Roundup: Ochsner mandate / Mortgage rates rising / COVID’s origin

    Court date set: The Louisiana’s Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees at Ochsner Health facilities in Lafayette and Shreveport on Dec. 7, The Daily Advertiser reports. Dozens of Ochsner employees filed suit in Lafayette and Shreveport earlier this fall after the health system announced plans to mandate employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 29. Read the full story. 

    Going up: The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate rose this week, with the main 30-year rate inching back up over 3%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported this morning that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark home loan jumped to a still-low 3.1% from 2.98% last week. A year ago, the rate was 2.72%. See the report.  

    Reviving debate: A scientist who has pored over public accounts of early COVID-19 cases in China reported today that an influential World Health Organization chronology of the pandemic is inaccurate, The New York Times reports. The report, published in the journal Science, will revive, though certainly not settle, the debate over whether the pandemic started with a spillover from wildlife sold at a market, a leak from a Wuhan virology lab, or some other way. Read the full story.