business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, we've now had a total of 33,833,181 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 602,616 deaths and 27,358,651 reported recoveries.

Globally, we've had 165,912,336 total coronavirus cases, with 3,446,477 resultant deaths and 146,619,133 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 60.5 percent of the US population 18 or older has received at least one dose of vaccine, and 48.4 percent has been fully vaccinated.

•  CNBC reports that Amazon "will soon stop requiring face masks for fully vaccinated workers inside warehouses, except where required by law.

"Starting Monday, fully vaccinated operations employees in the U.S. will no longer be required to wear a face covering at work unless it is mandated by state or local regulations, according to a notice Amazon sent to workers that was obtained by CNBC … Amazon said in the notice to workers that it considers them to be fully vaccinated once it has been 14 or more days since their final vaccine dose. Workers must also have a copy of their vaccine card, the company said."

•  From the Los Angeles Times this morning:

"A California workplace safety board postponed a vote Thursday on a proposal that would have allowed workers to return to their jobs without social distancing or face masks so long as everyone in a room is vaccinated.

"As a result, workers must continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing for now, unless they’re alone — either in a room or outside. Workers can remove masks when eating or drinking but must be physically distant from others.

"The delay came after the deputy chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, wrote a memo asking the seven-member Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to 'not vote to approve the current proposal.'

"The request followed this week’s announcement that California would broadly loosen its mask rules in nonworkplace settings effective June 15, allowing everyone who is vaccinated to remain maskless in most indoor and outdoor settings, while still requiring unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people to keep wearing masks in most settings when near other people."

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"After more than a year of remote work, Marc Metrick, the chief executive of Saks, has a message for the company’s 500 corporate employees in New York: Starting in September, the office will again become the company’s primary workplace.

"'This was really great to be able to get work done at a time when it just wasn’t safe, but as it becomes safe, this isn’t the right option for us and we need to be much more office-based,' Mr. Metrick said of remote work during a recent Zoom interview. There will be new flexibility, he said, but 'the default needs to be our office'."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "supermarkets are on a mission to get rid of hand sanitizers. Once nearly impossible to find, America is awash in it … Covid-19 cases are declining as more people get vaccinated. Health officials have said in recent months that the virus is airborne and that the disinfectants aren’t as effective as masks and distancing. Sales of hand sanitizers are down 80% to $9.2 million for the week ended May 8 from the year prior, according to NielsenIQ. Weekly sales hit as high as $52 million in July. Average unit prices are $2.10, about 40% lower than a year ago."