business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, there now have been 7,834,289 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 217,750 deaths and 5,025,910 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 36,792,906 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,067,469 fatalities and 27,691,035 reported recoveries.

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. reported more than 56,000 new cases for Thursday, the highest daily total since mid-August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. … Wisconsin reported another record on Thursday, with more than 3,000 new cases confirmed. The state’s seven-day average stood at 2,381, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services … Other states also saw increasing numbers of cases. Illinois reported more than 3,000 new cases Thursday for the first time in more than a month. In North Carolina, new cases rose by more than 2,400, similar to levels reached in July during the peak of the pandemic in the state, according to Johns Hopkins."

The  Journal goes on:

"Several forecasts analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, indicate there might be increases in hospitalizations across the U.S. over the next four weeks.

In New Jersey, coronavirus-related hospitalizations rose to 652, the highest level since Aug. 6, Gov. Phil Murphy said at a news conference Thursday. A total of 148 of those people were in intensive-care units and 52 of those patients were on ventilators."

•  From the New York Times:

"The Northeastern United States, devastated by the coronavirus in the spring and then held up as a model of infection control by the summer, is now seeing the first inklings of what might become a second wave of the virus.

"The rise in case numbers has prompted state and local officials to reverse course, tightening restrictions on businesses, schools and outdoor spaces.

"In Boston, plans to bring children back to school have been halted as cases climb precariously. New virus clusters are emerging in Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. In New York City, the number of new cases each day now averages more than 500 for the first time since June, and the city is putting strict rules in place in some neighborhoods.

"In New Jersey, where hospitalizations are on the rise and the rate of infection has almost doubled, towns have closed public parks and picnic areas to discourage people from gathering. Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island extended restaurant capacity rules for another month.

"Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, said that early in the nation’s outbreak, New York and much of the Northeast had successfully tamped down transmission of the virus with physical distancing and masking, as much of Europe had done.

"'The point is, once you let up on the brake, then eventually, slowly, it comes back,' Dr. Osterholm said."

•  From the Washington Post:

"A senior military official who was quarantining following interaction with another uniformed leader who contracted the coronavirus has tested positive for it, the Marine Corps said Wednesday. Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, received the positive test a day after he began quarantining, the service said in a statement … Thomas is the second senior uniformed official whose coronavirus diagnosis was announced this week, following news that Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive on Monday."

•  The New York Times reports this morning that "Broadway is going to remain closed at least through next May 30, which is 444 days after all 41 theaters went dark in as part of New York’s effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"On Friday, the Broadway League, a trade organization representing producers and theater owners, announced that it was suspending all ticket sales through that date."

•  The New England Patriots, for the second week in a row, have seen their weekend game shifted to Monday night because of the pandemic.

The Boston Globe writes that "Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game has been moved to Monday at 5 pm … The league’s decision to move Sunday’s game comes after Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore became the second player on the team to test positive for COVID-19. Gilmore’s positive test caused the Patriots to close their facilities and not hold practice on Wednesday or Thursday."

The story notes that "quarterback Cam Newton reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday. His positive test, along with Chiefs practice quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, caused the NFL to push that Week 4 matchup from Sunday to Monday night."

In addition, the story notes, "The NFL is also pushing Sunday’s Titans-Bills game to Tuesday. Tennessee had its 23rd positive COVID-19 test result come in on Thursday. Next Thursday’s Chiefs-Bills game has been moved to the following Sunday as a result."

•  Variety reports that Disney-owned Pixar has decided to debut its new animated film, Soul, on the Disney+ streaming service on Christmas Day.

The film originally was scheduled to be released in June, but the pandemic prompted Pixar toi move the opening to November 20.  But the continued problems in the movie theater business forced the company to move it to streaming.