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Indiana coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Coronavirus updates from Tuesday, Sept. 15.

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

Nebraska president caught on hot mic saying Big Ten football announcement coming Tuesday

Before a news conference Tuesday morning, University of Nebraska system president Ted Carter was caught on a hot mic saying an announcement about a possible fall football season for the Big Ten would be coming later Tuesday. 

"We're getting ready to announce the Huskers and Big Ten football tonight," Carter told Bob Hinson, director of the National Strategic Research Institute, according to a video posted by KETV in Omaha, Nebraska.

Asked later on about the comments, Carter claimed what was caught on the mic was taken out of context.

"I think that was picked up a little out of context," Carter told KLKN television. "All I said is there's work going on and we remain cautiously optimistic, like everybody else, that we'll get to discovering when it's safe to play."

Scecina suspends football practice, cancels game

A Scecina High School football player has tested positive for COVID-19, leading the school to suspend practice and cancel the Sept .25 game against Lutheran High School.

The student tested positive on Sept. 13. He was not showing any symptoms at the time of his test and still is asymptomatic. The player believes he was infected at a non-school-related event. No other players or coaches have tested positive or shown symptoms of the virus. Players and coaches who were in close contact with the student are quarantining through Sept. 26.

Scecina was not previously scheduled to play a football game Friday, Sept. 18.

ISDH daily update

The state is reporting 758 more positive cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths. Only two more deaths were reported Monday. That brings the total numbers to 107,229 positive cases and 3,235 in the state.

The seven-day positivity rate from Sept. 2 to Sept. 8 was 4.8 percent — lower than the cumulative rate of 6.2 percent. For unique individuals, the positivity rate was 6.9 percent from Sept. 2 to Sept. 8, which is less than the 8.5 percent rate since the start of the pandemic.

Sun King installs new air cleaning tech

Sun King Brewery has partnered with an Indiana-based HVAC company to install new air cleaning systems in all locations to help eliminate the coronavirus.

iAIRE ionization indoor air cleaning systems are independently proven to remove 90 percent of human coronaviruses — including the one that causes COVID-19, according to a press release from the brewery. The new systems have been installed at all Sun King breweries, tap rooms and distilleries.

Scientists say they've discovered promising potential therapeutic drug that neutralizes coronavirus

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say they have isolated "the smallest biological molecule to date," which according to scientists, "completely and specifically neutralizes" the coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. 

The findings have been published in the journal Cell and according to the study, the molecule that has been discovered is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody. 

The biological molecule has been used to make a new drug, currently known as Ab8, which researchers hope could potentially be a viable and effective therapeutic, and even a prophylactic to treat and protect against SARS-CoV-2.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 6.55 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 194,000 deaths and 2.47 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 29.27 million confirmed cases with more than 928,000 deaths and 19.86 million recoveries.

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

RELATED: VERIFY: No, the CDC did not say the number of COVID-19 victims who actually died from the virus is much lower than originally reported

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, including pneumonia and death.

VERIFY: No, a simple wave of a UV light will not kill bacteria and viruses like COVID-19

During the pandemic, one of the sanitation methods promoted to destroy the COVID-19 virus from surfaces is using UV light. On April 23, President Donald Trump said in a news conference: “…the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute - that's pretty powerful."  In the same news conference, Acting Under Secretary William Bryan spoke about UV light cutting down the half-life of the COVID-19 virus to just minutes.

Ultraviolet light has indeed been proven to wipe out germs. It destroys the actual DNA of bacteria.

And it's been used for years to disinfect water, hospital surfaces and medical instruments.

But here's the thing. According to the CDC and NSF International, a lot of factors influence how effective UV light is — most importantly its intensity and how long the surface is exposed to that light.

"You have to design it, operate it, and maintain it properly, and you have to use it properly for it to work and the difficulty with a lot of the consumer products is they're not designed properly or they're not used properly," said Dr. James Malley, president of the International Ultraviolet Association.

Kim Trautman is vice president at NSF International. She has more than 30 years of experience in medical device quality systems and international regulatory affairs. She said a big disadvantage for relying on UV light to kill germs is that UV light can be blocked by a lot of things…the very things where germs tend to live. 

"So dust, body oils, sitting inside woven fabric where the light can't get to it easily," she said.

Another concern is that UV light can be really dangerous if it touches our skin or eyes.

"In general, we suggest they use something more straightforward: alcohol wipes on your cell phone, for example, until we get to a place where there's a validation system for these products," Malley said.

So we can verify that UV light can kill germs. As for claims that it will kill "all bacteria and viruses just by waving the light over the surface" — our experts say a quick wave of a wand is false.

US issues new travel warning for China, Hong Kong

The U.S. on Tuesday issued a sweeping new advisory warning against travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the risk of “arbitrary detention" and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws."

The advisory is likely to heighten tensions between the sides that have spiked since Beijing’s imposition on Hong Kong of a strict new national security law in June that has already been met with a series of U.S. punitive actions.

The new advisory warned U.S. citizens that China imposes “arbitrary detention and exit bans” to compel cooperation with investigations, pressure family members to return to China from abroad, influence civil disputes and “gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”

“U.S. citizens traveling or residing in China or Hong Kong, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law," the advisory said.

In Hong Kong, China “unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power,” the advisory said, adding that new legislation also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside of Hong Kong, possibly subjecting U.S. citizens who have publicly criticized China to a “heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.”

When in Hong Kong, U.S. citizens are “strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations," the advisory said.