While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 1

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

Here’s a look:

Today, Governor Eric Holcomb is expected to make an announcement about the next steps toward re-opening Indiana’s economy. The current stay-at-home order expires tonight at 11:59 p.m. 

Holcomb hasn’t pointed to whether he plans to continue or end the stay-at-home order, but he said we will know his decision during his press conference today at 2:30 p.m.

Even if the state loosens the stay-at-home order, Marion County will remain under a stay-at-home order through May 15. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett made that announcement on Thursday. Hogsett said Indianapolis faces some unique challenges other parts of the state might not experience. 

Holcomb said local governments have the authority to impose tighter restrictions.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) announced the re-introduction of the Heavy Trash collection program on May 4 along with the ToxDrop program on May 9.

DPW had suspended both programs in April for safety concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to DPW, increased precautions and special considerations for social distancing guidelines will be in place to protect employees and residents.

Several U.S. airlines will now require passengers to wear face masks. United, Delta, and American Airlines all announced the change yesterday. 

The new policy starts May 4 for United and Delta and May 11 for American Airlines. United says it will provide free masks to its passengers. JetBlue and Frontier have already made similar policy changes.

The social distancing guidelines from the White House Coronavirus Task Force ended last night. The White House says those guidelines will not be renewed.

President Donald Trump also announced new measures to protect senior citizens as the country prepares to reopen. 

He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will send supplemental personal protective equipment (PPE) to the nation’s 15,400 nursing homes, adding $81 million in spending to increase inspection of these facilities. He added that his administration was also finalizing a new federal rule requiring nursing homes to report on virus testing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and post the testing details online.

More than 11,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths have been connected to U.S. nursing homes. In Indiana, at least 166 coronavirus deaths are connected to long-term care facilities.

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