While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for August 28

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INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

Several IU Greek houses must quarantine. Eight Greek houses at Indiana University are required to quarantine after an “alarming increase” of positive COVID-19 tests, the university reports.

Residents of the following six fraternities and two sororities must remain in their houses for the next 14 days: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Pi, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Theta Chi.

Also, all Greek houses and the Evans Scholars and Christian Student Fellowship houses are required to suspend in-person activities until September 14. That does not include residence halls.

IU’s public health officers are monitoring other houses to discern spread within those communities.

Importance of the flu vaccine. Health officials are asking Hoosiers to seriously think about getting the flu vaccine. They’re even recommending people get it now.

Every year thousands die as a result of flu complications, and that risk could be even greater due to the pandemic.

A professor we spoke with at Butler University says scientific data shows co-infections can happen. That means you could potentially get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.

WHO’s stance differs from CDC. The World Health Organization said Thursday that countries should actively test people to find coronavirus cases even if they don’t show symptoms. This stance that comes after U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention switched its policy to say that asymptomatic contacts of infected people don’t need to be tested.

The CDC previously advised local health officials to test people who’d been within about 6 feet of an infected person for over 15 minutes.

At a press briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, said when officials are investigating clusters of COVID-19, “testing may need to be expanded to look for individuals who are on the more mild end of the spectrum or who may indeed be asymptomatic.”

Keeping referees safe. It’s week two of high school football in Indiana. As players and coaches adjust to playing the game amid a pandemic, referees have to do the same. The IHSAA released a set of guidelines for schools to consider to keep the officials safe.

One thing the IHSAA put into the guidelines is when an official should wear a mask. The IHSAA said with football, they won’t necessarily require it at all times because refs can be far enough away from others. However, a ref needs to pull one on if they talk with a coach or an athlete.

Also, they are using electric whistles instead of traditional ones.

“I’ve told football and soccer that an air horn might be what you need,” IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Sandra Walter said. “Anything that’s not going to require taking that in and out of your mouth in that potential risk there.”

The IHSAA mentioned some officials decided to sit out this season just for concern for themselves or their family members, but they are still at about 92% of where they were last year when it comes to the number of refs.

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