It appears there is no deal in Washington over the federal jobless benefits that are set to expire Friday. Republican and Democratic senators clashed over a broader emergency relief package. A GOP effort to pass a standalone bill continuing extra payments was blocked. It would have slashed the checks from $600 a week to $200. They money would go into the pockets of millions affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which is still far from over.
Thursday state leaders reported another 261 positive cases for a cumulative total of 180,970. That’s with another 16 deaths for a combined total of 15,809 known and probable fatalities. The rate of spread remains above the key benchmark of 1.0 at 1.14. That number needs to be lowered to contain the virus and continue with the state’s reopening.