While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for June 23

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

Here’s a look:

New COVID-19 data across Indiana and at the county level shows a decreasing trend in positive cases, hospitalizations and death.

Researchers at the Regenstrief Institute compiled the data on their dashboard to identify early on where there may be concerning trends.

Four counties show an upward trend in positive cases. Those counties are Johnson, Tippecanoe, LaPorte and Lake Counties. But they show a decrease in hospital admissions.

An analyst with Regenstrief says that may not be the case tomorrow as trends are constantly changing, though he admits the trends statewide are encouraging.

Data on the institute’s dashboard is divided into different colors to make it easy to understand. 

Most of the state is highlighted in green for positive coronavirus test results, which indicates a decreasing trend.

The goal of the dashboard is to help inform state and local leaders as well as individuals wanting to assess personal risk.

Even though the overall trends in the state are encouraging, analysts say it isn’t time to rest on our collective laurels. Instead, they believe it means we have to stay vigilant. Especially considering there is a troubling trend nationally.

Leaders in Washington say the coronavirus pandemic has made racial inequities worse, especially when it comes to work and healthcare.

At a Congressional hearing yesterday, experts explained to lawmakers that communities of color are more likely to become infected or die due in part to higher numbers of chronic disease and less access to quality healthcare.  

President Trump is suspending foreign work visas in a move to protect American jobs during the coronavirus pandemic downturn. An executive order halts a variety of employment-based visas, including the H-1b for highly-skilled workers.

Tech and other industry leaders warn it will cramp recruitment of top talent to the U.S. and tempt companies to move operations abroad.

The restrictions last the rest of the year and will prevent more than half a million people from entering.

A mutation in the coronavirus could make it more infectious, according to a new study out of the Scripps Institute in Florida.

Researchers there say the virus has already mutated to have more spike proteins, which is the structure on the outside of the virus that it uses to get into human cells.

They say more research is needed to show whether the change has altered the course of the pandemic, but at least one independent researcher says it likely has.

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