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Indiana coronavirus updates for Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Coronavirus updates from Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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

Indy-area Walmart stores offering self-collection COVID-19 test kits

Two Indianapolis-area Walmart stores are making changes to their COVID-19 testing process.

The drive-thru testing sites at 331 W. 86th St. on the city's north side and 882 S. State Road 135 in Greenwood will transition to curbside pickups for self-collection kits.

A request for an appointment must be made online at MyQuestCOVIDTest.com before picking up a self-collection kit. 

In both instances, the test kits are not to be picked up inside the store, and patients are asked to remain in the car.

The self-collection kits will be delivered curbside at the 86th Street location. At the Greenwood location, self-collection kits will be delivered in the pharmacy drive-thru. The pharmacist on duty will observe the collection, and then the patient will ship the collection tab to a lab for processing.

Pickup is available seven days a week, weather permitting, during the following hours: 

  • Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. 

Results typically take 48 to 72 hours to complete once the collection is received at the lab.

Boone Co. closing some offices, restricting others due to COVID

Boone County Health Department officials announced that starting Monday, Nov. 30, many Boone County offices will be modified due to the spread of COVID-19 within the community. 

The Assessor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office will be closed to the public. 

The following will be in-person by appointment only: 

  • Adult Probation 
  • Area Plan 
  • Auditor’s Office 
  • Clerk’s Office 
  • Commissioners’ Office 
  • Community Corrections 
  • Guardian Ad-Litem 
  • Health Department 
  • Highway Department 
  • Juvenile Probation 
  • Maintenance 
  • Prosecutor’s Office 
  • Recorder’s Office 
  • Soil & Water District
  • Solid Waste District 
  • Surveyor’s Office

The Courts and Sheriff's Office will be operating as normal. 

These changes will remain until further notice.

ISDH daily update

The Indiana State Department of Health reports 5,702 new cases and 103 more deaths from COVID-19. That puts the state at a total of 306,538 positive cases and 5,169 deaths. The newly reported deaths date back to Oct. 30. An additional 266 deaths are considered probable deaths — those where doctors believe COVID-19  played a role in the death, but the patient didn't have a positive COVID-19 test on file.

Overall, 3,976,683 tests have been administered to 2,107,744 unique individuals since the start of the pandemic.

The positivity rate for Nov. 11-17 was 11.4 percent for all tests and 22 percent for unique individuals. The cumulative positivity rate since the start of the pandemic is 7.1 percent for all tests and 14.5 percent for unique individuals.

Hospitalizations continue to show a steep increase. Monday, Indiana set another record for most hospitalized COVID-19 patients on a given day, with 3,279. More than 42 percent of the state's ICU beds are being used by COVID-19 patients. There are 24.4 percent of ICU beds still available.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 12.42 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 257,000 deaths and 4.63 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been more than 59.19 million confirmed cases with more than 1.39 million deaths and 37.91 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.

New restrictions in Tippecanoe County begin Tuesday

The Tippecanoe Health Department reported that the county reached a 10.2 percent positivity rate of COVID-19 tests.

Because of this, the health department has issued several measures in addition to Governor Holcomb's executive order starting Tuesday, Nov. 24:

  • Retail businesses will be limited to 75 percent capacity. 
  • Cultural, entertainment and tourism venues will be limited to 50 percent capacity. 
  • Gyms and fitness centers will be limited to 50 percent capacity. 
  • Senior day centers will be limited to 50 percent capacity. 
  • Restaurants will be limited to 50 percent indoor capacity. (Outdoor capacity of 100 percent of available seating is permitted if social distancing of at least 6 feet is maintained and tents must have two open sides.)
  • Bars will be limited to 25 percent indoor capacity. (Outdoor capacity permitted with same requirements as restaurants.)

The measures will stay in effect until the county's 7-day all tests percent positivity drops below 10 percent for 14 days.

Airline may require passengers to get coronavirus vaccine before overseas travel

The boss of Australia's largest airline said Monday that once a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available, it may require passengers use it before they can travel abroad.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said he's been talking to his counterparts at other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for overseas travelers.

“We are looking at changing the terms and conditions to say for international travelers that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce told Australia's Network Nine television.

Joyce said creating a vaccination passport for inbound and outbound travelers to and from Australia would require a lot of thought and logistics, and may need government intervention.

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Australia has imposed some of the most severe border restrictions in the world since the pandemic began. It has closed its borders to most international visitors and only allowed its own citizens to travel internationally under special circumstances.

Those restrictions have helped the nation of 26 million people tame its outbreak. Australia has reported nearly 28,000 cases and just over 900 deaths since pandemic began, fewer than many other nations of its size.