Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Here's more proof that plexiglass is one of the hottest commodities of the coronavirus pandemic: A word that was almost never mentioned is popping up in corporate earnings calls and company press releases.

What's going on: Plexiglass is the must-have partition for places around the world doing business in the COVID-19 era — restaurants, grocery stores handing out free samples, casinos, even possibly schools (once students return).

  • And ... Google searches for "plexiglass" peaked in mid-May, as businesses across the country readied to reopen.
  • The brand name, Plexiglas, didn't get nearly the same attention.

The state of play: Take Dollar Tree, for instance — which late last month told analysts it installed more than 16,000 plexiglass shields at store checkouts.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 25, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 980,000 worldwide on Thursday.

By the numbers: Globally, more than 32 million million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Sep 25, 2020 - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

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