INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
State leaders discuss response
Gov. Eric Holcomb and state leaders are discussing the response to COVID-19.
The state will stay in Stage 4.5 now until Aug. 27. Local governments can continue to implement more stringent guidelines. The state government complex will begin to open on Aug. 17.
The moratorium on evictions will be extended through Aug. 14. The extension now aligns it with the order on the disconnection of utility services.
To help continue to protect those in long-term care facilities, the state will again work to test all staff in August.
The state also said the Hoosier labor participation rate is now at 64.3 percent, which is comparable to the 64.4 percent in February before the pandemic hit Indiana.
IPS planning to delay in-person class until October
Indianapolis Public Schools are planning to hold off on in person instruction until at least October. If approved by the board, the 2020-21 school year will begin with 100 percent remote learning when school starts on Aug. 17.
All students will receive a device for the 2020-21 school year. Students in grades Pre-K-2 will receive an iPad; students in Grades 3-12 will receive a Chromebook. A MiFi mobile hot spot device will also be available to families who do not have access to internet service.
The district also plans to implement learning hubs as a supplement to remote learning for select students. These hubs will be physical spaces where some students who may struggle with remote instruction can go each day to access their digital classwork and receive help, as well as those who receive physical and mental interventions that they can’t otherwise get virtually.
ISDH reports latest update
The state health department is reporting 630 more positive cases and eight more deaths due to the virus. That brings the totals to 64,299 cases and 2,733 deaths.
With more than 724,000 Hoosiers tested, the positive testing rate is at 8.9 percent.
The eight deaths reported Wednesday date back to June 26. An additional 199 deaths have been ruled "probable," meaning doctors listed COVID-19 was listed as a contributing factor, but there was no positive result for the patient on file.
Total hospitalizations decreased slightly from Monday to Tuesday, from 907 to 837. But average hospitalizations have been on the rise since early July.
Kohl's closing on Thanksgiving
Kohl's has announced it will close its stores on Thanksgiving day in 2020 as part of its plans reflecting "a year like no other."
Over the past two weeks, a handful of other major retailers said their stores would also be closing on Thanksgiving including Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
As part of its announcement, Kohl's said it expects more customers to shop earlier and throughout the season, given the importance of safety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, Kohl's opened its stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to kick-off Black Friday shopping.
Kohl's said it plans to offer more information on its holiday hours at a later date.
Avon students begin new school year with in-person learning Wednesday
Avon Community School Corporation students return to the classroom Wednesday, July 29 to start a new school year.
Parents were able to choose the e-learning option for their kids if they felt it was unsafe to attend in-person learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the school's reopening plans, the following safety measures will be implemented:
- Students and staff are required to have a mask with them at all times. Masks must be worn on the bus, during passing periods, in the hallways, at the health clinic, and during classroom activities when social distancing is not an option.
- Seating charts will be required on buses, in classrooms and in the cafeteria.
- Hand-washing will be required throughout the day. An increased number of hand sanitizer stations have been placed in key locations throughout the schools. Each school will also undergo intense cleaning each night.
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days before returning to school.
- Students must stay home when sick. Students must see a provider and be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and be symptom-free for 10 days before returning to school.
- Students will not be required to dress for P.E. to minimize locker room interactions.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Hendricks County has reported 1,666 positive cases and 105 deaths as of Tuesday, July 28.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been 4.35 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 149,000 deaths and 1.35 million people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been 16.73 million confirmed cases with more than 660,000 deaths and 9.75 million recoveries.
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.
Carmel FD to distribute face masks, hand sanitizer Wednesday
The Carmel Fire Department will be having a COVID-19 information booth where they hand out information on virus prevention and safety and answer questions from the public.
The fire department will also be handing out free bottles of hand sanitizer and disposable face masks while supplies last.
CFD will be at Indiana Members Credit Union located at 4790 E. 96th St. in Carmel on Wednesday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The booth will be set up in the southeast parking lot.