The federal government allowed its social-distancing guidelines to expire today without updating or renewing them. The hands-off approach is a continuation of President Trump’s general strategy with allowing state leaders to take control of their own states’ responses to the pandemic: On Wednesday, he told reporters the restrictions would be “fading out, because now the governors are doing it.”
State orders to self-quarantine and avoid social contact will also expire tonight with the end of the month , including in Alabama, Maine, Tennessee and Texas; Iowa, North Dakota and Wyoming are expected to follow the day after, May 1. Other states which have already begun reopening efforts include Montana, Alaska, Colorado, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Minnesota, and South Carolina.
Proponents of ending quarantine orders early point to the enormous stress social distancing has placed on the economy. More than 3 million more Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, according to numbers released by the Department of Labor today.
Cybersafety Requirements During COVID-19
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, and in chaotic times it can be difficult to know what or whom to trust. That’s led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 related phishing emails, as bad actors seek to exploit the chaos to dupe victims into giving away sensitive information to hackers and those who can use the information for fraud or other purposes. It doesn’t help that social distancing measures have forced more businesses than ever before to ask employees to work remotely, increasing their exposure to cyber threats. Read the full story here.
Coronavirus Unemployment Tops 30 Million
Almost 4 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week, sending the total number of people who have filed for unemployment insurance since their numbers began spiking in the third week of March to over 30 million people in total.
Although the rate of people applying for unemployment appears to be slowly going down following a spike to 6.6 million people at the end of March, the rate remains at millions of people per week losing their jobs. (The pre-COVID-19 record for highest number of unemployment claims in one week was 695,000). At the current rate, some analysists say the national unemployment rate could reach 20% for the month of August—it’s highest level since the Great Depression, when it hit 25%. Read the full story here.
5 Tips for PPP Loan Forgiveness
The Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, was enacted in order to subsidize small businesses to continue paying their workers instead of laying them off. Ethan Karp of MAGNET, Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, gives tips for manufacturers who have already taken or are considering taking loans from the program on how to improve their odds for getting the loans forgiven. Read the full story here.