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COVID-19 Update October 14, 2020

In the years that follow this one, 2020 will become an adjective that replaces the words ‘unfortunate’ and ‘unprecedented.’

This week, multiple European countries have reported more COVID-19 cases per capita than the U.S. France has declared a state of emergency, imposing a curfew from 9pm to 6am beginning Saturday. In the U.S., as temperatures begin to decline for the season (especially in the north), we are seeing the highest curve of new cases since August, and 16 states added more cases than any other weeklong stretch of the pandemic. Of course, these numbers are difficult to compare to a time when we had limited access to testing. Regardless, please keep safety a priority in order to protect the community.

Election Day on November 3rd is rapidly approaching, and if you’re registered to vote, most areas have begun early voting hours, with the absentee ballot deadline on November 2nd. Keep in mind that getting your vote in early could mean less crowds, and thus, less exposure. We are so ready for November 4th so that we can finally move onwards without political agendas.

Furthermore, there haven’t been any updates to the stimulus package negotiations in Congress, neither about a stand-alone bill nor comprehensive. As the stalemate continues, we hope that those businesses relying on this legislation are able to make it until after the election. If we are able to provide any guidance for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

The Social Security Administration has announced that starting January 1, the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase in 2021 by $5,100 to $142,800—up from the $137,700 maximum for 2020. Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax rates are statutorily set and can only be changed through new tax law.

As mentioned in previous emails, if you have remote employees, you should update your company handbooks accordingly. More remote workers are injuring themselves at home during the pandemic, leading to an increase in telecommuters’ workers’ compensation claims. Accordingly, our next vlog episode of Dialed in with Delta will cover “How to Work from Home the Right Way,” with guidance from expert panelists on creating an ergonomic and efficient work environment, ensuring hacker protection, and other tips for setting remote employees for success. Please register here, and don’t forget to add to your calendar for 10am CST on October 29th!

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