iStock/Getty Images
Coronavirus Conception Covid 19 Istock Getty 5ec84c2ccd015

Daily COVID-19 Updates: May 22

May 22, 2020
Pandemic Affects Employment in All 50 States; AstraZeneca Gets $1B in Vaccine Funding; Keys to a Successful Restart

Despite moves made towards opening up the economy again, millions of Americans are still applying for unemployment benefits every week. According to the Department of Labor, all 50 states and Washington, D.C. lost jobs in April due to the coronavirus, and 43 of them set record highs for the rate at which people in those states were applying for unemployment insurance.

The state hit hardest by the virus appears to have been Nevada—figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate in April there hit 28.2%, almost twice the national unemployment rate of 14.7%. The sharp, steep descent into economic recession is unprecedented in modern history, and as yet, it’s still unknown how quickly the country will be able to recover whether it reopens sooner or later.

6 Keys to a Successful Restart After COVID-19

“Restarting a manufacturing operation is a huge undertaking in calm times,” says Bill Currance, president and Founder of Cornerstone Consulting Organization. But manufacturers around the country who closed their doors for quarantine orders are stuck trying to reopen their production lines under circumstances that are anything but calm and predictable.

According to Currance, manufacturers can confidently stabilize their reopening operations by following six simple steps: plan ahead, rethink supply chains, know critical talent needs, increase engagement in value chains, emphasize safety, and understand investment trade-offs. Read the full story here.

Deere & Co. Posts Meager Income, Drop in Sales

The coronavirus crisis has come for Deere & Co., but some found reason for hope in the agricultural manufacturer’s second-quarter results surprisingly hopeful. The Illinois-based company reported $665.8 million in earnings for the second quarter of 2020 and an 18% dip in sales. Net earnings, sales, and revenues from equipment sales are all less than they were during the same period last year.

The company predicted an over-year drop of between 10% to 15% in sales for farming equipment. The prediction was likely buoyed by the April passage of a $19 billion stimulus bill for U.S. farmers affected by the virus. Read the full story here.

Is Fever Detection a Concern?

While 40.4% of respondents to IndustryWeek’s Coronavirus Crisis Survey said their workplace was checking worker temperatures, the process of taking employee temperatures can result in lines at the entrance of plants. Enter ThermalPass, a scanning technology from Internet of Things Inc. The fever detection system looks like a doorway and can be rapidly deployed at any normal entry way and scan workers as they pass through at a normal walking pace. Read the full story here.

Astrazeneca Gets $1B For Vaccine Candidate

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced May 21 they had received more than a billion dollars from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for production and research on its vaccine candidate, which they licensed from Oxford University. The company is currently planning on a Phase III clinical trial of the drug with 30,000 patients in the fall. The money from BARDA was given in exchange for a planned 400 million doses of the drug.

Manufacturers Doing Their Part

Allegis Corp. announced May 21 they were producing a protective face shield specifically for manufacturers in North America to protect their workers as factories across the country resume operations. Allegis, a manufacturer of access and security components for original equipment manufacturers, is using its newly-acquired flexible products division to make the face shields. “If we’re going to get our country moving again,” said Clayton Keister, CEO of Allegis Corporation, “we all need to be nimble and ready to adapt quickly to change.” 

About the Author

Ryan Secard | Associate Editor


Focus: Workforce and labor issues; machining and foundry management

Associate Editor Ryan Secard covers topics relevant to the manufacturing workforce, including recruitment, safety, labor organizations, and the skills gap. Ryan has written IndustryWeek's Salary Survey annually since 2021 and has coordinated its Talent Advisory Board since September 2023.

Ryan got started at IndustryWeek in August 2019 as an editorial intern and was hired as a news editor in 2020 before his 2023 promotion to associate editor, talent. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Wooster.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!