Virus roundup …  

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has released an interactive map of known COVID-19 test sites in the nine-parish Capital Region as part of an effort to inform businesses and residents on where and how to access testing that could aid in the safe reopening of the economy. The map, which will be updated as new information becomes available, is searchable by filters including parish, city, hours of operation and associated fees, among others. Individual site locations are populated with contact information and admittance criteria. In a prepared statement, BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp says ample COVID-19 testing capacity was one of the criteria the chamber identified in its Safe at Work framework as essential for sustainably reopening the economy. Access the map directly here. It’s also available at brac.org/recovery.  

• Republican state lawmakers, citing concerns about privacy rights, are trying to ensure that Louisiana won’t penalize residents who refuse to cooperate with the state’s effort to track the coronavirus’s spread. They’ve attached a provision by House Republican leader Blake Miguez in next year’s budget that would keep Louisiana from spending money on a virus tracking program that requires people to participate or face penalties. They’ve also advanced legislation by GOP Rep. Raymond Crews, approved by the House in a 58-31 vote Friday, calling on Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration to stress to residents that involvement in such a program is voluntary. Read the full story.

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves today announced Louisiana will receive $98,475,000 in 256 payments for skilled nursing facilities to help combat the pandemic. This funding, which supplements previously announced provider relief funds, will be used to support senior citizens in nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. 

Both Superior Grill restaurants are temporarily closed due to recent COVID-19 cases found among staff. Employees showed symptoms at the Highland Road location, according to management. Because of this, the Mexican diner will be temporarily closed, WBRZ-TV reports.

President Donald Trump announced today that he is declaring churches and places of worship as “essential places that provide essential services,” and said that he would override governors to allow them to open “right now.” Axios has the full story. 

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. 

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