While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 29

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

Here’s a look:

Monroe County officials said starting Saturday their county will join Marion County and the rest of the state in Stage 3 of Governor Holcomb’s plan to reopen Indiana’s economy.

A new Monroe County Health Order was issued Thursday. It said Monroe County will follow the requirements outlined as part of Stage 3 until June 15, unless repealed and replaced prior to that date. 

However, there is one exception. Mass gatherings will be limited to no more than 50 people.

Under the governor’s plan, Stage 3 allows gatherings of up to 100 people as long as social distancing and other sanitation measures are implemented.

The coronavirus pandemic has put extra stress on people battling substance abuse. As a result, naloxone usage is at an all-time high across Indiana.

The drug is used to reverse an opioid overdose. State health officials say they’ve seen an increase in EMS calls. In fact, April saw the largest one month distribution of naloxone to patients ever to date. It’s been used more than 1,000 times in Marion County. 

Recovery advocates say the pressures of job loss and stay-at-home orders can hurt people in recovery. The state is giving Overdose Lifeline $1 million to distribute 25,000 naloxone kits to people in need.

A key coronavirus model made a major tweak in its projections on how many deaths we may see in the United States. The model projects 132,000 people will die in the U.S. by August. That’s about 11,000 less people from its last projection a week ago. 

That information comes from a model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

So far, there have been over 101,000 deaths in the U.S.

The panel assembled by President Donald Trump to confront the pandemic has been sharply curtailed as the White House looks ahead to reopening.

Vice President Mike Pence convened the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday for the first time in a week. The group of doctors and high-ranking administration officials, which met daily even on weekends at the height of the pandemic, has seen its formal sessions reduced from three per week at the start of May to one per week now, according to White House schedules.

The task force has essentially been sidelined by Trump, said senior administration officials and others close to the group who described a greatly reduced role for the panel created to guide the administration’s response to the pandemic.

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