Virus roundup …  

    • The Louisiana Department of Health reported 4,051 new COVID-19 cases today, the last day of the year. There were 40 additional deaths, bringing the total to 7,488 since March. There are currently 1,731 patients in the hospital with the virus, and of those patients 202 are on ventilators. 

    • People ages 70 and over will be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus starting next week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced this morning as he detailed plans for distributing the state’s next shipment of vaccines using a network of pharmacies. The announcement came one day after the state saw a record one-day total of new coronavirus infections. Read the full story about the next stage of vaccine rollout. Edwards also implored residents to continue to avoid gatherings, wear masks and practice social distancing. 

    • As 2020 nears its end, the U.S. still is setting one-day records for COVID-19 deaths and the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals, CNN reports. More than 3,740 coronavirus deaths were reported Wednesday in the U.S., the most reported in a single day during the pandemic and the second straight day that record was set, Johns Hopkins University data shows. More than 80,000 Americans could die of COVID-19 over the next three weeks, a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast projects.  

    • During the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year, Livingston Parish schools will implement a new virtual learning program for students using its 100% virtual learning option, WBRZ-TV 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.