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Indiana coronavirus updates for Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

Coronavirus updates from Thursday, Oct. 22.

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

ISDH latest coronavirus numbers in the state 

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 2,880 new coronavirus cases in the state, totaling more than 155,000. 

Forty-two more Hoosiers have died from the virus. Since the start of the pandemic, 3,831 have died from COVID-19 in the state. 

Indiana has a 7-day positivity rate of 69 percent of all tests.

US jobless claims drop to 787,000, but layoffs remain high

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels.

With confirmed infections having neared 60,000 in the past week, the highest level since July, many consumers have been unable or reluctant to shop, travel, dine out or congregate in crowds — a trend that has led some employers to keep cutting jobs. Several states, such as Ohio and Idaho, are reporting a record number of hospitalizations from the virus.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department said the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits tumbled by 1 million to 8.4 million. The decline shows that some of the unemployed are being recalled to their old jobs or are finding new ones. But it also indicates that many jobless Americans have used up their state unemployment aid — which typically expires after six months — and have transitioned to a federal extended benefits program that lasts an additional three months.

CDC redefines COVID-19 close contact, adds brief encounters

U.S. health officials are redefining what it means to have close contact with someone with COVID-19.

For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. 

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On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so briefer but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes now count. Anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient is advised to quarantine for two weeks.

The CDC made the change because of a study in a Vermont prison.  

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 8.33 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 222,000 deaths and 3.32 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been more than 41.23 million confirmed cases with more than 1.13 million deaths and 28.12 million recoveries.

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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.

Peru High School to begin virtual schooling Thursday for 2 weeks

Peru High School students will be moving to virtual learning for two weeks beginning Thursday, Oct. 22 after an increase in COVID cases. Students will not return to school until Thursday, Nov. 5.

The district reports five students were positive for COVID-19 and around 100 more were under quarantine due to close contact. 

The closure means all sports, practices and fine arts activities will be suspended until the 14 days are over.

Food will be provided for pickup with lunch being from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and dinner from 4 - 5 p.m.

Annual Drumstick Dash gets the green light for a scaled-down version

While the pandemic has sidelined many runs and walks, one of central Indiana's most popular events just got the green light. 

The Drumstick Dash, Wheeler Mission's largest fundraiser, will be held in Broad Ripple Thanksgiving morning, but on a much smaller scale.

This is the 18th year for the Drumstick Dash, an event that drew 20,000 people in 2019. 

Steve Kerr, Wheeler Mission's executive vice president of advancement, said this year's race will be limited to a total of 6,000 people and will be divided into two start times: one at 8 a.m. and the other at 10 a.m.

He said masks will be required at the start and finish lines, there will no water stops along the course and no expo the day before the run. Instead, the race shirts, chips and bibs will be mailed to participants. 

Click here to sign up.