While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for August 4

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

Here’s a look:

White House warns rural residents to stay vigilant. The White House Coronavirus Task Force wants rural Hoosiers to know they are not impervious to the coronavirus. 

The Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) says residents in these counties are often older, sicker, and on medicare, which is all the reason to be safer. IRHA officials also say internet connections can be weaker, which makes it harder to work from home, harder to get access to information online, and harder to access telemedicine services that are crucial right now.

Dr. Deborah Birx is encouraging people in those less populated counties to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. She said if there is an outbreak in a rural area, people in multi-generational households may want to wear a mask in their own home to protect older loved ones.

The IRHA says hospitals in rural counties had to get creative when the virus first struck, but they believe experiences in hospitals over the last few months prepared the rural healthcare system for an outbreak if it occurs.

Indiana music venues fear permanent closures. Without federal dollars, many Indiana music venues say they’ll close in the next 30-60 days. The Save Our Stages Act and the RESTART Act would both provide relief.

That’s why the Indiana Independent Venue Alliance is pushing for those proposals to pass, but they say it needs to happen now before it’s too late. 

Many venues are attempting to move operations outdoors to provide a safer experience, but others can’t afford it, so they are forced to stay closed. 

“What would it look like without the Slippery Noodle downtown? What would it look like without the Vogue in Broad Ripple or the Hi-Fi and White Rabbit in Fountain Square? What if all those were gone? Because that’s a possibility, and that’s a possibility in the next 30-60 days,” Hi-Fi owner Josh Baker said.

Fundraisers have kept them afloat so far, and venues are accepting donations and selling merchandise to help

ISU suspends football practice. We just learned this morning that six Indiana State University football players tested positive for COVID-19. The university says it will suspend football practice and conditioning for the next 14 days. 

The players affected are in quarantine and will be tested as well. 

The six players infected live off campus and are in quarantine off campus. 

ISU says none of the six participated in the team’s “March for Justice” on Sunday because they were in quarantine. 

Second Avon High School staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Another Avon High School employee tested positive for the coronavirus. School officials say the staff member has been in the school building since school began.

The school learned of the positive test Monday and will follow the guidance of the Hendricks County Health Department. Students and staff who were in “close contact” with the employee have been contacted. 

Another staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but school officials say the staff member stayed home when they began to feel symptomatic the week prior and has not been at the school.

New Palestine High School student tested positive for COVID-19 on first day of class. We also know two students at New Palestine High School tested positive for the coronavirus, and one of the students attended class on the first day of school.

The student wore a mask and administrators isolated the individual who tested positive, along with a “small number of close contacts,” according to the district.

Last week, a football player at New Palestine High School tested positive for the coronavirus. Football practice on Friday was canceled. Players who were not in the infected player’s workout group were scheduled to be back on the field for Monday’s official start of fall sports team practices.

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