Virus roundup …

    The state health department reported 371 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the state’s total number to 185,144 since March.

    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that Congress should approve a coronavirus relief package before the end of the year, a shift from his recent suggestion that a measure was more likely early next year, according to Politico. 

    • Energy stocks are suffering through their worst retreat in almost a century. In the biggest drop of any sector going back to 1928, energy stocks have lost 60% more value than the S&P 500 Index has, data from Sundial Capital Research shows, according to the Houston Chronicle.

    • If you want a good measuring stick for the impact of the pandemic on airlines, The Wall Street Journal reports, compare what’s happening now to the industry collapse following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The six biggest U.S. airlines have experienced losses nearly twice as big as inflation-adjusted losses those same airlines, including their merger partners, had after 9/11.

    • One of the first states to receive rapid, low-cost coronavirus tests from the U.S. government is cautioning against their use in asymptomatic people, a group it was hoped would benefit most from the technology. The tests may miss some infections that can be picked up by costlier assays, and can incorrectly return positive results. The recommendations highlight issues with tests that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is spending $750 million on, Bloomberg reports.

    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.