WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The number of COVID-19 deaths returned to highs seen last April due to worsening outbreaks of the infectious delta variant, prompting federal officials to extend mask requirements on flights and other public transportation into January. Local outbreaks and clashes over mask mandates in some states made for a rocky start to the school year for thousands of students who returned to the classroom this week.
- In a Handful of States, Early Data Hint at Rise in Breakthrough Infections – The New York Times
- No bus driver? Schools are paying parents to drive their own kids as economic disruptions hit classrooms. – Washington Post
- Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID after jam-packed, maskless GOP event – Houston Chronicle
- @kylegriffin1: Five states have intensive care units over 90% full: Alabama (99.31%) Florida (91.63%) Georgia (91.03%) Mississippi (91.26%) Texas (91.38%)
- The rise of coronavirus infections poses a substantial threat to small businesses awaiting office workers’ return, the main source of revenue for many in business districts. Office-building owners are keeping a close eye on the success of coffee shops, corner stores and other small businesses as their survival determines the fate of their cash flow and property values.
- Digital transactions skyrocketed during the pandemic and show no sign of retreating. A survey of Visa customers in March found that tap-to-pay transactions grew over 30% year-over-year, while nearly half of consumers said they will not shop at a store that doesn’t offer a contactless way to pay.
- NYC transit agency builds new strategy around contactless payments – American Banker
- Digital Commerce at the Crossroads: The Case for a Digital Trade Agreement – U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Walmart Seeks Crypto Expert to Oversee Digital Currency Push – Bloomberg
- @McKinsey: Live commerce could account for as much as 10 to 20 percent of all #ecommerce by 2026. Here’s what leaders should know about this fast-growing #sales channel:
- The nationwide labor shortage is driving some low-wage workers to bargain for a more clear career path in addition to better wages and benefits. While wages rose strongly in July, especially for workers in hospitality, many employees say they want prospects for a brighter future. Walmart, Chipotle and Amazon have responded with improvements to their tuition and training programs.
- The coin shortage first affecting Americans last summer has persisted, resulting in a frantic search for change among those who use public laundromats. The shortage is a circulation disruption first triggered by a lack of coins introduced to the market during shutdowns and rising digital payments last year that continues to linger due to coin requests from banks that outpaced deposits as businesses reopened.
- Turbine Labs has tracked 23,820 media articles and blogs and 19,581 social media posts over the last 24 hours.
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