While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for September 28

Coronavirus

Easing restrictions. Citing a drop in the positivity rate and decline in daily cases, Marion County will ease some coronavirus restrictions.

The following will be in place today:

  • Restaurants, bars, nightclubs and food establishments may seat up to 50% indoor capacity and 100% outside
  • Museums and entertainment venues can open to 50% capacity
  • Gyms, fitness centers to 50% capacity
  • Live entertainment can resume at bars, clubs and performance venues with social distancing precautions in place; 10-foot buffer between stages and the audience; audience members must socially distance
  • Bars, restaurants must close at midnight
  • Bar-top seating will remain closed
  • Churches at 75% capacity for indoor services (no limit on outdoor services)
  • Assisted living facilities may open to indoor visitation

According to Mayor Joe Hogsett, the 7-day moving average rate for all tests in Marion County has fallen to 4.8%, allowing for the easing of some restrictions. He sympathized with residents who are upset with the restrictions but said he and his staff have to balance health with economic concerns.

Stimulus update. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism Sunday that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can reach a deal on a stimulus package that many expect to include another round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.

“I trust Secretary Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we come to an agreement,” Pelosi said during CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

While Pelosi has discussed passing a $2.4 trillion package in the House, she said Democrats would prefer to reach a bipartisan agreement than approve a bill that’s likely to get killed in the Republican-controlled Senate.

“I’d rather have a deal that puts money in people’s pockets than to have a rhetorical argument. What we will be putting forth is a proffer to say, now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi has been fighting for a package of at least $2 trillion arguing it needs to include $600 per week in unemployment insurance and money for state and local governments.

“The public is going to have to see why $2.2, or now $2.4, perhaps, is necessary,” Pelosi said during the interview.

Late last week, Mnuchin confirmed he and Pelosi revived talks and are trying to work through a bill.

“I’ve probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days on the coronavirus relief and we’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act,” Mnuchin told the Senate Banking Committee.

The House passed a $3.4 trillion rescue measure in May but Republicans dismissed the package as bloated and unrealistic. Even as Democrats cut their ambitions back by $1 trillion or so, Senate Republicans have focused on a much smaller rescue package in the $650 billion to $1 trillion range.

Global death toll approaching 1 million. The nearly 1 million people who have lost their lives to COVID-19 also have given the world a gift: a better understanding of how to treat the disease.

More deaths are expected this fall because of the recent surge in coronavirus infections in the United States and many other countries.

Yet there also are signs that death rates are declining and that people who get the virus now are faring better than those in the early months of the pandemic did.

Several drugs have proved able to fight COVID-19 and doctors know more about how to treat the sickest patients in hospitals.

6 million cases. India’s confirmed coronavirus tally reached 6 million cases on Monday, keeping the country second to the United States in number of reported cases since the pandemic began.

The Health Ministry reported 82,170 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, driving the overall tally to 6,074,703. At least 1,039 deaths were also recorded in the same period, taking total fatalities up to 95,542.

New infections in India are currently being reported faster than anywhere else in the world. The world’s second-most populous country is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country in coming weeks, surpassing the U.S., where more than 7.1 million infections have been reported.

In the past week, nearly one in every three new infections reported in the world and one in every five reported coronavirus deaths came from India, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

While most of India’s deaths remain concentrated in its large cities, smaller urban centers across the country’s vast landscape are also reporting a surge in infections.

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