Breaking News
More () »

13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Coronavirus updates: Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR/TEGNA/AP) — Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. update on Stage 3

Governor Eric Holcomb and state leaders provided an update on the response to COVID-19 as Indiana enters Stage 3 of reopening.

ISDH update

ISDH released data on the tracking of positive cases of COVID-19 in Indiana.

It looked at 29,363 Hoosiers that tested positive and found 5,290 of those were hospitalized.

Looking at those hospitalized, 1,166 were admitted to the ICU.

ISDH also released findings on what happened to those patients that were hospitalized and found 72 percent were discharged, 10.5 percent are likely still hospitalized and 17.5 percent have died.

PPE Marketplace for small businesses

The PPE Marketplace for small businesses has received 24,000 orders and already shipped 20,000 orders. A total of 90,000 bundles of PPE will be shipped by June 24.

Eligible businesses are those that:

  • Are registered to do business in Indiana
  • Employing less than 150 associates
  • An organization that must use PPE to reopen

Orders for business and nonprofit organizations can be made by clicking here.

Unemployment claims

Since March, $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance payments have been made to Hoosiers. That's $500 million from the state and $1.2 billion federal.

In just May so far, there have been 1,315,733 claims paid out.

Looking at the private sector in Indiana:

  • Professional and Business Services are down 40,500 jobs.
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities are down 41,900 jobs.
  • Private Education & Health Services are down 54,200 jobs.
  • Manufacturing is down 78,200 jobs.
  • Leisure and Hospitality are down 116,000 jobs.

President Trump orders churches and houses of worship opened

President Trump says churches and other houses of worship should be considered essential, and allowed to open during the coronavirus pandemic.

During an abrupt White House press briefing Friday afternoon, he said announced that governors should let places of worship to open "right now," because the country needs more prayer.

The president said he would override a governor who did not allow churches and places of worship to reopen immediately.

Trump then left without taking questions from reporters.

ISDH reports new numbers

Coronavirus cases across the state have surpassed 30,000. With 493 new cases reported Friday, there have been 30,409 positive cases in the state so far.

ISDH reported 27 more deaths due to the virus Friday, bringing the total to 1,791. The state is now testing at 14.6 percent positive of all Hoosiers tested.

Eight Indiana counties are recording more than 1,000 cases: Allen, Cass, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Lake, Marion and St. Joseph.

Johnson, Lake and Marion counties have all reported more than 100 deaths.

Fishers reopening park facilities, cancels summer concert series

Friday marks the start of the City of Fishers reopening facilities at parks.

  • Restroom facilities will be de-winterized, open to the public, and cleaned daily
  • All non-contact athletic courts and fields, including basketball, baseball, tennis, and pickleball courts will reopen. Field rentals may resume for practice and conditioning activities only.

Playgrounds and drinking fountains will remain closed.

Field rentals for non-contact sports for groups of 250 or more will begin June 14. The splash pads at Saxony Lake and Beach will also open June 14.

Shelter and venue rentals for groups of 100 or fewer will begin June 1. Rentals for groups of up to 250 will tentatively reopen June 14.

The Fishers Summer Concert Series has been canceled, along with all summer camps in June.

More Hoosier children treated for illness linked to COVID-19

Friday, Riley Hospital for Children confirmed doctors there had treated a total of four patients for multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome so far. The disease is connected to COVID-19.

According to Dr. John Christenson, the medical director of infection prevention at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, the patient from the first case is an older child who first ended up in the intensive care unit at Riley. Christenson said the child has since been moved out of ICU and is continuing to get better.

Riley Hospital did not share any other details about the additional three children.

Holcomb prepares for drop in state revenue

Gov. Eric Holcomb has asked the State Budget Agency to start making plans to reduce appropriations to state agencies by 15 percent in Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1.

The move comes after a large drop in state revenue in April, and in preparation for the trend to continue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Holcomb said it's just one of the steps the state will take to reel in spending, while also providing government services to those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to reducing money given to state agencies, a number of upcoming projects will be put on hold to increase savings:

  • Use of $291 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the 2020 legislative session
  • Approximately $65 million in Next Level Trails grants
  • $110 million of deferred maintenance projects, including $70 million for state parks

State agencies announce changes as pandemic eases

The Indiana Department of Revenue is going to start accepting appointments for in-person customer service beginning May 26.

District offices in Bloomington, Clarksville, Columbus, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Lafayette, Merrillville, Muncie, South Bend and Terre Haute, as well as the DOR’s Motor Carrier Services customer center are included in the reopening.

The Indianapolis walk-in center will be open for appointments starting June 1.

Customers in can schedule an appointment online with district offices, or by calling customer service directly. Numbers are listed on each district office web page.

You call 317-232-2240 to schedule an appointment at the downtown Indianapolis office starting June 1.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is canceling fee and penalty waivers put in place during the pandemic at the end of June.

Hoosiers whose renewal deadline has passed or is approaching, or who need to complete a title transfer or register a new vehicle are urged to schedule an appointment with the BMV to complete their transaction prior to the June 30, 2020 deadline.

Hoosiers with expired driver’s licenses, permits, state identification cards, and vehicle registrations need to complete renewal transactions before July 1 to avoid paying a penalty fee.

Schedule BMV appointments here.

Most of state to move to Stage 3 of reopening Friday

Governor Holcomb announced that Stage 3 of reopening the state will begin on Friday. It had been set to begin on May 24.

Under Stage 3:

  • People can gather in groups up to 100
  • Restaurant dining rooms remain at 50 percent capacity
  • Retail stores and malls open to 75 percent capacity
  • Gyms, YMCAs and fitness studios can open with restrictions
  • Community pools and campgrounds can open
  • Recreational sports practices may begin (except contact sports such as football and lacrosse)
  • Youth summer day camps may begin June 1
  • State park inns will be reopening
  • Raceways can reopen without fans

The governor's order on Friday will also do the following:

  • Extend prohibition on turning off utilities
  • Extend prohibition on filing mortgage foreclosures and evictions
  • Extend deadlines to acquire or renew driver licenses, vehicle registrations, etc.

For more information on the stages and what is and is not allowed, click here.

Streets closing, dozens of restaurants getting ready to reopen

Marion County restaurants are getting ready to reopen for outdoor dining only, starting Friday.

According to the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, as of Wednesday afternoon, 44 restaurants had applied for special permits allowing them to expand their outdoor seating.

The list includes Coaches Tavern, the Columbia Club, St Elmo Steakhouse, Moe and Johnny's, Union Jack Pub, Golden Ace Inn and Weber Grill.

Portions of these five major corridors will be closed to vehicular traffic to accommodate for outdoor dining:

  • Massachusetts Avenue
  • Broad Ripple Avenue
  • Georgia Street
  • The southern half of Monument Circle
  • Three blocks of Illinois Street downtown

Latest US, world numbers

There have been 1.57 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 94,000 deaths and 298,000 people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 5.1 million confirmed cases with 333,000 deaths and 1.95 million recovered.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

CVS opening drive-thru testing sites Friday

CVS Health will open 21 new COVID-19 test sites across Indiana on Friday, May 22 at drive-thru locations.

Of the 21 Indiana CVS locations, 14 will be in the Indianapolis area and surrounding suburbs.

The CVS sites, as well as Walmart locations around the state, will offer self-swab tests.

Greenwood opening outdoor recreation areas Sunday

Greenwood tennis courts, basketball courts, pickleball courts, skate park and softball diamonds are scheduled to open this Sunday, May 24.

City officials also plan to also reopen the Greenwood Community Center to members only beginning Monday at 8 a.m.

“As we begin to reopen city amenities, we strongly encourage all residents and visitors to follow guidance from federal, state and local health officials,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers in the announcement.

Public restrooms will remain closed, and drinking fountains can only be used to fill bottles.

City employees are required to wear masks, but patrons are not required to wear them.

Carmel reopening Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza Friday

The City of Carmel will reopen the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza beginning at noon on Friday.

It will remain open as long as there isn't a new spike in COVID-19 cases for the city.

Signs will also go up in the area encouraging people to wear masks.

The mayor will be looking at three things to determine how long the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza will remain open:

  • Hospitals under 70 percent of their bed capacity to allow room for a new surge
  • Positive COVID-19 cases do not exceed 5 percent
  • 14 days of declining COVID-19 hospital patients

If things go smoothly, the City will bring back Monday Movies at Midtown and Tuesday Music at Midtown beginning immediately.

Topgolf Fishers reopens Friday with state and local backing

Topgolf in Fishers will be reopening for the second time this week.

It had opened on Monday only to be ordered closed by the state on Tuesday.

Topgolf issued a statement to 13News saying it now has the green light from state and local officials to reopen at 10 a.m. Friday.

"From the start, Topgolf wanted our Fishers reopening to be part of the safe and responsible return of favorite Indiana businesses. We’re grateful for the community support we received as we clarified our ability to reopen under state guidelines. When we reopen on Friday, our Guests can expect the same safety measures that were in place earlier this week to ensure you can play with confidence at Topgolf.”

13News was at Topgolf earlier this week when it showed safety measures it was taking to meet guidelines.

HandleBar returning to downtown streets Friday with new safety measures

On Friday, May 22, the eight HandleBar party bikes will be back on the roads, after cutting their capacity from 16 to 8 people, with customers occupying every other seat.

The people-powered, mobile BYOB touring bike company has worked with local leaders in Indianapolis to return to the streets, including Downtown Indy Inc., Visit Indy and IMPD.

Click here to book a HandleBar for your group.