While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for July 7

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Here’s a look:

City Market management and vendors will meet today to discuss ways to clean up the plaza and encourage people to come back.

Vendors say they’re doing about 15% of the business they used to before the coronavirus pandemic, and many of them risk going out of business unless something is done. Three stalls have already gone out of business.

Vendors point out conditions in and around the City Market are very bad. Homeless have taken over the plaza, and there is trash everywhere.

They mentioned there’s a perception of an unsafe environment, and that’s also keeping people away from the market, and in turn, it’s taking away their business.

Management tells us they are aware of the problems and they want to help vendors stay in business. Management plans to hire overnight security and put barriers up in the plaza.

Vendors say in order for them to stay in business they need deferred rent and reimbursement for PPE.

Today, management will meet with each vendor in City Market to talk about the issues. We’ll let you know what happens.

A plan to correct COVID-19 health disparities in Indiana is ready to be implemented. 

In May, the governor created a task force which divided into subcommittees to come up with ways to help out minority populations during this pandemic. 

The coronavirus has hit Latino, Black and Asian populations harder due to poor living conditions, lack of information, and testing. 

The plan provides communication, funding and legislative fixes. 

Democratic State Representative Robin Shackleford focused on underlying conditions. 

She says addressing the state’s food deserts and making healthier foods available to minorities is one suggestion. 

“We’re looking at maybe making housing a health issue so we will discuss that this summer and look at what more can be done to provide rental assistance more permanently,” Shackleford said.

She also says permanent testing sites need to go into neighborhoods with more minorities.  Right now, she says there are only temporary sites in those areas.

Shackleford says while some of the plan can be implemented right now, other parts will be addressed in summer study committees and can be found in proposed legislation next session. 

The Marion County Public Health Department is changing testing sites and schedules. 

Starting Thursday, July 9, there will be a drive-thru testing site at the health department’s south district office at 7551 South Shelby Street. That will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Current testing outside the health department’s main building at 3838 N. Rural Street will continue, but with a change to Wednesday hours. Beginning this week, testing is available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday hours are being extended to 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Testing is available for those showing symptoms of COVID-19, like fever and cough or for those who are 65 and older, have weakened immune systems, or are frontline workers.

You can register by visiting MarionHealth.org/indycovid. More information about testing and help with registration is available by calling (317) 221-5515 or (317) 221-8967. Testing at these sites is by appointment.

The clock is ticking for central Indiana school districts to make difficult yet important decisions about the upcoming school year. 

Greenfield Central Schools resume classes in just over three weeks. 

They plan to give families a choice by offering both online learning or in-person classes.

Other districts are letting students pick, too.

Indianapolis Public Schools’ leaders are expected to release their plan later this week.

Many local school districts say they are keeping their websites updated with their plans, and you’re encouraged to look at your child’s school’s website for the latest information.

Researchers in Houston, Texas are looking for volunteers to test a potential coronavirus vaccine. People who participate in the study will not be injected with the virus. The trials are set to get underway in a couple of weeks.

The FDA gave the okay for the experimental vaccine to go into phase-two and phase-three trials.

The project involves private and government agencies.

If you want more information, visit HoustonFightsCOVID.com

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