More states issue stay-at-home orders

Arizona, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders for residents to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some 3 out of 4 people in the US are now under orders to stay at home or soon will be as the death count from the pandemic increases.

La. teachers write, mail letters to students

Educators at a Louisiana elementary school recently wrote and mailed letters to their students. One teacher said she wrote letters in Spanish to her pre-K immersion students for the exercise, which she says she hopes will help students sharpen their language and improve their writing skills when they write back to her.

Banks could make billions in fees on SBA relief loans

Banks and credit unions are poised to earn billions in fees on the $350 billion in loans offered by the Small Business Association as part of the US coronavirus relief efforts. The loans are part of the $2 trillion relief package approved by Congress and the fees banks collect will be on a sliding scale based on the size of the loan.

McDonald's managers to screen staff for coronavirus risk

McDonald's managers will ask restaurant employees a series of questions related to their health before the start of each shift. Those who report no symptoms or risk factors from the coronavirus will start their shifts and others will be sent home until they're cleared to work by a medical professional.

RV owners lend a hand and a home to health care workers
CNN

The new Facebook group RVs 4 MDs connects health care workers with local owners willing to lend their RVs, trailers and campers for sleeping, bathing and self-isolating after treating patients with COVID-19. The group was formed by Emily Phillips, who sought an RV on Facebook for her husband, an emergency physician, and Holly Haggard, who offered to let the Phillipses borrow her RV.

Snapchat reports higher ad, app activity

Snapchat is reporting a 36% increase in installs for app ads and a 19% increase in swipe-ups during the past month, along with a 50% increase in video calls, a 25% boost in time spent using Lenses, and more messages, group chats and Discover content engagement. The platform is also reporting heightened interest in online shopping for athleisure, pet products and home goods, food delivery, fitness and wellness, mobile gaming and hobbies.

Home Depot to have workers check for fever before shifts
CNBC

Home Depot is giving thermometers to all store and distribution center staffers and asking them to take their temperatures and check for fevers before each shift. The retailer is also limiting the number of shoppers allowed in each store at once to 100 and expanding paid sick time for older and higher-risk employees.

Zoom addresses privacy concerns as user numbers surge
CNETThe Verge

Zoom, which has seen explosive growth in use of its videoconferencing service in recent weeks, will stop adding features for three months as it addresses privacy and security issues, CEO Eric Yuan wrote in a blog post Wednesday. Yuan also promised to be more transparent regarding law enforcement data requests.

Administration explores Fujifilm flu drug for COVID-19
Politico

The Trump administration is urging the FDA to grant emergency authorization to flu drug Avigan as a potential COVID-19 treatment despite limited evidence of its effectiveness and questions about safety, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The FDA, HHS and Avigan manufacturer Fujifilm have been discussing possible clinical trials of the drug in the US, internal documents showed, and trials are underway in Japan.

ISPs pledge to keep people connected

Dozens of internet service providers will refrain from disconnecting service to small businesses and individuals over unpaid bills and let late payment fees slide for the next 60 days, as well as creating public hotspots for Wi-Fi access, as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge that the Federal Communications Commission created. The ISPs also pledged to open public hot spots to those who need them.

Wash. clarifies stay-at-home order

Washington state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic applies to most commercial and residential construction, but work will continue at the former KeyArena and the Washington State Convention Center. The order exempts transportation infrastructure, but the state Transportation Department and the Port of Seattle have halted projects, and Sound Transit could pause work on more than half of construction sites.

Very thin substances could be the future of manufacturing

Extremely thin two-dimensional materials such as molybdenum disulfide and graphene hold promise for the manufacturing of phones, headphones, solar cells and more. They can also be combined into three-dimensional blocks and deposited on silicon wafers for experiments.

White House weighing limits on domestic flights
CNBC

The Trump administration is considering whether to temporarily stop travel connections by flight and rail between some parts of the US as a way to combat the spread of coronavirus. "Closing up every single flight on every single airline, that's a very, very, very rough decision, but we are thinking of hot spots, where you go from spot to spot, both hot," President Donald Trump said.

Local leisure can help salvage hotel business

Whether a hotel is still open during the coronavirus pandemic or hoteliers are looking for ways to kickstart business once lockdowns are lifted, Larry Mogelonsky suggests "a laser-focus on local leisure" to capitalize on potential guests who want to avoid airports but still want a vacation. He discusses how small-scale events, specific packages and data utilization play a role.