While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for September 15

Coronavirus

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

Here’s a look:

Notre Dame study. A new study from the University of Notre Dame shows just how important COVID-19 precautions are, especially in schools.

For the fall semester, schools had to choose in-person instruction, virtual classes or a combination of the two. Researchers found that safety measures like masks and social distancing in schools are vital in preventing thousands of infections and deaths among Hoosiers.

Notre Dame’s study examined the back-to-school effect of coronavirus in Indiana. It took into account things like school capacity and face mask compliance.

According to the study, schools that opened at full capacity without enforcing mask mandates led to a projected 2.49 million infections and 9,117 deaths by the end of the year.

Schools that elected for 100% virtual instruction or 50% capacity and wore masks led to an estimated 19,527 infections and 360 deaths.

Eli Lilly drug shows promise. Initial data from a COVID-19 treatment trial by Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte shows promising data in the fight against COVID-19.

The purpose of the study was to find out if baricitinib — a drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis patients — can help people recover more quickly from COVID-19. The trial assessed the efficacy of a dose of baricitinib plus remdesivir versus remdesivir in hospitalized patients with coronavirus.

Initial data suggests baricitinib in combination with remdesivir reduced the recovery time in comparison with remdesivir. Not only were patients recovering out of the hospital a day earlier but also they were in a less severe stage of the disease on average.

There are more than 800 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in Indiana. Eli Lilly hopes their medicine can help those patients and others across the country.

“That is a huge impact to think about, and we are really proud probably to become the only second drug with this kind of data ever,” said Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific officer of Eli Lilly and Company.

The trial included more than 1,000 patients and began in May. It was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Indiana’s chief justice tests positive. Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Monday.

Chief Justice Rush tested positive on Sept. 13 after a family member tested positive.

After getting the confirmation about her family member testing positive, Rush began self-isolating and working remotely. She will continue to do so until she’s cleared to return.

She’s not been in the Indiana Statehouse since Sept. 1.

The offices of the Indiana Supreme Court and Clerk’s office will remain open with adjustments in place to prevent the spread of the virus. The Judicial Branch has a COVID-19 website dedicated to providing information on the operations of trial and appellate courts.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade changes. A Macy’s Thanksgiving parade reimagined for the coronavirus pandemic will feature floats, performers and giant balloons along a one-block stretch of 34th Street in front of the retailer’s flagship Manhattan store, Macy’s officials announced Monday.

The spectacle will be broadcast as usual from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern time on NBC and will include both live and recorded elements, Macy’s officials said.

“Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families,” Susan Tercero, executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a prepared statement.

She added, “While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose — to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation.”

Macy’s similarly remade its traditional July Fourth fireworks show this year, swapping the big one-night spectacle for a series of smaller fireworks displays.

The 2 1/2-mile Thanksgiving parade route will be axed in favor of a short stroll for the cameras, Macy’s spokesperson Orlando Veras said.

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