The first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the United States, tightened travel restrictions, an increase in jobless claims, higher venture capital investments in cryptocurrency, a report on the challenges facing Connecticut working women, and a dismissed complaint on New London’s State Pier development are among the top business news items this morning.
The first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been detected in the United States, with a vaccinated individual in California contracting the virus and developing mild symptoms. Scientists are still seeking to determine how serious the variant is in areas such as breaking through vaccine protections and contagiousness.
The White House is tightening COVID-19 travel restrictions, requiring all passengers on inbound international flights to test negative for the virus within 24 hours of their departure. The Biden administration is also extending a mask requirement for domestic flights and public transportation through March 18.
Initial jobless claims rose to 220,000 last week, rising from the previous week’s 52-year low of 194,000. Continuing claims for the previous week dropped to 1.96 million, their lowest level of the pandemic.
Venture capital investment in cryptocurrency has surged in 2021, with the $27 billion invested globally so far representing a greater investment than the past decade overall. This growth is being fueled in part by crypto companies establishing their own investment branches to pursue growth.
A report from Girls With Impact found that 68 percent of women in Connecticut say their circumstances are hindering their ability to return to work, with one-third saying they have experienced a decrease in income after the start of the COVID-19 impact. The study recommended steps such as improving child care, expanding access to venture capital, and strengthening training programs in growing industries.
A Connecticut Superior Court judge has dismissed a complaint seeking to overturn the decision to permit work at New London’s State Pier to begin overhauling the site to support offshore wind operations. The ruling states that DRVN Enterprises, a business formerly located at the pier, said the company had not contested the termination of its lease and has no standing to challenge the permit approval.