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Indiana coronavirus updates for Friday, June 5, 2020

Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR/TEGNA/AP) — Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor update on response and reopening

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

ISDH reports it has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases as the state reopens. They want to remind people that while things are reopening, you should continue to social distance.

The state has also analyzed 35,167 positive cases of COVID-19. It found 5,999 of those cases required hospitalization. Looking at the 5,999 cases, 1,286 or 21 percent were admitted to the ICU. When ISDH looked at the hospitalized cases, it found 73 percent were discharged, 9 percent are likely still hospitalized, and 18.3 percent have died.

ISDH also announced a special testing site for COVID-19 in Indianapolis on Saturday. It will be at the parking lot of Ohio and Capitol from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and may be extending hours depending on demand.

Federal funding

Federal funding will allow the state to serve 100,000 more Hoosiers through:

  • Grow short-term education and training by enhancing the Workforce Ready Grant to provide support to at least 10,000 more Hoosiers in the following ways:
    • Increasing the funding cap from $5,500 to $10,000 for eligible programs
    • Allowing Hoosiers with two- and four-year degrees who have been impacted by COVID-19 to qualify for the grant, and adding new programs, such as the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
    • Support access to the 180 Skills library of online, non-credit courses for up to 100,000 Hoosiers
  • Expand the Employer Training Grant to serve 25,000 more Hoosiers, specifically supporting women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses; and doubling the amount of reimbursable funds to employers
  • Provide outreach and promotion to create a single online network to direct Hoosiers to career coaches; and ensure Hoosiers who are most impacted by COVID-19 – especially underrepresented populations and rural communities – are aware of the available opportunities

More information on those programs can be found here.

Reopening plans

The governor said Casinos will reopen as part of Stage 4 on June 14.

There will be reduced numbers of people allowed in the Casinos to create social distancing and allow proper sanitization, according to ISDH.

IKEA Fishers donates $18K worth of supplies to central Indiana organizations

IKEA Fishers has donated more than $18,000 worth of supplies to Community Health Network Foundation, Wheeler Mission and Dayspring Center.

The donation included 820 pillows, 680 towels, 450 sheets, 24 twin mattresses, 90 laundry bags, and 150 mattress protectors. The store also sent 300 N-95 masks that were in storage in pandemic resposne kits to Community Health Network Foundation.

In March, the store donated 10,000 masks to the Hamilton County Health Department.

ISDH reports latest numbers of cases and deaths

Indiana is reporting another 533 cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths due to the virus. The total number of cases is now at 36,578, while the total number of deaths is 2,078.

The newly reported cases date back to April 9, and the new deaths date back to May 11.

In all, Indiana is testing at a 12.5% positive rate, with 291,638 Hoosiers tested.

The probable death count is now at 180.

US unemployment falls to 13.3% in May

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May from 14.7%, and 2.5 million jobs were added — a surprisingly positive reading in the midst of a recession that has paralyzed the economy in the wake of the viral pandemic.

The May job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as states have reopened their economies.

Other evidence has also shown that the job market meltdown triggered by the coronavirus has bottomed out. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off.

Indy Parks opening 5 pools this summer

Indy Parks has released its plan for city pools opening this summer.

Beginning, Saturday, June 13, five pools will open six days a week at 50 percent capacity:

  • Bethel Park
  • Frederick Douglass Park
  • Perry Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Willard Park

The pools will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The breaks between times are to allow for routine cleaning.

While pools will open, spray features and spray grounds will remain closed.

Staff members will be wearing masks when not in the water.

Whitestown cancels Independence Day celebration but fireworks will go on

The Town of Whitestown has canceled its July 3 events to celebrate Independence Day. While there will not be a kids zone, live music or food vendors, the fireworks show will go on.

The fireworks show will begin at 10 p.m. at Eagle Church, but spectators are not allowed to watch from the church. The show will be streamed on Whitestown's Facebook and YouTube pages.

For families would would like to see the show in-person from home, the town said fireworks would be launched from 100 feet higher than normal.

Special Olympics Indiana plans virtual Summer Games

Special Olympics Indiana will host the 2020 Summer Games Sports & Fitness Challenge online from June 12 to July 25. It's the backup plan after the in-person weekend event was scheduled from June 12-14.

The virtual event will kick off with a torch run and opening ceremonies June 12. The Flame of Hope Torch Run will begin at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies will start at 7 p.m. Both will be available to watch on the Special Olympics Indiana Facebook page and website.

The traditional event usually brings around 3,000 Special Olympics athletes to Terre Haute each year.

For this summer's virtual event, participants will be able to to activities both at home or in public spaces where they can practice social distancing.

Awards will be presented during closing ceremonies on July 25, which will also be streamed live on the organization's Facebook page and website.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been 1.87 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 5 a.m. Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 108,000 deaths and 439,000 people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 6.64 million confirmed cases with more than 391,000 deaths.

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.

Surgical or homemade, masks mark a major shift in thinking

Before the coronavirus outbreak abruptly disrupted the livelihoods of millions of people, the sight of masks worn in public spaces in the Western world conjured up images of malevolent clowns and terrifying fictional villains. Even worse, in the streets of Paris, London or Brussels, mask-wearing — a long-accepted measure in some Asian cities — would often trigger unease and angst related to real-life traumatic bloodshed orchestrated by balaclava-led commandos from extremist groups.

But in the space of just a few weeks this spring, this narrative has been turned upside down.

Masks are everywhere and carry a new meaning.