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Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thursday's latest update on the coronavirus pandemic.

INDIANAPOLIS (TEGNA/AP/WTHR) - Thursday's latest update on the coronavirus pandemic.

More schools close due to outbreak

Brebeuf Jesuit and Scecina are closed Friday, though students can go to the school to collect their belongings. (Scecina students can arrive between 6:40 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) E-Learning days will start on Monday and the schools will remain closed through at least April 14.

Greenfield-Central schools will be closed on Friday, though school buildings will be open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for students and their families to collect necessary belongings. The district's buildings will then be closed for the next two weeks for spring break and is expected to reopen for onsite classes on Monday, March 30.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife tests positive

The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The prime minister had tweeted earlier on Thursday that he is also self-isolating and monitoring until Sophie Grégoire Trudeau's results returned. Now, she's tested positive with COVID-19.

Trudeau's office said Thursday night that his wife is feeling well and will remain in isolation.

Disney World Resort closes

The Florida theme park and resort said it was closing due to coronavirus concerns. Park officials said there were no confirmed cases at the park, but they were shutting things down as a precaution.

Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month.

RELATED: Disney World Resort closing due to coronavirus concerns

The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open. Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences and Products.

RELATED: Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood closing over coronavirus concerns

Hamilton County schools closing

Several school districts in Hamilton County are closing starting Monday at the recommendation of Governor Eric Holcomb and the county's health department.

Carmel, Hamilton Heights, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville and Westfield-Washington Schools will have class Friday, then close starting Monday through the end of each district's spring break. The districts will be utilizing e-Learning days during the closures.

Noblesville Schools cancels after-school activities, field trips

Noblesville Schools are canceling after-school activities and field trips, effective Thursday evening.

Plainfield Schools closing

Plainfield Schools will close starting Friday, March 13, with e-Learning classes starting on Monday, March 16. Parents and students can come to the school Friday during school hours to pick up necessary belongings.

Supercross canceled

The Monster Energy Supercross event scheduled for Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium has been canceled.

Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster.com will be automatically refunded. Other refunds can be obtained at the original point of purchase.

Fuel and Indians

Indy Fuel announced Thursday that its league had suspended the 2019-20 season with no end date given.

Also, the Indianapolis Indians season will be delayed.

A statement reads in part: "We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so."

Marion County school closures

Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Marion County Health Department announced local restrictions on all non-essential gathering of people larger than 250 people. It will be in effect for 30 days.

All public school systems in the county will be closed beginning Monday along with city-sponsored charter schools.

The closure will coincide with spring breaks and the schools will stay closed until April 5.

IPS announced its closure will begin Friday, March 13.

Governor new safety plans

Governor Eric Holcomb announced a series of steps to protect Hoosiers from COVID-19.

The steps include:

  • Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people. This includes any event or gathering of people who are in one room or a single space at the same time, such as cafeterias, churches, stadiums, meeting and conference rooms, auditoriums and the like. This guidance applies to professional, social, community and similar other gatherings. Detailed guidance will be posted on the Indiana State Department of Health website by the end of the day.
  • Effective immediately, school corporations will be provided with a 20-day waiver of the required 180 instructional days for use as needed for the remainder of the academic year. The waived days do not need to be used consecutively and can be leveraged as needed.
    • If a school corporation has evidence of community spread or a confirmed positive test for coronavirus, officials should consult with the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana State Department of Health for additional steps. Schools should plan now for broader closures, including eLearning and remote classroom options.
    • The Department of Education will release additional guidance detailing the process for submitting waiver requests as early as Friday.
    • Schools should follow the guidelines for non-essential gatherings as they make decisions about non-essential extra-curricular or co-curricular activities.
  • Child care and adult day care facilities should institute social distancing and minimize large gatherings. Temporary suspension of operations should be done in consultation with the Family and Social Services and ISDH in the instance of documented community spread.
  • Nursing facilities and hospitals should restrict and screen visitors. Any individual who is allowed to visit is restricted to the patient’s room. Visitors are not allowed if they present with any of this criteria:
    • Display signs or symptoms of illness, especially respiratory illness
    • Have traveled internationally or been in contact with someone with a respiratory illness in the past 14 days
    • Reside in a community with a known COVID-19 case
    • Those who are less than 18 years of age
  • The Indiana Department of Correction has suspended visitation at all facilities as a precaution for the health and safety of IDOC staff and offenders.
  • Individuals over 60 years of age or those with a known underlying health issue such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease should limit their public exposure. Whenever possible, friends and family should arrange to provide food and other essential items.
  • Those who run senior centers and congregate meal services should consider suspending congregate meals services and arrange for home delivery
  • Encourage businesses to utilize telework policies, if available

Governor Holcomb also announced the state will suspend all non-essential out-of-state and international travel for the next 45 days for state employees.

Live Nation concerts

As more concerns arise about the coronavirus, Live Nation is putting a pause on its tours.

On March 12, the New York Times reported that Live Nation will instruct "its touring shows to prepare to return home." This will affect tours domestically and internationally.

The company is hitting pause on current touring arena shows through the end of the month.

Indiana Flower + Patio Show

The Indiana Flower + Patio Show scheduled to begin Saturday has been canceled.

The decision comes after the governor advised people should not gather in groups larger than 250 people.

Disneyland closing

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park will be closed beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month over coronavirus concerns.

Southern Hancock Schools closing

Southern Hancock Schools have closed schools because students were showing symptoms of COVID-19. The district said the students were not tested for the virus because of "a lack of available tests."

The district will use e-learning and then return to school after spring break on Monday, April 6.


Stock market has biggest loss since 1987

The stock market had its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987 as fears of economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepened.

The Dow industrials plunged more than 2,300 points, or 10 percent.

FDIC International postponed

FDIC International is postponing its convention in Indianapolis set for April 20.

It is not yet clear when it will take place.

MLB season to be postponed

The MLB plans to suspend all operations, including spring training, according to NBC News.

A formal announcement is expected to be made later Thursday.

Indy Eleven taking a hiatus

Indy Eleven will go on a 30-day hiatus.

The news comes as the United Soccer League announced it was suspending the season for at least a month.

The suspension of play will affect, at a minimum, four dates on Indy Eleven’s 2020 regular season calendar, including its previously scheduled home opener in early April:

  • Saturday, March 14 at Sporting Kansas City II
  • Saturday, March 21 at Saint Louis FC
  • Friday, March 27 at New York Red Bulls II
  • Saturday, April 4 vs. Louisville City FC

Zionsville going to e-learning

Zionsville Community Schools will be off Friday, March 13.

E-learning days will then begin on Monday, March 16.

Spring break begins on March 27.

Bublé tour postponed

Michael Bublé's tour is being postponed. He was set to perform at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 1.

All tickets will be honored when the show is rescheduled.

Lebanon Community Schools closing

All schools in the Lebanon Community School Corporation will close at 6 p.m. Thursday.

They will remain closed to students on Friday, March 13.

Beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing through Friday, March 27, the district will use e-learning days.

The district will be closed for spring break March 30 - April 3. Schools are expected to return to normal on Monday, April 6.

Parents should plan to pick up student medication, as well as technology device and other belongings, if needed, on Friday, March 13 during school hours.

NHL plans to suspend season

The NHL plans to suspend its season 2019-2020 season due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to CNBC.

The decision was reportedly made after the NBA suspended its season.

Franciscan Health visitor restrictions

Franciscan Health will enhance visitor restrictions and screenings at its three medical campuses in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel, effective 7 a.m., Monday, March 16.

It is in response to COVID-19 and the flu season.

You can call the hospitals to learn the restrictions before you go.

Ivy Tech and VU making changes

Ivy Tech is delaying the continuation of current courses and the start of new 8-week courses until March 23. At that point, courses will be delivered online until at least April 5.

Ivy Tech locations will remain open to provide student and business office assistance including the ability for students to meet with advisors, admissions and financial aid, use computers, and access to faculty as needed.

Vincennes University will extend spring break for VU students at all sites (including online) until Sunday, March 22. At that point classes will be moved online or alternative methods. Faculty and staff will still need to report as usual unless they are ill.

MLS shutting down

Major League Soccer is shutting down for 30 days because of the coronavirus.

It was a decision that was made under the advice of the CDC.

Greenwood Community Center to close

To help mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Greenwood will close its Community Center at 6 p.m. Friday.

The facility will remain closed until at least March 30.

Burris Laboratory School going online

The Burris Laboratory School will switch to e-learning as a result of COVID-19 concerns. A timeline on how long the online learning will last has not been set.

The decision came in conjunction with Ball State University switching to online classes.

Eskenazi Hospital visitation restrictions

Eskenazi Health has added to its restrictions for visitors at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital because of the flu and COVID-19.

These temporary restrictions include, but are not limited to:

• No visitors with symptoms of influenza.
• No visitors under the age of 18.
• Visitors are limited to two people and only immediate family as identified by the patient.

ICC canceling events

The Indianapolis Children's Choir announced Thursday it is canceling its events in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation includes all rehearsals, classes and performances.

This includes the Columbus Indiana Children's Choir and the Anderson Area Children's Choir and Youth Chorale.

Hancock County COVID-19 case at sheriff's department

A member of the Hancock County Sheriff's Department has a confirmed case of COVID-19 according to a release from the department.

The staff member is self-quarantining.

Two other staff members who were in direct contact with the infected staff member on Sunday, March 8th are now at home in self-quarantine as a precaution, they have not shown any symptoms at this time.

The staff member was not in direct contact with any inmates.

IHSAA not allowing fans

The Indiana High School Athletic Association will not allow fans at the remaining games of the IHSAA boys basketball tournament.

Family and essential staff will be allowed at the basketball games. There is a maximum of 75 people per team that will be allowed and they will need to sit separately from each other.

Each school will enter through separate entrances. There will be no pre-game or post-game handshakes, no cheerleaders, pep bands or dance teams.

The association is hoping to stream each remaining game prior to state finals.

The girls gymnastics state finals in Muncie on Saturday will continue, but only with athletes and essential staff. Family members and fans will not be allowed to attend.

Men's basketball tournaments canceled

The Big Ten Conference is canceling the remainder of the Men's Basketball Tournament.

In a statement, the conference said it will use the time to "work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference also said the the focus will be on the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.

The ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference have also canceled their men's basketball tournaments.

"A Quiet Place Part 2" delayed

Set to be released Friday, March 20, director, producer, writer and actor John Krasinski has announced "A Quiet Place Part II" will be released at a later date.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together. Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what's going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the right time to do that," Krasinski wrote on Twitter.

MLS suspending its season until further notice

Sports Illustrated reporter Grant Wahl reports Major League Soccer, MLS, is suspending its season until further notice due to coronavirus.

Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus

According to ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for coronavirus.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Indianapolis canceled

The 40th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Tent Party scheduled for Friday, March 13 has been canceled.

The Athletic Club Foundation made the announcement Thursday morning out of an abundance of caution.

Thursday's greening of the canal and Saturday's Shamrock Run Walk have also been canceled.

2nd Marion County COVID-19 case and 1 in St. Joseph County bring state total to 12

Indiana has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

As of late Wednesday night, two more cases had been confirmed — a second case in Marion County and one in St. Joseph County in northern Indiana. Both people who tested positive are adults.

ISSMA events canceled through April 11

The Indiana State School Music Association has canceled all sponsored music events through April 11.

This includes all junior/middle/elementary concert organization festivals and the ISSMA state show choir and jazz finals.

US Capitol closing to public until April amid virus outbreak

Congress is shutting the Capitol and all House and Senate office buildings to the public until April in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus.

The House and Senate sergeants at arms said in a statement that the closure will begin at 5 p.m. EDT Thursday. Lawmakers, aides, journalists and official visitors will be allowed into the buildings.

The statement says officials were acting “out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public.”

Stocks remain lower after trading resumes; Dow down 1,800

Stocks are sharply lower after resuming trading as traders fear that not enough is being done to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow industrials are down 1,800 points, or 8 percent, following a 15-minute trading halt.

The sell-off slamming global markets came after President Trump imposed a travel ban on most of Europe and offered few new measures to contain the impact.

European markets are down 10 percent, even after the European Central Bank announced more stimulus measures. World markets are enduring violent swings amid uncertainty about how badly the outbreak will hit the economy.

Report: Jazz player Gobert made light of COVID-19 protocols Monday before positive test Wednesday

Utah Jazz player is Rudy Gobert is currently in under care in Oklahoma City after testing positive for COVID-19 before Wednesday's scheduled NBA game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.

That game was never played, and the ​NBA announced it was suspending its season “until further notice" after Gobert tested positive.

The move came only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

NBC affiliate KSL reported that Gobert "sat six feet away from reporters due to the Utah Jazz’s new media protocol to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. When he got up, he made it a point to touch each recorder and mic on the table in an attempt to make light of the situation."

That night, Quin Snyder comically waved the assembled media across the new invisible barrier.

Viking and Princess cruises suspend service

Viking Cruises has announced it will suspend all ocean and river cruises until May 1. Chairman Torstein Hagen announced the decision in a letter to Viking guests posted on its website.

"Since we started Viking nearly 23 years ago, we have always cared first and foremost about our guests and our employees," he wrote. "I am writing today because the situation has now become such that operating as a travel company involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions, which could diminish the travel experiences for which our guests have been planning. As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees, as we have always done."

Carnival is also suspending its Princess Cruises. The suspension starts Thursday and goes through May 10. President Jan Swartz announced the decision in a video, calling it the "most difficult decision in our history."

"In the interest of doing what's right and upholding our core values, I regretfully am announcing a 60 day pause of our Princess global ship operations," she said.

Swartz said the fleet of 18 ships will be taken out of service and the environmental conditions on board would be "reset."

Passenger with positive coronavirus test flies from New York to Florida

A passenger aboard a JetBlue fight arrived at Palm Beach International Airport as a positive coronavirus case Wednesday night.

Flight 253 arrived just before 9 p.m. from New York’s JFK airport, but the plane remained on the tarmac instead of proceeding to gate.

Passengers in the vicinity of the unidentified COVID-19 positive patient were advised of monitoring procedures.

Courtesy WPTV

Remaining passengers were released and given directions to call the health department with any concerns.

Congressional doctor estimates number of infected in U.S.

Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, has told Senate staff that 70 million to 150 million people in the U.S. will contract the coronvirus, according to reports from Axios and NBC News.

The population of the U.S. is 330 million according to census figures, so the prediction means about 1/5 to about 1/2 of the U.S. would be infected.

126,000 people worldwide have been infected, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins. More than 68,000 of those patients have recovered. Most patients have mild symptoms and rebound within two weeks, while those with more serious ailments — including pneumonia — may not improve for up to six weeks.

8 shows airing on WTHR suspend studio audiences

As of Thursday morning, eight shows airing on WTHR have suspended studio audiences as precautionary measures.

Click here to see a list of affected shows.

Trump announces delay of tax deadline for virus victims

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday night that he will instruct the Treasury Department to allow individuals and businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus to defer their tax payments beyond the April 15 filing deadline.

In an address from the Oval Office, Trump said he would use his emergency authority to allow individual taxpayers ad businesses to defer paying their taxes by next month’s deadline if they have suffered adverse effects from the spreading virus.

Trump suspends all travel from Europe to United States for 30 days

President Donald Trump says all travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for 30 days amid the coronavirus pandemic, starting Friday night. There will be exceptions for travel from the United Kingdom.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F. Wolf said the ban does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

Homeland Security also had to clarify that the restrictions would apply only to most foreign nationals who have been in the “Schengen Area” at any point for 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S. The area includes France, Italy, German, Greece, Austria, Belgium and others.

The State Department also cautioned U.S. citizens to “reconsider travel abroad” due to the virus and associated quarantines and restrictions.

RELATED: AP FACT CHECK: Trump misstates some of his virus actions

RELATED: State Department advises all US citizens to 'reconsider travel abroad'

  • Facts Not Fear - Despite the global fears of coronavirus, more than 60,000 people who contracted the disease have recovered, according to the Associated Press. Most have mild symptoms and rebound within two weeks, while those with more serious ailments — including pneumonia — may not improve for up to six weeks.
  • RELATED: Indianapolis hospitals prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak

IRS: HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans can pay for coronavirus-related testing

The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement Wenesday that high-deductible health plans can pay for coronavirus-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing their status.

"In Notice 2020-15, posted today on IRS.gov, the IRS said that health plans that otherwise qualify as HDHPs will not lose that status merely because they cover the cost of testing for or treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met. The IRS also noted that, as in the past, any vaccination costs continue to count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP," the IRS said in a statement.

The notice applies only to HSA-eligible HDHPs. Employees and other taxpayers in any other type of health plan with specific questions about their own plan and what it covers should contact the provider of their plan.

U.S. senator's staffer tests positive: Reports

A staff member in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

Cantwell will close both her D.C. and Seattle offices and her staff will work remotely, Politico reports.

The Daily Beast reports the staffer has had no known contact with Cantwell or other members of Congress.

Politico says this is the first confirmed case of the virus on Capitol Hill. A handful of congress members have self-quarantined because of possible exposure.

Philippine president to be tested for virus

Philippine officials say President Rodrigo Duterte will be tested for the new coronavirus after he met with Cabinet officials who were exposed to infected people.

A senator and former presidential aide said Duterte has no symptoms of COVID-19 but wanted to make sure he is healthy and could continue to engage with the public.

Wall Street plummets in pre-market trading

Futures for the S&P 500 moved from a loss of 0.4% just before Trump spoke from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. EST to a loss of 3.3% an hour later. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were showing a drop of 3.5%.

Hours later, the markets gained some of that back, but were still down more than 3% overall.

The declines in the futures markets follow steep losses in regular trading Wednesday as investors become increasingly worried that responses from government and central banks will be insufficient to prevent the outbreak from severely impacting the global economy. The Dow’s drop of 1,464 points dragged it 20% below the record set last month and put the index in a bear market.

Big 10 tournament limited to athletes, staff and families starting Thursday

Sign on a door at Bankers Life Fieldhouse posted during the Big 10 Men's Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis Thursday, March 12, 2020. (WTHR/Scott Graber)

The Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday night that beginning Thursday, March 12, 2020, attendance at all Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament games in Indianapolis would be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event and conference staff, TV crews, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.

A sign on the door of Bankers Life Fieldhouse instructed fans on where to seek refunds for tickets they could not use.

That same restriction of extends to the rest of the league's competitions, including championship/tournament events.

The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all relevant information on the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis. -Big 10 Conference statement

NCAA tournaments will play without most fans in stands

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it would hold the men's and women's basketball tournaments without fans in attendance. Individual conferences followed suit and announced the remainder of their tournaments would be held without fans.

The NHL says it expects to provide an update on its plans Thursday.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association will also meet on Thursday, according to Assistant Commissioner Chris Kaufman.

Indiana Swimming has canceled its two state championship meets originally scheduled for the next two weekends at IUPUI. Those competitions will not be rescheduled.

Oakland Athletics' Sean Murphy hands a pen back to Carter Legary, 8, of Tacoma, Wash., after signing the child's baseball Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish said he thinks a Major League Baseball player will get coronavirus eventually, and when that happens, he expects MLB to suspend its season just as the NBA did.

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson test positive

Tom Hanks says he and wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hanks says in a statement Wednesday that the couple are in Australia and felt tired, with colds, body aches and slight fevers.

The Oscar-winner says they were tested because of their symptoms and in his words, “to play things right.” The 63-year-old actor said they will be tested, observed and isolated for as long as necessary.

Hanks and Wilson are isolated in stable condition in an Australian hospital. Hanks was in Australia working on an untitled Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann. It has suspended production. Australian officials say people who've been in close contact with Hanks and Wilson will have to self-quarantine.

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