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Indiana coronavirus updates for Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Coronavirus updates from Wednesday, Aug. 12.

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

State update on response

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and state leaders are providing an update on the response to COVID-19 in Indiana.

Indiana has now had a total of 76,522 positive cases and 2,878 deaths due to the virus.

Of the 9,599 hospitalized, 6,906 have been discharged. Of the remaining: 10 percent are still hospitalized and 18 percent have died. Dr. Kristina Box with ISDH said she is concerned about the increase in hospitalizations and has tracked recent spikes to weddings, graduation parties and other gatherings.

Tracking school cases

The state department of health is actively working to create a dashboard that will help track cases at schools. The state said it needs an up-to-date roster from every school to better track and alert those necessary when a case comes up. At this point, the state only has about 10 percent of the rosters and information it needs. 

The governor is also calling for a delay on counting student enrollment for determining state funding to make sure schools get the money they were expecting. The governor said the legislature will need to discuss how to factor in virtual learning and doesn't want an enrollment count for state funding until December.

Long-term care dashboard

The state is releasing a new dashboard to cover long-term care facilities and report cases and deaths for residents and staff. The information takes time to collect and put together, so the state said the data will be a week behind. The state said 100 percent of facilities are now reporting the data needed. At this point, the state has data that 1,753 residents of long-term care facilities have died.

Moratorium on evictions ending

The governor also said he will not be extending his moratorium on evictions, which is set to expire Friday, Aug. 14. The governor pointed to grants to help with rent that the state has made available along with mediation programs. 

Big 12 moving forward with fall sports

The Big 12 released an updated 2020 football schedule Wednesday, a day after the Board of Directors voted to move forward with the fall sports season. 

The Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled their fall seasons on Tuesday in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the ACC and SEC released statements saying they were moving forward with the fall season.

The conference announced that teams will play an abbreviated 9+1 schedule. Schools will play 9 conference games and teams have the option to play 1 additional non-conference game, which must take place prior to Sept. 26.

All fall sports competitions will start after Sept.1, the conference said, and volleyball and soccer matches will be limited to conference games only, to ensure consistent safety protocols are following, the Big 12 said in their statement.

ISDH reports new coronavirus cases, deaths

The state health department is reporting 671 more positive cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths. There are a total of 208 probable deaths — those expected to have been due to COVID-19 but without a positive test result.

Indiana has now had a total of 76,522 positive cases and 2,878 deaths due to the virus.

Younger people continue to make up a large portion of the cases. As of Wednesday, Hoosiers younger than 50 made up 60 percent of the cases.

2020 Masters gets new date

The 2020 Masters Tournament has been rescheduled for Nov. 9-15. The tournament tweeted the news Tuesday morning. No fans or patrons will be allowed on the grounds during the tournament.

Kentucky Derby changes fan policy

Only guests with reserved seats will be able to attend the 146th Kentucky Derby, according to a release from Churchill Downs. In a 62-page health and safety plan released Wednesday, the track announced that the infield will be closed and there will be no General Admission this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The release said attendance for this year’s Derby will be less than 14 percent of the track’s total capacity event record. Reserved seating will be limited to 40 percent and Standing Room Only tickets are no longer available. General Admission tickets will be refunded.

Wayne Township schools begin new school year Wednesday

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township students are beginning the 2020-21 school year Wednesday, Aug. 12. 

Students in fifth grade and under will attend full days of in-person learning.

Sixth-graders through 12th-graders will operate on a hybrid schedule with two days of in-person learning and three days of e-learning. Students will be divided by alphabet with approximately 50 percent of the students attending in-person Monday and Tuesday, and the other half attending in-person Wednesday and Thursday. All sixth-graders through 12th-graders will take part in e-learning on Fridays.

Click here to read the school district's full reopening plan. 

Latest US, world numbers

There have been 5.14 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 164,000 deaths and 1.71 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 20.29 million confirmed cases with more than 741,000 deaths and 12.59 million recoveries.

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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.

Antibody drugs to treat COVID-19 could roll out by early fall

With a coronavirus vaccine still months off, companies are rushing to test what may be the next best thing: drugs that deliver antibodies to fight the virus right away, without having to train the immune system to make them.

Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help eliminate it. Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking there’s an infection so it makes antibodies and remembers how to do that if the real bug turns up.

But it can take a month or two after vaccination or infection for the most effective antibodies to form. The experimental drugs shortcut that process by giving concentrated versions of specific ones that worked best against the coronavirus in lab and animal tests.

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These drugs are believed to last for a month or more and could give quick, temporary immunity to people at high risk of infection, such as health workers and housemates of someone with COVID-19. If they proved effective and if a vaccine doesn't materialize or protect as hoped, the drugs might eventually be considered for wider use, perhaps for teachers or other groups.

The antibody drugs are “very promising” and, in contrast, could be available “fairly soon," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official who is leading government efforts to speed COVID-19 therapies. Key studies are underway and some answers should come by early fall.