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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Indiana coronavirus updates for Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thursday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

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

Carmel reopening Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza

The City of Carmel will reopen the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza beginning at noon on Friday.

It will remain open as long as there isn't a new spike in COVID-19 cases for the city.

Signs will also go up in the area encouraging people to wear masks.

The mayor will be looking at three things to determine how long the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza will remain open:

  • Hospitals under 70 percent of their bed capacity to allow room for a new surge
  • Positive COVID-19 cases do not exceed five percent
  • 14 days of declining COVID-19 hospital patients

If things go smoothly, the City will bring back Monday Movies at Midtown and Tuesday Music at Midtown beginning immediately.

Sources: 3rd Carrier employee tests positive for COVID-19 at West Morris Street facility.

‪Sources tell 13News that another Carrier employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at its West Morris Street facility.

The company sent two people home on Monday after learning they were positive for coronavirus.

Carrier managers shut down at least one production line before releasing other employees working the same line as the COVID-19 patients.

Union reps from Local 1999 sent email inquiries to Carrier to try to obtain information about its plan to make sure other employees are safe remaining at work.

The union is also interested in what Carrier's contact tracing plan is to try to learn who may have been exposed to the infected employees.

The Monday and Thursday cases both occurred on the late afternoon shift at Carrier.

ISDH reports new cases and deaths

The state is reporting 48 more deaths and 676 more cases of coronavirus.

The total number of cases is now 29,936, while there have been 1,764 deaths.

Marion County accounts for almost 30 percent of those cases, with 8,815.

The positive testing rate is 14.7 percent. Nearly 203,000 Hoosiers have been tested.

US unemployment claims near 39 million

Workers filed an additional 2.4 million unemployment claims last week, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

In total, nearly 39 million people have now filed for unemployment over the past nine weeks since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The pace of layoffs has now declined for seven straight weeks, and some reopened businesses have rehired a portion of their laid-off employees.

By historical standards, though, the number of weekly applications remains immense.

CVS, Walmart opening drive-thru testing sites Friday

CVS Health will open 21 new COVID-19 test sites across Indiana on Friday, May 22 at drive-thru locations.

Of the 21 Indiana CVS locations, 14 will be in the Indianapolis area and surrounding suburbs.

The CVS sites, as well as Walmart locations around the state, will offer self-swab tests.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been 1.55 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 93,000 deaths and 294,000 people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been more than 5 million confirmed cases with 328,000 deaths and 1.89 million recovered.

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.

Thursday deadline for Hoosiers to request absentee ballot for primary

The deadline for Hoosiers to request an absentee ballot for the primary is May 21.

You can request an absentee ballot online, by mail, email or fax.

The absentee ballot was expanded this year to make sure that all Hoosiers have the option to vote with "security and convenience" because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The completed ballot must be returned to your county clerk by election day on June 2.

If you would like to request an absentee ballot, click here.

New hotline begins Thursday to help tenants at risk of eviction

To help reduce evictions in Indianapolis, which maintains one of the highest eviction rates in the nation, the city is launching a new legal assistance hotline.

The hotline will be staffed by Indiana Legal Services attorneys, as well as other lawyers and paralegals volunteering their time to assist low-income tenants.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a statewide order in March that placed a moratorium on most tenant evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, he extended that moratorium until July 1. But that has not prevented some Indiana landlords from filing eviction lawsuits anyway.

The hotline (317-973-1673) is intended to assist low-income tenants who live in Marion County. But tenants from other Indiana cities can call Indiana Legal Services’ general intake line (844-243-8570) weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to be connected to help. Individuals seeking legal assistance can also contact the agency online at IndianaLegalServices.org.

Click here for more information.

Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic

President Donald Trump has threatened to hold back federal funding from two election battleground states that are making it easier to vote by mail during the pandemic.

He later backed away somewhat from that threat but stuck with his claim that widespread voting by mail promotes “a lot of illegality.”

Trump targeted Michigan and Nevada on Wednesday. At first, he claimed Michigan was sending out more than 7 million mail-in ballots, but after criticism, he corrected that to say mail-in ballot “applications."

Republican election officials have sent out applications in several other states, too.