• The number of people in Louisiana hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday reached heights exceeding the state’s summer surge, a sobering statistic that mutes some of the excitement surrounding this week’s first virus vaccinations.
• The potential approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine could widen the U.S. immunization effort because it is more easily shipped and handled than Pfizer’s, helping smaller hospitals and rural areas overcome logistical hurdles, The Wall Street Journal reports.
• Officials have administered 7,000 of the 39,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in Louisiana’s first batch at 71 hospitals throughout the state, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. Front-line workers and nursing home residents and staff—around 210,000 people—are at the top of the list to receive vaccines. Edwards said he won’t know what the state’s allotment of vaccines will be in the next batch until sometime next week. Louisiana Illuminator has the full story.
• Friends and families kept apart by COVID-19 this Christmas and New Year’s will not find their virtual gatherings over Zoom cut short by the usual 40-minute limit for free subscribers, Reuters reports. Zoom Video Communications is removing the time limit for its free accounts on all meetings globally for the holiday season.
• The justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are being provided with doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
• Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it’s laying off 2,200 workers, or 17% of its global workforce, as part of a larger restructuring aimed at paring down its business units and brands as a result of the pandemic.
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.