While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for July 21

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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 Coronavirus Task Force briefings will resume today. Right now, it is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Daily briefings happened in the early days of the pandemic but eventually ended.

President Donald Trump says he will use the briefings to discuss advancements in treatments and vaccines and what his administration is doing to combat the virus.

Trump made the announcement as the number of COVID-19 cases around the country rises to more than 3.7 million.

Masks were made mandatory for shoppers at several major chains yesterday, but now, two retailers will no longer require masks at all of their stores. Instead, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar will “request” it. 

Nearly two weeks ago, the retailers’ policies stated shoppers, vendors, and employees must wear masks, but now they say they will require masks only if they are mandated by state or local rules. 

The stores’ parent company hasn’t said why the change was made. 

There’s a new resource for Hoosiers feeling overwhelmed during the pandemic. Indiana 211 is offering access to a 24-hour COVID-19 crisis help line.

The “Be Well Crisis Help Line” is letting users speak with a counselor for free.

If you call 2-1-1 and then press 3, you will be connected to a trained counselor.

Help is available 24-7, allowing people to talk about anything they’re feeling stressed about—whether health-related or not.

It’s part of the state’s response to COVID-19 because a lot of people are reporting feeling stressed during this pandemic.

The Fishers Health Department approved a face mask mandate that will go into effect on Friday.

Masks must be worn in indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing can’t be maintained. The mandate covers stores, restaurants, bars, salons, gyms, office space and government buildings.

It does not include children under 5, those who have hearing or speech impairments, or those who can’t wear a mask due to health risks.

If you’ve been collecting unemployment, this week is the last week for the extra $600 bonus.

Unemployment benefits usually only cover a small part of lost wages, but the bonus was meant to fully replace the average worker’s missing paycheck.

The only way it could come back is if Congress includes it in the next round of stimulus legislation.

You can still apply for unemployment benefits, but know that the amount you receive will now be much lower.

The Colts report to training camp as a team one week from today, and the NFL has settled on a plan for testing players for COVID-19.

The tests will be done every day for the first two weeks. At the two-week mark, they will look at the rate of positive tests.

If it is below five percent, testing will move to every other day. 

Players are also required to test twice before entering the team facilities for the first time.

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