• About 28,800 Louisiana residents filed for unemployment last week—more than 12 times as many as a year earlier, but the lowest number since pandemic precautions began pounding the state’s economy. The number was down nearly 11,300 from the previous week, according to state and federal data. The agencies say about 321,700 Louisiana residents were getting state unemployment payments last week. That edged down about 3,400 from the previous week’s peak but was nearly 24 times the 13,500 on unemployment a year earlier.
• Louisiana reported a startling 1,188 spike in coronavirus cases today, but the health department blamed a backlog of reporting going back as far as March for the jump. The agency says 62% (682) of the new cases are from labs reporting for the first time with cases dating back to March 25 and that the percentage of those testing positive is 6.1%, which the agency says is encouraging. Read the full story from The News Star.
• Staff and students of the Southern University College of Sciences and Engineering are doing their part in helping combat the COVID-19 pandemic by running a lab full of 3D printers to manufacture parts for reusable masks to be used by health care professionals, WAFB-TV reports.
• Dallas, Houston, Southeast Florida’s Gold Coast, the entire state of Alabama and several other places in the South that have been rapidly reopening their economies are in danger of a second wave of coronavirus infections over the next four weeks, according to a research team that uses cellphone data to track social mobility and forecast the trajectory of the pandemic, The Washington Post reports.
• The pandemic has changed how retailers operate. Businesses that have spent years trying to get customers to linger, in hopes they’ll buy more, are reimagining their stores for a grab-and-go future filled with deliberate purchases. Read the full story from The Washington Post.
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.