While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for January 21

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Coronavirus question and answer town hall airs tonight on FOX59. Health experts will answer your questions about the coronavirus vaccine and how it is being distributed in a special broadcast tonight.

The live town hall “COVID-19 Vaccine: Know the Facts” will air on FOX59 and sister station CBS4 Thursday from 7-8 p.m.

Panelists will discuss the current supply of the vaccine, its efficacy and the methods of distribution. They will also answer questions submitted by FOX59 viewers.

Share your questions with us here to have them considered for the broadcast.

President Biden set to sign executive orders today that would put extreme focus on increasing vaccinations and testing. As the U.S. enters “what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” President Joe Biden is putting forth a national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that they be worn for travel.

Biden also will address inequities in hard-hit minority communities as he signs 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office.

“We need to ask average Americans to do their part,” said Jeff Zients, the White House official directing the national response. “Defeating the virus requires a coordinated nationwide effort.”

But Biden officials say they’re hampered by lack of cooperation from the Trump administration during the transition. They say they don’t have a complete understanding of their predecessors’ actions on vaccine distribution.

They’re also depending on Congress to provide $1.9 trillion for economic relief and COVID-19 response. And they face a litany of complaints from states that say they are not getting enough vaccine even as they are being asked to vaccinate more categories of people.

Experts discuss what effect President Biden’s COVID-19 plan could have on Hoosiers. President Joe Biden says he is not wasting any time when it comes to taking action. He has made a number of promises on what he hopes to accomplish in his first 100 days in office.

When it comes to COVID-19, he hopes to rejoin the World Health Organization and issue a mask mandate on federal property and inter-state travel.

“The new mask mandate is unlikely to make a major dent in Indiana numbers on a daily basis since we’ve been living in a mask mandate for a while. But I do think that nationally we probably will see some impact of the new policy will impact those states without a mask mandate at the state level,” said Regenstrief Institute, Director of Public Health Informatics, Dr. Brian Dixon.

Indiana has been under a mask mandate since last summer. Dr. Dixon says the state initially saw a decrease in the spread and it shows in the research.

President Biden is also hoping to continue lending a helping hand to Americans by is extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.

IU Health updates policy and now allows non-COVID patients to have visitors. IU Health announced they will now allow all patients who are not COVID-positive or suspected to have the virus to welcome one visitor per day.

“We recognize that connections with our loved ones are key to the healing process of our patients,” said Elizabeth Linden, chief nursing officer for the Adult Academic Health Centers at IU Health. “We are allowing our patients to have one visitor with them during their procedures, office visits, or in the hospital when they’re in-patient if the patient is COVID negative.”

According to the IU Health website, visitors must be at least 18 years old, screen negative for COVID-19, follow all precautions while at a hospital or IU Health facility, socially distance, and wear an appropriate mask.

The team at IU Health said they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 data and allow that to guide them to make future decisions.

Noblesville woman turns her home cooked Mexican food into a business after losing her job during pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic caused unemployment filings to hit record levels. Many Hoosiers temporarily lost their job because of closures and some had to find new career paths to get by.

Angela Garcia’s husband, Carlos, temporarily lost his job in March as a sous-chef at Ocean Prime in Indianapolis. The couple thought they would be ok for a little while with Angela’s income, but she lost her job a few days later as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

“He no longer on Tuesday had an income and by Thursday I did not as well,” she explained.

As parents of four kids, Angela was pretty emotional. There were so many unknowns at that time.

“It was just a lot to handle in the midst of a pandemic when everything was just, you didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said.

Without a full-time job, she began cooking Mexican food and sold meals to her neighbors. It became a hit.

“I have cooked authentic Mexican food for over 20 years,” Angela said. “I just thought I like to cook, maybe I can sell it to my neighborhood.”

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