INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
A statewide mask mandate is in effect for Indiana. That means everyone age 8 and older is required to wear a mask no matter where you live or work.
A key reason Governor Holcomb said he issued the mandate is because of an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The governor says we are going in the wrong direction and it was time to act.
Masks have to be worn indoors in public places. They are also required outside if you can’t stay at least six feet away from other people.
There are some exceptions to the mandate, though. Those exceptions include medical reasons, exercising, or if you’re eating or drinking.
There are no criminal penalties for not wearing a mask.
Health officials say we haven’t seen these numbers since spring when hospitals were bracing for the surge.
Another cause for concern is researchers warn the case numbers reported by the Indiana State Department of Health may not be entirely accurate. That’s because researchers say only half of those infected show symptoms.
The mask mandate is set to go through August 26, but it could be extended.
On June 21, the state health department reported Indiana’s daily positive rate was the lowest for the month at 3.8%. Marion County’s daily rate was 5.8%.
But the rolling seven-day average of positive test results has more than doubled across the state and in Marion County since that time.
A month ago, the seven-day average for the state was 4.5% daily positive results. This past week it was 11.5%.
A month ago in Marion County, the seven-day average daily positive test rate was 3.8%. This past week it was 9.2%.
“Given the case positivity rate and the increase in hospitalizations and changes in the death rates, the number of people who are dying, taken together, it certainly indicates that we have some thinking to do about how to move forward,” Dr. Nir Menachemi with the Fairbanks School of Public Health said.
Experts say only about half of all those with the virus show symptoms, and in Marion County, more than half the new cases are in people under the age of 40.
For the fifth day in a row, nationwide, more than 1,000 Americans died from the coronavirus.
Right now, the pandemic is surging in Florida. It reported 9,000 new cases yesterday. The state is second in cases only to California. Both have more than 400,000.
In Texas, thousands are fighting for their lives in hospitals as bar owner struggle to keep business alive.
And in Arizona, ICU beds are almost 90% full.
As cases rise, Senate Republicans are ready to unveil a plan to help the struggling economy today.
White House officials say the $1 trillion proposal includes $1,200 checks for many Americans.
It would also extend the federal moratorium on evictions, but it would not extend the full $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has criticized Republicans for taking so long to create a plan.
House Democrats passed their $3 trillion proposal in May.