While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for July 31

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

Here’s a look:

$600-a-week unemployment benefits end. The federal program that gives unemployed Americans an extra $600 a week expires today, despite the fact that the number of people seeking unemployment is on the rise.

The Department of Labor reported first-time unemployment claims increased for a second straight week to more than 1.4 million.

Both sides say funding is needed, and congress is debating a stimulus bill to extend benefits to help those struggling financially. But they have not come to an agreement yet.

“Here’s the difference we have with unemployment insurance. We think it ought to be crafted in a way that does not pay people more to stay at home than go back to work,” Senator Mitch Mcconnell said.

“We need to turn the page on the Republican proposal and quickly. The legislative train wreck by Senate Republicans cannot derail our efforts to provide urgent, comprehensive, and necessary relief to the American people,” Senator Chuck Schumer said.

House Democrats passed a $4 trillion bill in May that would have extended the unemployment benefits staying at $600 per week.

Senate Republicans proposed their own bill earlier this week. It would cost around $1 trillion, but would decrease the extra payment to $200. 50% of a person’s wages would be paid by states, and then the remainder would be by the federal government.

Another proposal put up would give states two options: Give extra payments to those who are unemployed starting at $500 per week, and then it would go down $100 every month until October. Or states would replace 80% of a person’s wages.

Republicans and Democrats could not agree to terms before the deadline.

This all comes as the U.S. economy shrank at a record-breaking rate in the spring.

The Senate did pass what’s called a “shell bill” partly proposed by Senator Mike Braun.

That would give people who are unemployed $200 a week or 66% of wage replacement. The first vote on that is expected sometime next week.

Greenfield Central Junior High School student tests positive for COVID-19. Today in Greenfield, school officials at the high school will be on high alert after a student tested positive for the coronavirus on the first day of school.

Officials say when they were notified the student tested positive, the student was immediately isolated, and staff and students in close contact were identified.

If you have not received a call from Greenfield Central Junior High School, that means your child was not identified as a close contact.

School officials are reminding parents do not send your student to school if your student has had direct contact with someone who is positive for the coronavirus, if your student has been told by a doctor to quarantine, if your student is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or if your student is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

The superintendent said this is just a “bump in the road” in their reentry process, and that they have a plan in place to keep everyone safe.

IPS officially moves to 100% virtual learning. It’s official – Indianapolis Public Schools will start 100% online for all students starting August 17. The new plan will last through at least October 2.

The board unanimously approved the decision during last night’s meeting.

Students will meet with their teachers daily through Microsoft Teams. Each student will receive an electronic device.

The district is also implementing a support system to help students who are housing insecure and those who qualify for in-person services.

Yesterday was the first day of virtual learning for Washington Township. It was one of the first districts to decide to start fully virtual.

The district made sure students who needed devices and hot spots received them so they could work from home.

The school board is expected to discuss what’s next for virtual learning at a meeting on Monday. We’ll let you know what happens.

Goggles and face shields in addition to masks. If you’re looking for extra protection against COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci says you should consider goggles or eye shields in addition to wearing a mask.

In an interview this week, the nation’s top infectious disease expert says you should theoretically protect your eyes, nose, and mouth. He says if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, agreed with Fauci’s suggestion that goggles or eye shields could be worn with facial coverings to provide an extra layer of protection against the virus.

“The thing about the face shields — we think that could protect the individuals and that it would decrease the ability for them to touch their eyes and spread the virus as well as those droplets coming towards them. So there are two different technologies for two different reasons,” Birx said.

Another Big Ten football team must quarantine. Rutgers University’s football program is shut down after at least 15 players tested positive for COVID-19.

The New Jersey state health commissioner tied the outbreak to recent gatherings.

The Scarlet Knights have seen a growing number of positive cases after the team returned to campus on June 15.

Rutgers isn’t the only Big Ten team with this problem. Last week the entire Michigan State football team was placed under a 14-day quarantine after 16 student athletes and four athletic department staff members tested positive for COVID-19 between July 18 and the 24.

Earlier this month, the Big Ten announced it will only play conference games this fall. A scheduled hasn’t been released yet.

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