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COVID-19 response memo, 7/10/20

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COVID-19 response memo, 7/10/20

COVID-19 Cases

New cases: 748

Total cumulative cases reported Friday: 50,300

Total cumulative cases reported Thursday: 49,575

Increase in cumulative cases: 725

Increase in cases reported July 4-July 10: 3,385

Increase in cases reported June 27-July 3: 2,775

COVID-19 Deaths

New deaths: 9

Total deaths: 2,555

County Numbers

Marion County cumulative cases: 11,920 (increase of 108)

Marion County new deaths: 2

Marion County cumulative deaths: 692

Hamilton County cumulative cases: 1,665

Johnson County cumulative cases: 1,325

U.S. and Worldwide Numbers As of Friday Morning, From John Hopkins University:

U.S. cases: 3,131,953

U.S. deaths: 133,420

Global cases: 12,318,610

Global deaths: 555,977

Todd Rokita to Replace Curtis Hill on GOP Ticket for Indiana Attorney General

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita will be the Republican Party’s nominee for Indiana Attorney General, narrowly topping embattled incumbent Curtis Hill in a vote of delegates, the Indiana GOP announced Friday.

Rokita received 52.15% of the vote in the third round of voting, the party said.

The results came after mail-in voting by some 1,800 state convention delegates for four candidates after a campaign among party activists that centered on whether the allegations against Hill left him vulnerable to defeat in the November election. (Indianapolis Business Journal)

IPS Unveils Back to School Plan

The state's largest school district has unveiled its plan to reopen schools for the upcoming academic year. Indianapolis Public Schools says it made the decision to open schools August 3 after reviewing guidance from federal, state and local leadership on minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

The district has implemented a number of safety protocols for students participating in full-time, in-person learning, as well as those opting for full-time remote learning. For in-person instruction, the district says all K-12 students and staff will be required to wear masks. Teachers will be provided face shields to allow for better comprehension while teaching. Schools will implement mask breaks throughout the day and students will be provided one reusable mask.

All schools will be required to implement social distancing protocols, including classrooms, hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, offices and playgrounds. 

Other protocols include:

  • Individually wrapped/prepackaged meals will be served in cafeterias due to food safety and staffing. Times will be staggered to ensure proper social distancing. Students in Grades K-8 will eat meals inside classrooms. Student in Grades 9-12 will eat inside school cafeterias.
  • Schools will be equipped with touchless water fountains. Students will also receive a district-issued water bottle to keep at school. Manual water fountains will be turned off or blocked.
  • Recess will still take place outside and social distancing will be maintained. In some instances, only one homeroom will be on the playground at a time.
  • Masks will be required on school buses. Additional walk zones — with crossing guards — are being established to decrease the number of students on buses.
  • School nurses and trained staff will also be on-site at all schools to screen students and staff who may be displaying COVID-19 symptoms. All IPS buildings will have a designated isolation room, and self-reporting and school-based reporting protocols have been created.

IPS says students who are unwilling or unable to return to school for full-time, in-person learning, they may opt for full-time remote learning, which will also begin August 3. 

The district says families that choose the e-learning option will be required to fill out and submit a Full-Time Remote Learning Opt-In Form, the deadline for which is July 17. Each student taking the option will receive an iPad or Chromebook to support remote learning. Families who do not have internet access will receive a mobile hot spot device as well. Additionally, IPS says all students and staff will be ready to transition to full remote learning on short notice, even if they opted for in-person instruction. You can learn more about the district's plan by clicking here. (Inside Indiana Business)

Immigration Updates

According to Politico, the buzz in the White House is that, at some point over the next week or so, there is a plan in place to resubmit paperwork to do away with DACA. Remember: The Supreme Court said the administration repealed it incorrectly last time and gave the White House a road map for a do-over.

Of course, this will elicit head slaps from many corners of the Republican Party, but it follows in line with the Trump Administration’s consistent political belief that they are somehow at risk of losing their base.

NEW: The United States Conference of Mayors has sent the president a letter urging him to “fully maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program until Congress passes legislation that would enable Dreamers – people who have lived in America since they were children and built their lives here – to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they meet certain criteria.” The full letter, led by Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer

Indiana Food Banks Receive State Funding

Eleven Indiana food banks will receive $300,000 in state funding to provide assistance and services to Hoosiers in need. According to the state’s food bank association, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could increase food insecurity by 40% among Indiana residents in 2020.

The funding comes from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through the Indiana General Assembly. Funding recipients for the fiscal year 2021 include:

  • Community Harvest Food Bank – $29,970
  • Dare to Care Food Bank – $10,890
  • Food Bank of Northern Indiana – $34,890
  • Food Bank of Northwest Indiana – $29,310
  • Food Finders Food Bank Inc. – $27,720
  • FreeStore Foodbank– $2,490
  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Inc. – $96,480
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank Inc. – $12,960
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central IN Inc. – $23,640
  • Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank Inc. – $13,230
  • Tri-State Food Bank Inc. – $18,420

The funding was provided by the Indiana Legislature, as part of the biennial budget. The distribution amounts were determined using the Emergency Food Assistance Program fair share percentage, which captures poverty and unemployment levels in each county. (Inside Indiana Business)

Cases Continue to Surge 

The U.S. recorded its sixth single-day record in ten days on Thursday as nearly 60,000 new cases were confirmed across the country. Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and Texas set single-day records in the number of cases, and Florida and Tennessee set single-day records in the number of deaths from the virus.

WHO Acknowledges COVID May be Airborne 

On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the coronavirus may be airborne in the form of droplets that spread indoors in places with poor ventilation. The organization previously said the virus was only airborne during medical procedures. The reversal, which many health professionals say is long overdue, comes on the heels of a letter sent to the WHO earlier this week from more than 200 scientists in over 32 countries providing evidence the virus can exist in the air for periods of time. 

Fauci Says States Have Opened Too Quickly 

On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said some states have reopened too quickly, which he claims has allowed the coronavirus to surge once again. Fauci noted Florida and Arizona, two states that have been particularly hard hit in recent weeks, as two examples of what reopening too soon can lead to. 

Fauci added that states currently seeing a spike in cases can still contain the surge by pausing reopening efforts, instead of shutting down for a second time. Fauci recommended that Arizona, California, Florida and Texas –the four states that account for roughly 50 percent of new infections— close bars and severely limit crowded gatherings.

FHFA Extends COVID-Related Loan Processing Flexibilities 

On Thursday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend loan origination flexibilities until August 31, 2020, in an effort to ensure continued support for borrowers that have been financially impacted by the pandemic. The extended flexibilities include alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans, alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment, and expanding the use of the power of attorney and remote online notarizations for loan closings.

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