• More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns two months ago and sent the economy into a deep recession. Roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said this morning.
• Gov. John Bel Edwards said in his monthly radio show Wednesday he hopes to determine June 1 if the state can move forward with phase two of reopening the economy.
• Officials with Our Lady of The Lake hospital system are asking for donations of homemade masks as health care workers are still battling COVID-19. Ryan Cross, a spokesperson for the hospital, says the homemade cloth masks are critically important because they ensure health care providers have the proper amount of PPE. The cloth masks are provided to patients and visitors at all OLOL facilities. WAFB-TV has the full story.
• CVS is opening two new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Baton Rouge and a total of eight new sites statewide. The Baton Rouge sites will be along Highland Road and on Bluebonnet Boulevard. These new sites will use self-swab tests, which will be given to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday to schedule an appointment.
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 pickup or delivery.