INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Big Ten to play conference-only schedule this fall
The Big Ten Conference has announced it will move to a conference-only schedule for fall sports if games will be played this fall.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the conference said the decision impacts men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.
By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic."
ISDH latest on COVID-19 in Indiana
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 521 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the state, totaling nearly 50,000 cases. They reported an additional 7 deaths totaling 2,546.
More than a half a million Hoosiers have been tested for the virus. About 9 percent of those tests have come back positive.
Frankfort cancels Hispanic Heritage Festival
The City of Frankfort has canceled its Hispanic Heritage Festival scheduled for Sept. 19. It was the last city-organized festival of the year.
Mayor Judy Sheets said she believes canceling the event is a small thing she can do to protect residents. Community Development Director Annie Bacon said minimizing the crowd size or trying to implement social distancing were not feasible.
The city plans to bring back the festival next year on Sept. 18.
Indy Parks reopening playgrounds, splash grounds Saturday
Indy Parks announced its playgrounds and spray grounds will reopen Saturday, July 11.
In March, Indy Parks closed its 136 playgrounds and delayed the reopening of spray grounds to reduce overcrowding and to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The following spray grounds will be open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (except where noted):
- Andrew Ramsey Park, 310 W. 42nd St.
- Arsenal Park, 1400 E. 38th St. (10 a.m.-8 p.m.)
- Bel Aire Park, 2915 S. Tibbs Ave.
- Bertha Ross Park, 3700 N. Clifton St.
- Bowman Park, 3600 Auburn Road
- Carson Park, 5400 W. High School Road
- Christian Park, 4125 English Ave.
- Clayton LaSalle Park, 401 S. LaSalle St.
- Dan Wakefield Park, 6051 N. Broadway St.
- Grassy Creek Park, 10510 E. 30th St.
- Haughville Park, 500 N. Belleview Place
- Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Drive (fountains)
- Jake Greene Park, 1700 S. Franklin Road
- Municipal Gardens, 1831 N. Lafayette Road
- Riverwood Park, 7201 Crittenden Ave.
- Stout Field Park, 3820 W. Bradbury Ave.
- Tarkington Park, 45 W. 40th St. (10 a.m.-8 p.m.)
- Wes Montgomery Park, 3400 N. Hawthorne Lane
- Wildwood Park, 8100 Southeastern Ave.
- Windsor Village Park, 6510 E. 25th St. (10 a.m.-8 p.m.)
The spray grounds at Centennial & Groff Park and Washington Park will remain closed this season due to renovation and construction.
Indy Parks will be requiring park visitors to follow the most recent Marion County Public Health Department Public Health Order to enter park facilities and pool areas beginning July 9. The order requires individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible.
Greenwood revamps summer concert series
Greenwood Parks and Recreation is making some changes to its annual Summer Concert Series so it can continue while aligning with COVID-19 safety guidelines. The series will kick off Saturday at 7 p.m. with Tastes Like Chicken performing at Greenwood Amphitheater in Craig Park.
This year, concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to find a seat in designated zones, which will each have a limited capacity. Gates will open at 5:30 for each concert and will close once total capacity reaches 1,215.
The venue will have designated entry points, and attendees will receive a wristband at entry to match their designated seating zone.
Here is the full concert schedule:
The official 2020 Summer Concert Series schedule, presented by Century 21, includes:
- July 11 – Tastes Like Chicken
- July 18 – Toy Factory
- July 25 – Hairbanger’s Ball
- Aug. 1 – The Doo
- Aug. 8 – 45 RPM
- Aug. 29 – Parrots of the Caribbean
- Sept. 5 – Blue River Band
- Sept. 12 – X-Generation
For more information on showtimes, food and vendors, visit greenwood.in.gov.
Marion County mask mandate begins Thursday
Marion County is making a big change when it comes to keeping people safe during this pandemic. Starting July 9, residents and visitors alike will have to wear a face mask when out in public.
Marion County becomes the fourth Indiana county to make masks mandatory. The others are LaGrange, Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.
"I know many may not agree with this," Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a news conference on July 2. "I know many more will feel inconvenienced by it. This is a major change to what normal means here in Indianapolis."
Under the new rule, wearing a face mask will be required in public places. This includes office buildings and retail establishments, and when entering restaurants but not while sitting at the table.
Masks will also be required if you're outdoors and unable to maintain social distancing.
The exceptions? Children under 2 and those with certain medical conditions are not required to wear a mask.
Health inspectors — not police — will be charged with enforcing the order.
Marion County Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine said while fines are possible, the main goal is to educate people and stress the importance of wearing a mask not just for themselves but for their neighbors and colleagues.
1.3 million workers file for unemployment as layoffs remain historically high
The number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined slightly to 1.31 million last week, the 14th straight drop and a sign that layoffs are slowing but are still at a painfully high level.
Though the weekly toll of job cuts has gradually dropped, the pace of improvement has essentially stalled as companies continue to shed workers. A resurgence of confirmed viral cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery.
In June, employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 13.3% to a still-high 11.1%. But the economy and the job market will likely struggle to sustain their gains amid the surge in reported infections, which threaten to trigger more shutdowns and layoffs. In recent days, Levi’s has announced 700 corporate job cuts, and United Airlines has warned of potentially thousands of layoffs this fall.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been 3.05 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 132,000 deaths and 953,000 people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been 12.04 million confirmed cases with more than 549,000 deaths and 6.58 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.
Mayor Hogsett, Dr. Caine to distribute free face coverings Thursday
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis are partnering to make face coverings available to those receiving food assistance at local pantries.
Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine will distribute free face coverings to residents participating in the drive-thru food bank at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Those needing a free face covering can request one at indy.gov/masks.
Marion County south side testing site begins Thursday
Beginning Thursday, July 9, free community COVID-19 drive-through testing will be available at the Marion County Public Health Department’s South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby Street, and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays after that from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Drive-thru testing has ended at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Warren Central High School locations.
Current testing outside the health department’s main building at 3838 N. Rural Street will continue but with a change to Wednesday hours. Beginning this week, testing is available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday hours are being extended to 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free testing is available at these sites to those who are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pains
- Sore throats
- New loss of taste/smell
People who are in the following groups can get tested with or without the above symptoms:
- Seniors over 65 years of age
- Those with weakened immune systems
- Frontline essential workers
Residents with symptoms of COVID-19 or who meet the other testing criteria can register here.
More information about testing and help with registration is available by calling (317) 221-5515 or (317) 221-8967. Testing at these sites is by appointment.
IndyGo will require riders to wear face masks beginning Thursday
IndyGo is reminding riders that beginning Thursday, July 9 they must wear masks onboard all IndyGo vehicles and at all IndyGo facilities, including the Carson Transit Center, to comply with the Marion County Health Department’s order that masks are required in public spaces.
Since the start of the pandemic, IndyGo said it has strongly encouraged the use of masks and face coverings onboard.
“We’re glad to see riders returning to our buses, but we need to work together to keep one another safe,” said Inez Evans, President and CEO of IndyGo. “We’ve ramped up our cleaning efforts and protective measures for Operators and riders; do your part by wearing a face covering onboard.”
Free masks are available to anyone who may need one at the Julia Carson Transit Center while supplies last during retail center hours as well as online through the City of Indianapolis #MaskUpIndy initiative at indy.gov/masks. Learn more about IndyGo’s response to the coronavirus at indygo.net/health.
Zoo reminds visitors they must wear masks starting Thursday
The Indianapolis Zoo is reminding its guests that beginning July 9, guests and members must have a mask to visit the zoo.
Visitors are required to wear a face covering to enter all buildings including restrooms, according to the Zoo.
In addition, the Zoo will require masks to enter the aviaries, participate in interactions at Tembo Camp, Giraffe Feeds, Flamingo Feeds and Flamingo Mingle as social distancing is not possible at these activities.
Masks are required to be worn in outdoor areas where social distancing of six feet is not possible. Masks are for sale at the front gate for $1.
Cedar Point to begin phased reopening Thursday
Cedar Point has outlined its plans to open with new health and safety protocols.
The theme park will be open to 2020 Cedar Point Season, Gold and Platinum Passholders only on July 9 and 10.
Beginning July 11, the theme park will be open for all guests.
Click here to read about the theme park's updated health and safety protocols upon the park's opening.