Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Federal and State Governments Plan for America’s Economic Return

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020 AS OF 4:00 PM EST

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 2.2 million worldwide, with more than 683,786 confirmed cases in the United States (US).

Johns Hopkins 2019-nCoV Map of Global CasesSource

New York and six other Northeastern states have extended COVID-19 stay-at-home orders to May 15 as the Trump administration released new federal guidance to reopen the economy. The new guidelines call for a three-phase process of restarting the US economy, recommending hospitals institute a “robust testing program” for healthcare workers before social distancing restrictions are lifted. The phased reopening has been outlined as follows:

  • Phase 1: Public venues, such as restaurants and movie theaters, can reopen with strict social distancing. 
  • Phase 2: Non-essential travel can resume, schools can reopen, and sporting arenas can reopen under physical distancing.
  • Phase 3: Visits to nursing homes and unrestricted business staffing can resume.

As elected officials plan for lifting stay-at-home orders, corporate leaders are called for an increase in testing for COVID-19 before businesses can begin to reopen. “We’ve clearly got a long way to go, but there’s progress being made every day … all the CEOs in our organization agree that testing is an absolutely crucial gating element to getting us back and running safely,” said Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten.

The US Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $349 billion program meant to keep small businesses afloat during COVID-19, ran out of money on Thursday, April 16 as many small-business owners were trying to apply for loans. The US Congress is discussing options for additional relief funds. One of the loan program’s main goals is to incentivize businesses to keep or rehire employees. 

More than five million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, moving the four-week total to just over 22 million. The surge in unemployment claims has put significant pressure on many states’ unemployment systems and labor departments. Additionally, the US Department of Commerce reported the steepest monthly drop in retail sales since record-keeping began nearly 30 years ago, and the Federal Reserve said industrial production had recorded its biggest decline since 1946.

The Hagerty Team will continue providing information and updates on current events and disasters affecting the nation.



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