Thursday.
  • Researchers from the University of Virginia suggested that COVID-19 cases in Virginia could peak in mid-August, and the total case numbers may be higher than originally anticipated. Governor Ralph Northam warned that the model shows easing social distancing measures prematurely could overburden the state’s healthcare system.
  • The state of Missouri filed a federal lawsuit against the Chinese government over the coronavirus, alleging that nation’s officials are to blame for the global pandemic. The lawsuit alleges Chinese officials are “responsible for the enormous death, suffering, and economic losses they inflicted on the world, including Missourians.”
  • The US Food and Drug Administration issued the first authorization for an at-home COVID-19 test kit. LabCorp, the diagnostics company producing the tests, says it will give first access to health care workers and first responders. With this test, people who are eligible can collect a fluid sample, but they will still need to send it to a lab for testing. The test costs $119.
  • Companies are suspending or terminating business agreements by leveraging force-majeure clauses, which typically spell out how extraordinary circumstances beyond one’s control can nullify an agreement. Force-majeure declarations do not guarantee a speedy resolution to contract disputes, as many such cases have now been brought to court.
  • Many Americans are confused by the relief payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). More than 80 million Americans have received funds provided by the CARES Act; however, millions more still await payment. One source of confusion stems from whether an individual leveraged a tax refund anticipation loan when they filed their taxes, which would route the payment to a temporary bank account instead of their personal account.
  • The House of Representatives is set to vote this week on changing rules for voting by proxy during the pandemic. Under the proposed rule change, absent members would be able to relay their vote to a member who is physically present on the floor, who would then place the vote on their behalf.
  • A Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday found that 74% of Americans fear losing freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, more respondents—83%—fear becoming infected with COVID-19. About 73% of respondents said they feared going to the hospital, and 48% reported fearing losing their jobs.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday the platform would consider stay-at-home protests organized on Facebook as “harmful misinformation”, provided they violate social distancing guidelines. Zuckerberg said the social media platform would remove such posts and events, but would otherwise allow users to debate policies relating to stay-at-home orders.
  • President Trump announced on Twitter he would sign an executive order which will suspend immigration. Trump did not clarify when the prohibition would go into effect or how long it would last.
  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned leaders that the “worst is yet ahead of us.” Tedros added that the virus is a “dangerous combination,” comparing it to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
  • NFL team owner Jeffrey Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles are donating $1 million to COVID-19 relief effort.

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4/20/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 4/20

  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 202,196 (+36%) between 04/06/2020 and 04/13/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 28,574 (+129%) during the same period. NY remains the hardest-hit state in the country, accounting for 248,417 (33%) of the nation’s confirmed cases.
  • Contamination in manufacturing at the CDC was responsible for delays in rolling out COVID-19 testing early in the pandemic response. Officials at the FDA reported the CDC did not follow its own protocols, which led to the contamination. An FDA spokesperson said the CDC made the tests in its laboratories instead of its manufacturing facilities, which was inconsistent with CDC protocol.
  • U.S. oil futures plunged below $0 for the first time Monday, a chaotic demonstration that there was no place left to store all the crude that the world’s stalled economy would otherwise be using. This effectively means that sellers must pay buyers to take barrels off their hands. Refineries, storage facilities, pipelines, and even ocean tankers have filled up rapidly since billions of people around the world began sheltering in place to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
  • Hospitals in Japan are turning away sick people who try to receive services at emergency departments. Those being turned away often appear to be afflicted by serious ailments, including those suffering from strokes, heart attacks, and external injuries. Japan is facing shortages of hospital beds, personal protective equipment, and medical staff.
  • CA Gov. Newsom announced the state will acquire 15,000 hotel beds to house the state’s homeless population during the pandemic. Newsom said more than 4,000 homeless people have been removed from shelters and the streets and placed into motel rooms.
  • FL Gov. DeSantis announced on Friday, 04/17/2020, that the state’s beaches would reopen; likewise, SC Gov. McMaster opened boat ramps and also announced plans to reopen beaches next week. Both moves to reopen the beaches to the public come as case numbers continue to mount in their respective states.
  • Neiman Marcus Group plans to file for bankruptcy protection this week after being hard hit by the economic effects of the pandemic. After closing all of its Neiman Marcus stores, the company furloughed many of its 14,000 person workforce. Analysts from Standard & Poor described the company’s chances of mounting a turnaround as “increasingly low.”
  • Russian President Putin said the country had the COVID-19 pandemic under control despite the country facing increasing case numbers. Putin’s announcement came as the country reported 6,060 new cases on Sunday, marking a record high increase for Russia.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo said the state plans to roll out significant antibody testing this week. The testing is expected to be the largest survey of any state’s population. The tests detect antibodies in a person, indicating who has been infected and who likely has immunity built up against the virus.
  • President Trump announced he will leverage the Defense Production Act to compel a presently unnamed company to produce as many as 20 million swabs for COVID-19 testing per month.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now require nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases directly to the CDC, as well as to patients and their families. CMS Spokesperson Seema Verma said the policy will help the CDC track virus distribution in the country as parts of the country move to reopen.
  • Germany laid out a roadmap for gradually reopening the country following its lockdown procedures. Small shops, large car dealerships, bike shops, and book shops will be allowed to open on 04/20/2020, provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines; conversely, no decision has been made on reopening social venues such as restaurants and bars. Schools will be allowed to reopen on 05/04/2020. Large gatherings will continue to be banned until 08/31/2020.
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Congressional Democrats are both hopeful a deal will soon be reached for small-business funding that would add additional relief after the $350 billion in the previous stimulus package ran out. Mnuchin said the agreement is expected to include $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing.
  • Shake Shack, one of several large restaurant chains that got federal loans through the coronavirus stimulus law meant to help small businesses, said Sunday night that it is giving all $10 million back. The New York-based burger company is among more than a dozen companies with annual revenues in the hundreds of millions that are reported to have received money from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Thousands of Los Angeles city workers must take 26 furlough days—the equivalent of a 10 percent pay cut—over the course of the next fiscal year as the nation’s second-largest city deals with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The rising use of telemedicine spurred by the novel coronavirus pandemic could lift the sector over obstacles and drive more venture-capital investment in the field, according to analysts.
  • Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will inform teams on Monday of a plan that will allow clubs to furlough employees or reduce their pay, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The decision will suspend Uniform Employees Contracts, which can allow withholding of pay in the event of a national emergency.

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4/17/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • TX Gov. Abbott issued three executive orders Friday that outline how to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement from the governor has been long-awaited, with Abbott adding that the state and its decisions must be guided by data and doctors.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo announced on Twitter that the “New York on PAUSE” order will be extended until 05/15/2020. Cuomo laid out a four-point strategy for reopening the state, which necessitates controlling the rate of infection, strengthening the healthcare system, developing a federal partnership for testing/tracing, and utilizing a phased return.
  • Trump administration released guidance for states when developing a reopening strategy. The administration provided an 18-page document to governors on Thursday. The document recommends states see a downward trajectory in both confirmed COVID-19 cases and flu-like symptoms before moving to reopen their states. The guidelines further recommend that states and regions see a decline in confirmed cases over a fourteen-day period, ensure hospitals can handle all patients without crisis care, and be able to provide a comprehensive testing program—including antibody tests—for at-risk health workers.
  • Chinese economy contracted 6.8% in the first quarter, which marks the first time the nation’s economy shrank in several decades. The decline demonstrates a stark contrast with economic gains from a year prior when China saw 6.4% growth in the first quarter of 2019.
  • On Thursday, the Senate adjourned for a week after failing to come to an agreement over hundreds of billions of dollars in small-business funding. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has run out of funding and has shut down as a result. Republicans want to pass a stand-alone bill for $250 billion in funding to the PPP, while Democrats want to include $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for states and a boost in food assistance funding.
  • The entire crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt was tested for COVID-19. Interestingly, the test revealed the majority of positive cases were asymptomatic. Approximately 60% of the sailors who tested positive for the virus have so far shown no symptoms, though it is unclear how many will eventually develop symptoms and how many will remain asymptomatic. These numbers are consistent with the test results for the passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, analyzed by the CDC in late March.
  • Many states without stay-at-home orders are experiencing significant spikes in confirmed cases when compared to states with such orders in place. Over the past week, cases have grown by 53% in Oklahoma, 60% in Arkansas, 74% in Nebraska, 82% in Iowa, and 205% in South Dakota. The remaining three states without stay-at-home orders are seeing an increase in cases, but the growth is more in line with states with stay-at-home orders.

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4/16/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 4/16

  • NY Gov. Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all New York residents to wear face masks while out in public.
  • Justice Department’s, Office of Inspector General will inspect the Federal Bureau of Prison facilities to evaluate the adequacy of COVID-19 prevention plans and procedures.
  • Missouri Gov. Parson said he will begin a phased approach to reopening the state after lockdown procedures end while acknowledging that adequate testing must be in place before that can happen.
  • PA State Senate passed a bill that would partially lift the lockdown procedures; the bill is now sitting on Gov. Wolf’s desk. Senate Bill 613 requires the governor to adhere to federal guidelines on which businesses are allowed to reopen, provided they comply with CDC and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency mitigation strategies.
  • About 10,000 employees representing twenty-seven of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) thirty teams will take part in an antibody study.
  • University Hospital in NJ has been hard-hit by COVID-19. The hospital is dealing with high patient caseloads and also reports 200 of 664 employees have either tested positive for the virus or are at home taking care of sick family members.
  • Over 5 million Americans filed, for first-time, unemployment claims last week which brings the total jobless claims to 22 million.
  • Major banks in the U.S. are anticipating a flood of loan defaults as households and business customers take a big financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New Chinese export restrictions have left American companies’ U.S.-bound face masks, test kits and other medical equipment urgently needed to fight the coronavirus stranded, according to businesses and U.S. diplomatic memos.
  • The initial $349 billion pool for emergency loans for small businesses derailed by the coronavirus pandemic has run dry as Republicans and Democrats squabble over how to replenish the relief program.
  • The flow of illegal drugs, including methamphetamines and heroin, has slowed down during the coronavirus-caused lockdowns around the U.S., the nation’s top drug-enforcement official said.

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4/15/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Two studies conducted by NYU researchers found that age, obesity, and chronic illness lead to higher hospitalization rates among COVID-19 patients. One study of 4,103 patients found that age and chronic illness—specifically, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity—were the leading factors for hospitalization; this study is awaiting peer review. In another study, researchers found patients under 60 were at greater risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 complications if they were obese. Obese, under-60 patients were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for acute and critical care.
  • Supreme Court announced it will hear ten cases via teleconference in May after postponing cases in March and April. This marks the first time in its history the high court has heard arguments via teleconferencing and not in the courtroom.
  • Harvard University researchers used computer modeling to evaluate the possible course of the COVID-19 virus over the next five years. The researchers said prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be required based on data revealed by the models. More specifically, researchers warned social distancing measures may be necessary into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased or treatments or vaccinations become available.
  • President Trump instructed his administration to temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization due to complaints it took China’s word “at face value” and failed to share information about the pandemic early in its course.
  • Former White House health official Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel warned that restarting the economy must be done in stages. Emanuel said that large public gatherings—including sports events, conferences, and concerts—will likely not be safe to resume until fall 2021 at the earliest.
  • Schools and shops across Denmark are reopening, with more than 650,000 children returning to daycare facilities and primary schools. Shops and schools are part of the first wave of a phased approach to reopening the country. Universities, churches, movie theaters, and shopping malls will remain closed until at least 05/10/2020; the ban on congregations of more than 100 people will remain in effect until August.
  • Protesters gathered outside the MI state capitol to protest Governor Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. The protesters urged Whitmer to reopen non-essential businesses by 05/01/2020. The protest was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.

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4/14/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Smithfield Foods CEO Kenneth Sullivan said the nation’s meat supply is “perilously close” to a shortage. Sullivan’s statements came after Smithfield Foods shuttered a pork-processing plant in Sioux Falls, SD in response to nearly 300 workers testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Ford partnered with the 3M Company to begin production on a new type of pressurized respirator face mask for medical use. The mask, called a Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR), fits over the entire face and filters contaminants from the air. Ford’s Vreeland facility expects to make 100,000 or more masks.
  • American dairy farmers are reportedly dumping unused milk as demand for milk decreases nationwide. Demand has decreased by 12% to 15% as restaurants, schools, and businesses have closed in alignment with stay-at-home procedures across the country.
  • U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate closed Monday at less than $22.41 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate has been down 63% this year as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the industry.
    Both the French and Italian governments have moved to extend their nation’s lockdown procedures, which serves to temper expectations that Europe will begin to return to normalcy soon.
  • Pentagon announced a $415 million contract to secure sixty machines that allow N95 masks to be disinfected and reused up to twenty times.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo warned of legal action against the federal government if President Trump attempted to overrule the state’s decision on when to reopen the state. President Trump argued that “authority is total” for the president during a Monday coronavirus task force press conference, suggesting the White House has the authority to tell states when to resume normal activities.

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4/13/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 219,657 (+65%) between 04/06/2020 and 04/13/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 12,456 (+129%) during the same period. NY remains the hardest-hit state in the country, accounting for 190,288 (34%) of the nation’s confirmed cases.
  • Los Angeles County extended its stay-at-home order to 05/15/2020; it had been set to expire on 04/19/2020.
  • The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) warned Congress it would run out of cash by the end of September if it did not receive financial assistance from the government. Postmaster General Megan Brennan said USPS could see a $13 billion revenue loss this year and the COVID-19 pandemic could cost the agency another $54 billion over the next ten years.
  • Singapore—praised for its early response to the outbreak—is enacting partial lockdown procedures as the city-state grapples with a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Singapore’s “circuit breaker” measures triggered closures of most businesses, and schools were ordered closed for at least a month, with students completing lessons remotely from home. Public and private social gatherings of any size were banned; those in violation of the ban could face six months in jail or a fine of up to $7,000.
  • UK Prime Minister Johnson has been discharged from the hospital after battling COVID-19.
  • NY Governor Cuomo signed an executive order requiring employers to provide cloth or surgical face masks to essential employees for when they directly interact with the public. Separately, Cuomo said the worst of the outbreak is over in the state, assuming New Yorkers continue to take social distancing guidelines seriously.
  • The Chinese government-imposed restrictions on academic research evaluating the possible origins of the virus. All academic papers regarding the origins of COVID-19 will require extra vetting by the State Council before being published. Other papers on COVID-19 will be vetted by universities’ academic committees, based on conditions such as the “academic value” of the study, and whether the “timing for publishing” is right.
  • Qatar will temporarily pay the salaries of private-sector employees impacted by the forced closure of businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Privately-owned companies incorporated in Qatar can apply for up to three months of salary support for workers.
  • The Navajo Nation enacted a 57-hour curfew over the weekend in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. There have been 698 confirmed cases and 24 deaths among a population of 250,000. The curfew ran from 8:00 p.m. on 04/10/2020 to 5:00 a.m. on 04/13/2020 and it prohibited people from leaving their homes unless dealing with emergencies or traveling to work as essential employees.
  • President Trump ordered a “robust assistance package” to provide aid to Italy, including technical assistance for Italy’s health sector and support for Italian businesses, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. The 30,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Italy will provide assistance to their host country.

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4/10/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported patients are testing positive for COVID-19 after already recovering from the virus. KCDC officials believe reactivation may be the cause and are conducting a comprehensive study.
  • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a major change to the state’s stay-at-home order. After Friday, 04/10/2020, residents will no longer be permitted to travel between residences. Individuals can still travel to other residences if they are caring for a friend or elderly relative, complying with a child custody court order, caring for a pet, or attending a funeral with fewer than ten people. Whitmer emphasized that public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited.
  • COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in America, accounting for 1,970 deaths per day. The disease’s fatality count has grown rapidly, having been the third leading cause of death just one week ago. For comparison, heart disease causes 1,774 deaths per day and cancer causes 1,641 deaths per day. While the daily fatality numbers remain high, some case models are showing improvements over earlier projected COVID-19 deaths. The University of Washington now predicts around 60,000 Americans will die by August, down from the earlier given range of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is out of the ICU and is back in the regular ward of St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. Johnson is reported to be in good spirits and his recovery will continue to be closely monitored by healthcare staff.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged leaders in Washington D.C. to come to an agreement on proposed legislation aimed at helping state and local governments respond to the COVID-19 crisis. A relief bill, which would have provided $16 billion in aid to New York, was blocked as Republicans and Democrats rejected each others’ proposals. New York continues to be the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and now has more confirmed cases than any country in the world.
  • The USS Theodore Roosevelt, besieged by a COVID-19 outbreak, now reports 416 of its crew members are confirmed to have the virus after a jump of 130 cases in one day. Navy officials stated the ship will maintain enough crew aboard to continue essential services and sanitize the ship. General John Hyten, vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this will not be a unique situation for the Navy and expects other ships to encounter similar issues.
  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the state would be returning the field hospital established at CenturyLink Field to the federal government to help states hit harder by the coronavirus. The hospital had not treated a single COVID-19 patient.
  • Health departments, hospitals, and companies around the world are rolling out the next wave in coronavirus tests, which look in a person’s blood for signs of past infection, in hopes of better gauging how widespread the pandemic is and who might be counted among the recovered.
  • Record-setting jobless claims and dire economic forecasts are giving fresh urgency to the debate within the Trump administration and across the country over how rapidly coronavirus-fueled restrictions should be pared back so the economy can begin its revival.
  • New Mexico is using cell phone data from a third party to create social distancing models as a way to gauge whether residents are adhering to social distancing models, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday. The data is being provided by Descartes Labs in Santa Fe, which has access to the cell phone data, the governor’s office said in a statement.

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4/9/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Major meat processing plants are shutting down in response to COVID-19. Tyson closed a plant in Columbus Junction, IA after two dozen employees contracted the disease, while JBS USA closed a plant in Souderton, PA for two weeks after members of the management team began displaying flu-like symptoms.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported the Strategic National Stockpile is nearly out of N95 respirators, face masks, face shields, gowns, and other medical equipment. HHS officials confirmed federal documents released by the House Oversight Committee which showed approximately 90% of the PPE in the stockpile was depleted.
  • Miami authorities ordered anyone visiting a business to wear a face mask at all times.
  • Former UK Defense Minister Ellwood stated Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “mentally able to make decisions” and is also “accessible.”
  • Italy, Austria, and Denmark are among the first countries to plot the gradual unwinding of their lockdowns against the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Federal government will end funding for testing sites on Friday. At least three such testing sites will shut down as a result, including sites in Philadelphia, PA, Colorado Springs, CO, and Montgomery County, PA.
  • Labor Department reported 6.61 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended on 04/04/2020, bringing the total to around 16.8 million. These figures imply an unemployment rate approaching 15%.
  • Federal Reserve announced it was working to get another $2.3 trillion in financing to businesses and governments affected by the pandemic. Stock futures jumped in response to the announcement.
  • With nearly 20% of its uniformed workforce out sick amid the worst pandemic in a century, the New York Police Department has shifted its routines and turned fighting the new coronavirus in its ranks into around-the-clock effort.

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4/8/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • The lockdown in Wuhan, China, which has been in effect since 01/23/2020, has been lifted for residents. Those with a “green” code on a smartphone app that tracks health status will be allowed to leave their homes.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will set aside $1 billion—28% of his wealth—in his Square equity to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
  • Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a news release warning Americans to be vigilant for scams relating to government assistance via the CARES Act.
  • MI and NJ both saw record highs for COVID-19-related fatalities on Tuesday. MI reported 118 deaths, while NJ reported 232 deaths.
  • University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation COVID-19 modeling now estimates 60,000 Americans will die from the virus, a 26% decrease from previous forecasts. The institute now estimates the projected peak of COVID-19 deaths will occur this Sunday, with 2,212 deaths expected.
  • President Trump on Tuesday said he would place federal funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) on hold. Trump was critical of the organization’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis and said it was too China-centric.
  • According to Washington Post reporting, African-Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and six times the rate of fatalities compared to majority-white counties.
  • Department of Health and Human Services announced its first contract for ventilator production under the Defense Production Act to General Motors. The $489.4 million contract calls for 30,000 ventilators to be produced for the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters didn’t pay any of their April rent during the first week of the month, according to new data to be released Wednesday by the National Multifamily Housing Council and a consortium of real-estate data providers.

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4/7/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • American Thoracic Society (ATS), which specializes in the treatment of respiratory diseases, issued guidelines for medical practitioners to use hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on COVID-19 patients.
  • Stock futures are pointing to more gains as markets see optimism that COVID-19 cases may be slowing.
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) is mulling over beginning the season in May, with all thirty teams playing in Phoenix, AZ in empty stadiums.
  • Trump administration ordered 167 million face masks from the 3M Company over the next three months.
  • Five researchers from Harvard University discovered that individuals with long-term exposure to air pollution had increased mortality from COVID-19.
  • Wisconsin voters waited in long lines to vote in the state’s primary election on Tuesday. Thousands of voters who registered for absentee ballots will not receive them in time and must choose between voting in person or skipping voting.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo reported President Trump agreed to allow COVID-19 patients to be treated aboard the USNS Comfort, providing an additional 1,000 beds.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Johnson is reported to be in stable condition and is not presently on a ventilator.

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4/6/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 194,406 (+135%) between 03/30/2020 and 04/06/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 7,080 (+275%) during the same period.
  • UK Prime Minister Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night due to “persistent symptoms.” He was moved to intensive care after his condition ‘worsened’ on 4/06/2020, according to multiple press reports. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been deputized to assume his duties in the meantime.
  • Georgia Gov. Kemp issued an executive order allowing some Georgia beaches to reopen despite stay-at-home orders.
  • Google will begin publishing reports based on Google Maps location data for government analysis. Google reported the aggregated data will not include any single user’s location, contacts, or movement, but will instead be used to chart overall movement trends in certain areas.
  • KY, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Bisig ordered residents who test positive for COVID-19 and refuse to follow self-quarantine to wear ankle monitors that track the individual’s location.
  • Trump administration leveraged the Defense Production Act to require the 3M Company to stop exporting face masks it produces during the crisis. In response, 3M argued such a move could make other countries act in a similar fashion, which would decrease the amount of raw materials and other necessary equipment needed to bolster the nation’s medical supply.
  • NY Gov. Cuomo reported the state had secured a donation from the Chinese government of 1,000 ventilators, which were scheduled to arrive at JFK airport on 04/04/2020. Cuomo also announced he would sign an executive order that allows medical students slated for graduation in spring to begin practicing medicine immediately. Cuomo also announced New York’s stay-at-home order would be extended until at least 04/29/2020.
  • The nonprofit FAIR Health estimated uninsured or out-of-network Americans can expect to pay between $42,486 to $74,310 for treatment relating to COVID-19. For in-network insured Americans, the cost of treatment will be a portion of $21,936 to $38,755, depending on insurance cost-sharing provisions.
  • Public health experts and government officials said the total number of COVID-19-related fatalities is likely larger than what is being reported due to individuals who have not been tested not being counted in case totals.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook reported the company has now sourced over 20 million masks through its supply chain and continues to work to design, produce, and ship face shields for medical professionals.
  • Roughly 4,000 severely-ill patients in NY are being treated with the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine in combination with antibiotic Zithromax. The University of Albany’s School of Public Health is conducting a study on the efficacy of the treatment and could have its preliminary study ready in several weeks.
  • CA Gov. Newsom announced the state was sending 500 ventilators to the national stockpile to help other states which are experiencing severe equipment shortages.
  • Gig workers from Shipt, Target’s delivery platform, plan to stage a walkout on Tuesday, 04/07/2020. The workers demand hazard pay, fourteen days of sick leave regardless of having a positive COVID-19 test, PPE for all gig workers, and a return to a commission-based pay model.
  • Irish Prime Minister Varadkar has re-registered as a doctor with the country’s health services and will reportedly work one shift a week.
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo is the first animal in the United States to test positive for COVID-19. A zoo caretaker with COVID-19 likely infected the big cat.

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4/3/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Life in China is now ruled by a green symbol on a smartphone screen. Green is the “health code” that says a user is symptom-free and it’s required to board a subway, check into a hotel or just enter Wuhan, according to AP reporting.
  • U.S. and European nations are evaluating the use of phone-based surveillance technology to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. federal government, in coordination with the CDC, is creating a portal to track phone geolocation data to help predict where outbreaks could occur next.
  • KS Department of Health and Environment is using a GPS program to track residents’ locations through their cell phones in a bid to slow coronavirus cases, Dr. Lee Norman, the head of department, revealed in a press conference Wednesday, 04/01/2020. Kansas is the first state to publicly acknowledge its use of such a program.
  • Rob Jackson, chair of the Global Carbon Project, reported carbon emissions could fall by as much as 5% year-on-year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • American cities and states are working to provide shelter and health services to the homeless population, which is considered to be vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Captain Brett Crozier, commander of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, was relieved of his command on Thursday, after drafting a strongly worded letter asking for assistance to control the outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the ship.
  • Morgan Stanley forecasted the U.S. economy will shrink 5.5% in 2020—the steepest drop since 1946—and will experience 38% contraction in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley also reports unemployment will peak at 15.7% in the second quarter.

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4/2/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti urged city residents to wear face masks out in public
  • FL Gov. DeSantis said the state’s stay-at-home order would not affect religious institutions
  • MS Gov. Reeves announced a statewide shelter-in-place order which goes into effect on Friday
  • NV Gov. Sisolak issued a stay-at-home directive Wednesday, 04/01/2020 an order that moves the statewide social distancing initiative forward in an official capacity
  • New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft purchased 1.4 million N95 masks from China to provide to hospitals in Massachusetts
  • U.S. Department of Labor reported 6.65 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending 03/27/2020, setting a new record for unemployment claims
  • Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun released a memo offering employees voluntary layoff packages which will provide pay and benefits
  • President Trump said the federal government will not issue a national-level stay-at-home order because states have different levels of COVID-19 cases and a blanket policy would not be appropriate
  • House Speaker Pelosi announced there will be a new House committee with subpoena power to oversee the response to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Democratic National Convention has been postponed to mid-August in response to the pandemic

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4/1/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Pentagon committed to sending 2,000 ventilators from its military stocks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • MI. now ranks third in the nation for COVID-19-related deaths with 259 total fatalities, behind only New York and New Jersey.
  • TX. Gov. Abbott on Tuesday, told Texans to stay at home for the next month unless they are taking part in essential services and activities, announcing a heightened statewide standard to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. He also announced that schools would remain closed until at least May 4.
  • FL. Gov. DeSantis has issued a mandatory safer-at-home order for the entire state of Florida, starting Thursday at midnight.
  • Carnival Cruise Line said it will raise approximately $6 billion in debt and equity while also suspending dividends.
  • Iceland is conducting large-scale COVID-19 testing, having already tested roughly 5% of its population as of 03/31/2020.
  • U.S. intelligence community concluded China has under-reported both the total number of COVID-19 cases and the number of related fatalities, according to three U.S. officials.
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases greenlit a drug trial evaluating the effects of Remdesivir on COVID-19 patients.
  • All England Lawn Tennis Club officials canceled Wimbledon this year due to the pandemic, marking the first time the event has been canceled since World War Two.

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3/31/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island, NY walked off the job in protest of Amazon’s treatment of them amid the COVID-19 crisis
  • Moscow went into lockdown on 03/30/2020 and the Russian parliament is expected to approve a bill authorizing prison sentences and fines up to $25,000 for anyone violating the lockdown
  • MI Gov. Whitmer is expected to sign an executive order this week which will extend school closures through the rest of the school year
  • COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. have exceeded 3,000 as of 03/31/2020. To date, Wyoming and Hawaii have not reported fatalities. Monday, 03/30/2020, was the deadliest day yet, with more than 500 recorded deaths.
  • Three out of four Americans are currently under some form of lockdown procedure. Approximately 245 million Americans are under such policies, with 32 of 50 states enacting lockdown policies.
  • Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating at least one lawmaker’s stock transactions leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Gap all announced plans to furlough large portions of their respective workforces without pay

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3/30/20 Notable Events: Previous 72 Hours

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  • U.S. confirmed cases jumped by 108,302 (+307%) between 03/23/2020 and 03/30/2020. U.S. case fatalities rose by 2,102 (+446%) during the same period.
  • President Trump on Sunday extended the administration’s social distancing guidelines until 04/30/2020
  • Gov. Northam of the Commonwealth of Virginia issued a stay-at-home order in effect until 06/10/2020
  • FBI warned hospitals and healthcare providers to be on the lookout for supply-chain scams
  • FL Gov. DeSantis added New Orleans and other parts of LA to a list of COVID-19 hotspots
  • Dutch government recalled tens of thousands of masks provided by China. Masks were recalled after officials determined they did not meet quality standards; specifically, they either did not fit on the face properly or had defective filters.
  • South Carolina Gov. McMaster issued an executive order to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti announced the city will form a partnership with UPS to deliver and pick-up COVID-19 tests
  • Nordstrom dedicated itself to sewing more than 100,000 masks for healthcare providers
  • Key coronavirus task force member Dr. Fauci said the U.S. could eventually see 100,000 or more fatalities from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • On Sunday, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the anti-malaria drugs some tests have shown help treat cases of COVID-19
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J) reported human trials for a COVID-19 vaccine would likely begin by September and said a vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021. J&J also committed more than $1 billion of investments to vaccine research in partnership with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • TX Gov. Abbott expanded restrictions on all travelers arriving from Louisiana

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3/28/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • U.S. surpassed 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 1,600 fatalities. Cases grew by approximately 18,000 on Friday, 03/27/2020, marking the highest single- day increase to date.
  • President Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus bill into law on Friday, after the House passed the bill. Members of the House used a procedural maneuver to stop attempts by Representative Thomas Massie, R-KY, to require members to vote in person. Under the stimulus bill, individuals making $75,000 or less will receive $1,200 and married couples making $150,000 or less will receive $2,400, plus $500 for each child.
  • President Trump on Friday used the Defense Production Act for the first time to order General Motors (GM) to begin production on much-needed ventilators.

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3/27/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/27

  • After exceeding 82K confirmed cases on Thursday, 03/26/2020, the U.S. overtook China with the highest count of COVID-19 cases in the world
  • The House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday, sending the unprecedented measure to President Trump’s desk
  • Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine assessed the U.S. could see between 38,000 and 162,000 fatalities related to COVID-19
  • UK Prime Minister Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 after developing what he called “mild symptoms”
  • Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West announced it located 39 million N95 masks and would provide them to state and local governments, as well as healthcare providers
  • Dyson founder James Dyson said the company has designed a new ventilator and will produce 15K units
  • In Israel, First Robotics League, Microsoft Israel Research and Development, Ichilov Medical Center, Magen David Adom, and Unit 108 of the Air Force are coming together to work on a solution to the nation’s respirator shortage
  • Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Lord warned adversary nations may use economic turmoil as a means to buy out American-made technologies

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3/26/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • The ministers of the G7—consisting of the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan—could not agree on a joint statement due to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s insistence the virus be called the “Wuhan Virus.”
  • The U.S. recorded its deadliest single day on Wednesday, 03/25/2020, with 223 reported fatalities.
  • New Orleans, which has the world’s highest growth rate of COVID-19 cases, is on pace to become the next epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut down Chicago parks, Millennium Park, the downtown Riverwalk and the entire lakefront if residents continue to ignore the statewide stay-at-home order.
  • Eight sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
  • The State Department reported as many as 50,000 Americans are seeking help to return home.
  • According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple sourced ten million masks for the U.S. and millions more for hard-hit areas in Europe.
  • The Senate unanimously passed a $2-trillion relief package to help U.S. consumers and businesses.
  • New Mexico started using the state’s emergency alert system to push notifications to anyone in the state with a cell phone.
  • The FBI shot and killed a Missouri man while investigating a potential domestic terrorism case. The man recently made threats the FBI took seriously, including a threat to attack a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, partly due to the suspect’s belief the hospital is treating COVID-19 cases.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned Angelenos the shelter-in-place order could last at least two months, possibly longer.

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3/25/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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3/24/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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3/23/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

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  • MD Gov. Hogan ordered nonessential businesses closed as of 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday
  • NJ Gov. Murphy announced today the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures scheduled to take place after 5:00 p.m. EDT Friday 03/27/2020
  • WV Gov. Justice issued a stay-at-home order effective Tuesday 03/24/2020 at 8:00 p.m.
  • OR Gov. Brown has issued an order to Oregonians to stay home whenever possible in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19
  • DE, LA, and OH also instituted variations of statewide shelter-in-place orders, as did IN, MI, and WV.
  • TX Gov. Abbott declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. He instead welcomed local officials to institute tighter restrictions in their areas. Dallas County instituted a shelter-in-place order effective 11:59 P.M. on 03/23/2020.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company donated its emergency reserve of 720,000 face masks to medical personnel
  • UT Senators Lee and Romney are both in self-isolation due to their contact with Senator Paul of Kentucky
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said lockdowns, which currently affect about one in four Americans, could last 10 to 12 weeks
  • Trump administration announced it would fund 100% of all National Guard activities in CA, NY, and WA to assist with the COVID-19 response
  • Democrats blocked a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill during a Senate vote on Sunday and blocked it again during a vote on Monday.
  • Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. is looking closely at reports younger Americans have a much higher rate of hospitalization than expected
  • WI Supreme Court ordered all in-person court proceedings, including jury trials, to be postponed until 05/22/2020
  • Italian government appealed to U.S. Defense Secretary Esper for U.S. military assistance Related, Esper said U.S. 10 governors requested field hospitals, but added the U.S. military “can’t meet everybody’s needs” with what it has in its inventory.
  • President Trump approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration on 03/22/2020
  • Jails in over a dozen states, including CA, NY, OH, and TX, are sending home low-level offenders and sick or elderly inmates in response to the pandemic
  • German government plans to introduce new economic stimulus measures, including increasing borrowing by €150 billion in 2020 and passing a €156 billion supplementary budget. The government will likely suspend its debt brake rule, which prohibits the government from presenting structural deficits except during times of crisis or national emergency.
  • New Zealand will begin a month-long lockdown policy at 11:59 P.M. on Wednesday, 03/25/2020.
  • Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced it will not send athletes to the Tokyo Summer Games if the event is not postponed. Likewise, the Australian Olympic Committee told its Olympians to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games in summer of 2021. A veteran International Olympics Committee (IOC) member claimed the IOC will announce soon that the Games will be postponed.
  • Mexico City Mayor Sheinbaum is temporarily suspending various activities throughout the capital in an effort to reduce the contagion curve and to avoid situations where the city’s hospitals could become overwhelmed

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3/22/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/22

  • U.S. Sen. Paul tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in quarantine
  • V.P. Mike Pence and wife tested negative for COVID-19 following the announcement an aide had tested positive for the virus
  • OH Gov. DeWine issued a stay-at-home order which begins at 11:59 P.M. on Monday
  • LA Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a stay-at-home order which begins at 5 P.M. on Monday, 03/23/2020
  • HI Gov. Ige ordered a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals into the state regardless of resident status
  • CDC now offers an online self-screening tool for COVID-19
  • President Trump announced General Motors, Ford, and Tesla have been given the green light to produce ventilators and other metal products
  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Wolf said the U.S. does not presently plan to institute domestic travel restrictions
  • FEMA Administrator Gaynor said protective masks were being shipped to states, particularly to hotspots like NY and CA
  • NY Gov. Cuomo asked all state hospitals to increase capacity by 100%
  • The U.S. now has 26,747 cases of COVID-19, which is the third-highest total globally
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed 22 officers have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Chief Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Ryan said public lockdown policies put in place around the world are not enough on their own to stop the spread of COVID-19
  • French President Macron reportedly spoke with UK Prime Minister Johnson on Friday and threatened to close down the border between the two countries unless the UK enacted stricter virus control measures
  • Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez said the government will extend the lockdown period by 15 days to 04/11/2020
  • German Chancellor Merkel is in self-quarantine after being in contact with a doctor who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Italy shut non-essential factories after suffering 793 deaths in a single day
  • Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced pubs, clubs, cinemas, gyms, and places of worship would close Monday, while restaurants must switch to takeaway services only.

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3/21/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/21

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3/20/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/20

  • US and Mexico agreed to limit non-essential travel between the two nations, by prohibiting recreational and tourist travel
  • Pennsylvania Gov Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses closed beginning 03/19/2020 at 8:00 P.M.
  • CA health officials predicted 56% of the state’s population will contract COVID-19 within the next 8 weeks.
  • CA Gov Gavin Newsom issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state
  • CA Essential businesses will remain open during this time
  • NY Gov Cuomo ordered 100% of non-essential businesses in NY to keep their workforce at home
  • PA Gov Wolf further ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in PA to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. Thursday
  • Carnival Corporation offered its cruise ships as temporary floating hospitals to authorities
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced on Twitter that Tax Day will be pushed from 04/15/2020 to 07/15/2020
  • LA Gov Bel Edwards announced the activation of 238 soldiers and airmen from the LA National Guard
  • MA officials deployed 2K National Guard to assist with equipment, logistics, and warehousing
  • FL National Guard opened its first drive-through testing site in Broward County
  • Hong Kong officials announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all incoming travelers which will be monitored through tracking technology
  • President of the Region of Madrid declared 80% of the city’s population is expected to contract COVID-19.
  • Italian Prime Minister Conte announced the lockdown period must be extended to help combat the continued spread of the virus

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3/19/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/19

  • U.S. State Department expected to issue a Level 4 travel advisory for all international travel
  • American Red Cross issued an urgent call for blood donations as it deals with a severe blood shortage
  • 37 states have announced statewide court closures
  • 2 members of the U.S. House of Representatives tested positive for COVID-19
  • DuPage County, IL reported 46 confirmed cases on COVID-19 in a single nursing home.
  • U.S. government warns the COVID-19 pandemic will possibly last eighteen months or longer and could include multiple waves
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suspended foreclosures and evictions for all mortgages insured by the FHA through the end of April
  • White House working to issue checks to most American households within three weeks
  • NY State Assembly passed legislation that will grant sick leave to all New Yorkers in both the private and public sectors
  • NY Governor Cuomo issued a mandate that 75% of the non-essential workforce must work from home
  • Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-citizens coming to Australia
  • New Zealand announced significant travel restrictions
  • Transport for London (TfL) announced a partial shutdown of the Tube network in the city
  • UK police warned citizens that burglars are pretending to be from the National Health Service (NHS)

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3/18/20 Notable Events: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/18

  • French research professor reported successful results from a new treatment for Covid-19
  • U.S. reported 6,519 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across all 50 states
  • President Trump announced the U.S.will temporarily close the Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic
  • President Trump announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act
  • President Trump stated he deployed 2 U.S. Navy ships to assist with COVID-19 crisis
  • President Trump announced that administration will suspend foreclosures and evictions of homeowners until at least the end of next month.
  • Guatemalan government temporarily suspended asylum agreement between Guatemala and U.S.
  • Europe surpassed China in its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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3/17/20 Highlights: Previous 24 Hours

Download Full RiskIQ i3 Daily Report – 3/17

  • NY Gov Cuomo announced drive-through testing facilities will open
  • NY Gov Cuomo issued a statement to calm feared of mandatory quarantine
  • NJ Gov Murphy reportedly deployed National Guard, urged residents to stay home after 8 pm.
  • KY Gov Beshear delayed state’s primary election until 06/23/2020
  • OH Gov DeWine announced polls will be closed on Tuesday
  • Fed announced $500 billion repo operation to begin 03/17/2020
  • LabCorp issued a release stating it expected to be able to conduct 10K tests per day by the end of the week, up to 20K tests per day by the end of March
  • EU member nations agreed to close all external borders for thirty days
  • WHO issued a warning for Southeast Asian countries to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Vietnam declared it will stop issuing visas to all foreign visitors, and any visitors from the United States, Europe, or ASEAN nations will face a mandatory quarantine
  • China now has fewer active cases than the rest of the world
  • Many African countries imposing strict travel restrictions to prevent the virus spread
  • Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa enacted further restrictions in the face of COVID-19

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