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COVID-19 Updates: June 16

June 16, 2020
Several States See Cases Spike; Drug Offers Potential Therapy ‘Breakthrough’; Volvo to Lay Off 4,100

The rate at which people are contracting COVID-19 is still rising in several states. According to Reuters, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas all saw record increases of cases in June 16. Troublingly, hospitalizations are also rising again, indicating that the rise of confirmed cases is not solely due to an increase in the amount of tests deployed. The rise comes as states all around the country have relaxed quarantine standards in a bid to restart their economies and prevent long-term economic damage, but in many cases before federal guidelines indicated it was safe to do so without risking a second wave of infections.

At press time, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reported that the United States currently had 2,134,521 active cases of the novel coronavirus. More than 116,833 people in the United States have died of the virus, and at least 576,334 have recovered.

Volvo to Lay Off 4,100

Volvo Group announced June 16 it would lay off 4,100 office jobs as the result of the economic impact caused by COVID-19. Most of the jobs, 1,250, are located in Sweden, and 15% of the total jobs cut are consultants. The company also said that the layoffs would have been worse without government assistance.

“The effects are expected to be lower demand going forward, and we need to continue to adjust our organization accordingly,” said Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group. “The Volvo culture will continue to be our guiding star in this work, where we will work as one team together with the unions to make this adjustment in a responsible way,” he said. Read the full story here.

Cheap Steroid Offers Potential as Treatment, Preliminary Results Show

On June 16, a team of British researchers working on a study with the University of Oxford announced their study had uncovered evidence of an effective COVID-19 treatment. The drug, dexamethasone, can effectively reduce deaths by up to one third in very ill patients, preliminary study results indicated. The British government has cleared the drug for emergency use. The drug does not appear to be effective on patients who are not yet seriously ill from the virus.

Communications in the Time of COVID-19

Communications teams at companies around the world were abruptly thrown into a situation they had no plan for when the novel coronavirus outbreak forced companies to close and nonessential employees to work from home. In the months since, they’ve gleaned 7 key strategies for effective workplace communication during the pandemic. Read the full story here.

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