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Goodell, Borrello pitch reopening plan | News, Sports, Jobs

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State Sen. George Borrello

With the number of unemployed Chautauqua County residents estimated to be between 35,000 and 45,000, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, are sharing their ideas with reopening the state’s economy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and governors Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, John Carney Jr. of Delaware and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island are working on a plan to reopen their states collectively.

Goodell and Borrello sent a letter Wednesday to Michael Schmidt, state tax and finance commissioner, that suggests phasing in business openings by regions and by business sector that are consistent with public health guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA. Goodell and Borrello would use the existing regional economic development zones as a template and then adjust plans to reflect unique situations within the zones.

The OSHA guidelines and prior Executive Orders can then be used to evaluate the risk factors for different business sectors to determine the appropriate level of public health screening and protective measures that should be implemented consistent those standards.

“Although the health crisis in New York City and the neighboring five counties is extremely serious, the situation in rural upstate New York is very different,” Goodell and Borrello said in their letter. “For example, in Chautauqua County we currently have three active cases, no new cases for the last several days, and a substantial drop in the number of people in precautionary quarantine or isolation. We have never experienced more than 12 active cases at any time. To put those numbers into perspective, we currently average one active case per 350 square miles, or about one active case for every 43,000 residents.”

Assemblyman Andrew Goodell

The elected state officials note the tax implications for both local and state governments as well as businesses losing customers to national competitors as reasons to reopen the economy as quickly as possible, as long as it can be done without endangering people’s health.

“Large portions of New York can be “open for business” consistent with appropriate health and safety protocols,” Borrello and Goodell said. “It is essential that New York move as quickly and carefully as possible to restart the economy to minimize the long-term disruption to families and businesses, long-term loss of business customers to out-of-state competition, and the continued loss of state and local governmental revenues. While massive economic disruption might be warranted for high risk regions, the collateral economic damage to individuals, businesses, and local governments in low risk regions should be minimized. “

RISK ASSESSMENT

Borrello and Goodell suggest using a risk assessment for a region to determine which business sectors can reopen and what type of public health screening and protective measures should be used to protect people. OSHA guidelines and prior executive orders can be used to evaluate risk factors for different types of businesses while CDC standards would be applied to each sector to minimize health implications.

Rates of infection vary widely cross New York state from 22.9 per 1,000 residents in Rockland County to .3 residents per 1,000 people in Schuyler County. There are similar variations in rates of hospitalizations, ventilator use and availability of personal protective equipment statewide.

Goodell and Borrello suggest setting Erie, Monroe, Onondaga and Albany counties aside because of the presence of urban centers that offer different risk factors. With those counties set aside, the county’s state representatives suggest using the following risk assessments to determine if regions should reopen for business:

≤ Infection density — Level of infection as measured by the number of active cases per thousand and the number of active cases per square mile (infectious density).

≤ Hospital utilization based on percent of local hospital beds utilized in response to the virus, percent of ICU capacity utilized for active cases, the percent of ventilators utilized, and the availability of staff and personal protective equipment.

≤ Regional demographic risk factors such as population density; inherent difficulty in maintaining social distancing because of reliance on mass transit, large apartment complexes, or high-density employment; concentration of homelessness population; extent of intrastate, interstate, or international travel; and other inherent risk factors.

≤ Trend data, such as the increase or decrease in the number of active cases, number of people in quarantine or isolation, and number of people hospitalized. The trend factor should be a net number, after deducting the number of recovered patients and those released from quarantine or isolation.

REGIONAL RISK LEVELS

Goodell and Borrello also suggest dividing the state into four levels of regional risk. High-risk areas would include New York City, Long Island and Rockland, Westchester and Orance counties. Moderately-high risk areas would include the mid-Hudson region, with the exception of Rockland, Westchester and Orange counties, as well as Monroe and Erie counties. Moderate risk would include the Capital Region, central New York and Broome, Steuben, Niagara and Tompkins counties. The rest of the state would be considered low risk.

BUSINESS SECTORS

Borrello and Goodell use the OSHA business risk assessment model, which is based on four levels with corresponding guidelines for appropriate steps to protect workers from possible infection.

Very high exposure risks include health care workers, EMS, dentists, laboratory personnel and others involved in aerosol generating procedures involving patients known or suspected of having COVID-19. Goodell and Borrello said OSHA and CDC standards high exposure risks will always remain very high regardless of regional risk assessments.

High exposure risks include health care workers, medical transport workers and mortuary workers involved in non-aerosol generating procedures involving patients known or suspected of having COVID-19. Those standards, Borrello and Goodell said, will also remain high because the patients are dangerous.

Medium exposure risks would include retail workers, school employees, bars and restaurants, golf courses and high-density work environments that require frequent or close contact within six feet of people who might be infected. The state representatives say as regional risk assessments go down, such businesses should be allowed to reopen provided that the businesses comply with OSHA and CDC guidelines. Areas of public assembly, sporting areas, malls and similar facilities could be reopened on a phased-in basis with density restrictions and maximum capacity gradually increased. Required protective measures should gradually reduce as regional risk factors continue to drop.

Lower exposure risks would include office workers, manufacturing operations, golf courses and other professional occupations who do not have frequent or close contact with others. Such businesses should be allowed to reopen in lower risk regions, consistent with OSHA and CDC standards that maximize social distancing or “at-home” work, ensure routine cleaning of common areas and provide appropriate protective masks or other protective equipment. Those protective measures could gradually reduce as regional risk factors continue to decrease.

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Firefox owner Mozilla cuts one-quarter of global workforce, including Canadian jobs

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TORONTO – The not-for-profit company behind the free Firefox web browser and a growing number of internet privacy products is cutting about 250 people from its global workforce, including an undisclosed number in Canada.

Mozilla Corp. co-founder and chief executive Mitchell Baker announced that it would cease operations in Taipei, Taiwan, and begin notifying affected employees in other countries.

Its press office wouldn’t provide details of how the cuts will affect Mozilla’s individual offices, which include locations in Toronto and Vancouver.

However, an emailed message from the California-based company says the job cuts will affect about one-quarter of Mozilla’s workforce, which will drop to about 750 people.

In addition, about 60 people will be reassigned or change teams.

Mozilla says it plans to transfer its security and privacy products from Firefox to a new products and operations team that will develop new revenue streams.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2020.

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Valley Isle Sports In Brief | News, Sports, Jobs

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165-pound marlin wins Hanapaa event

The Maui Trailer Boat Club’s 36th annual Hanapa’a north shore fishing tournament on Aug. 1 was won by a 165-pound marlin hauled in by the boat Gyotaku.

This year’s title sponsor was Maui Sporting Goods. The tournament is the club’s annual fundraiser with a portion of the funds being used to support the community fish aggregating device program. The FADs are anchored off shore and attract fish so fisherman have a known destination to go to with a higher probability to catch fish.

Donations for the program can be sent to Maui Trailer Boat Club, P.O. Box 1666, Kahului 96732. For more information, call Ben Walin at 250-7687.

Haiku’s Greenley aces No. 7 at MCC

Tom Greenley of Haiku scored his second career hole in one on the par-3, 138-yard seventh hole at Maui Country Club on Wednesday.

He used a 5-iron and his playing partners were Junko Sugimura and Ted Kanamori.

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Debenhams to cut 2,500 more jobs amid pandemic

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Debenhams storeImage copyright
AFP

Struggling department store group Debenhams says it will cut 2,500 more jobs as it struggles to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

This is on top of the 4,000 announced since May, meaning the retailer will have cut a third of its workforce.

The cuts will be mainly across its UK stores and distribution centre, but it said no new shops were slated to shut.

Debenhams said the current trading environment for retailers was still “a long way from returning to normal”.

In April, the firm fell into administration for the second time in a year as coronavirus heaped pressure on the business.

Earlier this year, it said 20 of its stores would remain permanently closed because of the impact of the pandemic.

Debenhams said on Tuesday: “Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.

“We have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations,” it added.

The chain said that people affected had been informed and thanked them for their “service and commitment”.

“We have successfully reopened 124 stores post-lockdown, and these are currently trading ahead of management expectations,” it said.

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