INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Drive-thru testing hours changing next week
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites operated by the Marion County Public Health Department are changing for the week of Thanksgiving.
Hours on Monday and Tuesday will stay the same, but sites that have testing hours on Wednesday will close at noon. All sites will be closed on Thanksgiving Day Thursday.
Testing at the health department's main location at 3838 N. Rural Street will be available by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Regular testing hours will resume Monday, Nov. 30.
Testing is free, but you need to register in advance and make an appointment. Appointments can be made at MarionHealth.org/indycovid or call 317-221-5515.
Greenfield school going to hybrid schedule
Greenfield-Central Junior High School will be moving to a hybrid class schedule due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Students at the school will start the hybrid schedule on Monday, Nov. 30 and follow it for at least three weeks, though Friday, Dec. 18. The two-week winter break starts the following Monday.
Students with last names starting with A through K will have in-person classes on Mondays and Thursdays, while students with last names L through Z will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All students will have virtual learning on Wednesdays.
The school corporation said the adjusted schedule was required due to "an increase in COVID-related absences among our students and staff."
Greenwood cancels holiday events
The City of Greenwood has announced it is canceling two holiday events in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. KiD CiTY Christmas and Breakfast with Santa bring large crowds to indoor spaces annually. This year, Greenwood residents won't have the chance to enjoy them.
"As cases continue to rise in Indiana and around the nation, we are encouraging residents to keep holiday gatherings to limited numbers," said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers. "Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of Greenwood residents and visitors, and we will remain aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana State Department of Health."
The city will offer a lighted trail through the Amphitheater Park to allow for outdoor, socially distanced holiday fun. Families can visit from dusk to dawn during the holiday season.
The Indiana State Department of Health reports 7,420 new cases for a total of 275,503 since March.
The state also reported 59 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total for Indiana to 4,889.
US jobless claims increase to 742,000 as pandemic worsens
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks and a sign that the resurgent viral outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs.
The Labor Department's report Thursday showed that applications for benefits rose from 711,000 in the previous week. Claims had soared to 6.9 million in March when the pandemic first intensified. Before the pandemic, applications typically hovered about 225,000 a week.
The number of people who are continuing to receive traditional unemployment benefits fell to 6.4 million, the government said, from 6.8 million. That shows that more Americans are finding jobs and no longer receiving unemployment aid. But it also indicates that many jobless people have used up their state unemployment aid — which typically expires after six months — and have transitioned to a federal extended benefits program that lasts 13 more weeks.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 11.52 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 250,000 deaths and 4.35 million people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been more than 56.27 million confirmed cases with more than 1.34 million deaths and 36.16 million recoveries.
The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.
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 like pneumonia, or death.
Avon High School move to e-learning Thursday
Avon Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Scott Wyndham announced they are experiencing a high number of students and staff under quarantine. Because of this, they don't have enough school personnel to support in-person learning.
Avon High School will transition to e-learning starting Thursday, Nov. 19. The plan is to return to in-person learning on Friday, Dec. 4 to allow staff quarantines to be completed.
HSE Pre-K through 6th grade students begin virtual learning Thursday
Hamilton Southeastern students in Pre-K through sixth grade will begin virtual learning Thursday, Nov. 19.
The decision was made because the district continues to have problems finding substitute teachers to fill in for quarantined faculty.
Students in seventh grade and older will remain in virtual learning until winter break. The board will reassess the situation for younger students prior to Dec. 4.
Ohio curfew begins Thursday
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's statewide curfew goes into effect Thursday, Nov. 19 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The curfew runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will remain in effect for 21 days.
DeWine said that retail establishments need to be closed, and people should be home while the curfew is in effect.
According to DeWine, exceptions to the curfew include anyone who needs to be at work, has an emergency or is in need of medical care. It is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries, getting a carry-out/drive-thru meal or a delivery.
US death toll from COVID-19 passes 250,000
More than 250,000 people have reportedly died from the coronavirus in the United States since the virus spread through the country at the beginning of 2020.
Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker claims nearly 11.5 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, with the death toll reaching at least 250,029 on Wednesday.
A record 76,958 were hospitalized as of Tuesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly across the U.S. than it has at any time since the pandemic started. Deaths are also on the rise, though not at the record high numbers reached in the spring. The United States leads in the number or deaths and cases. Worldwide, the outbreak has killed more than 1.3 million people, and more than 55 million people have tested positive.
This chart shows the pace at which the U.S. has reported each one-millionth COVID-19 case.
- 1st case (Jan. 22)
- 1 million: 97 days (April 28)
- 2 million: 44 days (June 6)
- 3 million: 27 days (July 8)
- 4 million: 15 days (July 23)
- 5 million: 17 days (Aug. 9)
- 6 million: 22 days (Aug. 31)
- 7 million: 25 days (Sept. 25)
- 8 million: 21 days (Oct. 16)
- 9 million: 14 days (Oct. 30)
- 10 million: 10 days (Nov. 9)
- 11 million: 6 days (Nov. 15)
New York City schools move to online learning Thursday
New York City is shuttering schools to try to stop the renewed spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, making it one of the first big U.S. school systems to bring students back to classrooms this fall.
The nation's largest public school system will halt in-person learning Thursday, sending more than 1 million children into all-online classes, the mayor said.
The mayor said at an afternoon news conference that plans were being made to bring in-person learning back as quickly as possible if the infection rate drops, though he cautioned that the bar to return would be higher than it was to close down. He added that schools would definitely remain closed through Thanksgiving.