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Indiana coronavirus updates for Friday, July 31, 2020

Coronavirus updates from Friday, July 31.

INDIANAPOLIS — Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

ISDH daily update

ISDH is reported 912 more cases of COVID-19 and 19 additional deaths. The positive test rate over the last seven days is 7 percent.

There are now a total of 66,154 positive cases and 2,765 deaths. Since testing began, 8.9 percent of Hoosiers tested have received a positive result. 747,383 Hoosiers have been tested, while the state has administered a total of 926,406 tests.

ICU bed usage by COVID-19 patients in the state declined slightly over the last day — from 12.3 percent to 11.7 percent. The number of hospitalized patients increased in the same time span — from 831 to 865.

US invests another $2.1 billion into a potential COVID-19 vaccine

Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur have announced they will supply 100 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to the United States as governments buy up supplies in hopes something will work.

The United States will pay up to $2.1 billion “for development including clinical trials, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery of its vaccine,'' the companies said in a statement. Sanofi will get the bulk of the funds.

The U.S. government has a further option for the supply of an additional 500 million doses longer term as part of its Operation Warp Speed program.

“The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed increases the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Today’s investment supports the Sanofi and GSK adjuvanted product all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

Dr. Fauci back on Capitol Hill to testify as coronavirus surge drives new fears

Dr. Anthony Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on Friday to testify before a special House panel investigating the coronavirus pandemic. His testimony comes at a time when early progress on combating the virus seems to have been lost and uncertainty clouds the nation's path forward. 

The government's top infectious disease expert is testifying alongside Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Admiral Brett Giroir, a Health and Human Services official and physician serving as the “testing czar.”

RELATED: Fauci suggests wearing goggles, eye shields as extra protection from COVID-19

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The panel, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, is divided about how to reopen schools and businesses, mirroring divisions among Americans.

The testimony will begin at 9 a.m. ET.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been 4.49 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 152,000 deaths and 1.41 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 17.3 million confirmed cases with more than 673,000 deaths and 10.13 million recoveries.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

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.

Greenfield student tests positive on first day back to school

A Greenfield student has tested positive for COVID-19 on the day the district returned to class.

Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin sent an email to parents of students at Greenfield-Central Junior High School Thursday, notifying them a student at the school had tested positive for the virus. Olin said the district was notified of the positive test by the Hancock County Health Department. 

The student reportedly attended school for part of the day Thursday, the first day of classes in Greenfield.

RELATED: Greenfield-Central student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day back to school

After learning of the test result, the district enacted its "Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol," including isolating the student at the junior high school's clinic and using the student's schedule to determine which students or staff with whom they may have come in close contact. That included transportation and extracurricular activities.

The district and the health department was working to call those identified as possible close contacts Thursday night.

IPS to start school year online

Indianapolis Public Schools approved a recommendation to start the school year with remote learning.

The IPS Board of School Commissioners voted in favor of the e-learning plan Thursday night, meaning the district's students will learn online when the school year starts Aug. 17 through at least Oct. 2.

“Please know the decision to recommend full remote learning for all students for the beginning of the school year was incredibly difficult to make, given what we know is at stake for our students,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “Ultimately, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our students, staff and families.” 

Every student in the district will be given a device to connect to their remote classes. IPS is also creating support strategies for students, including learning hubs, a student support network and in-person related services.