Virus roundup … 

    • A surge of COVID-19 cases and stockpiling of N95 masks in much of the country have put fresh strains on the supply of critical protective gear, manufacturers and health officials say. While the national supply of protective equipment has improved since the first months of the pandemic, levels at some health care facilities remain well below what regulators recommend. Many health care facilities continue to ration and reuse masks, even as manufacturers have raised production, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    • The Guardian has put together a series of graphics that show which countries have the highest rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths. 

    • The dismal state of the economy beat out the coronavirus pandemic as the top concern of voters surveyed in early exit polls Tuesday, The Washington Post reports. 

    • The U.S. trade deficit fell in September after hitting a 14-year high the previous month as exports outpaced imports. The gap between what the U.S. sells and what it buys abroad fell to $63.9 billion in September, a decline of 4.7%, from a $67 billion deficit in August, the Commerce Department reported this morning. 

    Read more stories on how the coronavirus is impacting the Baton Rouge business community. See a roundup of resources available to those impacted by the pandemic. Click here to see a 225 magazine list of local restaurants offering patio seating or indoor dining during phase three of reopening.