IN could be added to Chicago's emergency travel order Tuesday
Indiana health officials reported 596 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths Monday as the state surpassed 1.5 million total tests administered.
The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed a total of 100,394 positive coronavirus cases in the state, including 3,144 deaths. There have been 1,551,731 tests conducted, with an 8.8% cumulative seven-day positivity rate.
Several dozen Indiana high school athletic programs are turning to pay-per-view broadcasts of their football games and other fundraising efforts to help make up revenue they've lost due to a drop in fan attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to the South Bend Tribune, Northern Indiana's Mishawaka High School is charging fans $9.99 to view broadcasts of its football games. The school is receiving 60% of the revenue from each purchase. The broadcasts, run by Mishawaka students and faculty, had been free to watch for the past three years. The football broadcasts are streamed on the IHSAA Champions Network.
A southern Indiana bank is closing lobbies at many of its branches because of the pandemic. Corydon-based First Harrison Bank announced last week the lobbies will be closed at most branches, but drive-up lanes will remain open. The bank has 18 locations in southern Indiana and Bullitt County, Kentucky. Bank president and CEO Bill Harrod tells the News and Tribune the change is meant to minimize the risk of coronavirus exposure to the community and staff. Employees at two branches tested positive for COVID-19. The bank will keep one branch in each county where it operates open to lobby traffic.
Indiana University has halted all voluntary workouts indefinitely for its men's basketball, field hockey, men's soccer and wrestling teams after 14 participants tested positive for the coronavirus this week. The Hoosiers did not identify which teams recorded the positive tests. The football team, like other Big Ten programs, is not playing this fall. Indiana said 63 positives have been reported from more than 1,400 tests of athletes, coaches and staff since June 8.
The Indianapolis Colts will allow a maximum of 2,500 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team's home opener Sept. 20 against the Minnesota Vikings. That number was determined following discussions with the Marion County Public Health Department and set to meet local, NFL and CDC guidelines to help limit the spread of COVID-19. But the Colts will not operate their Touchdown Town outside the stadium until further notice. Colts staff will meet with local health officials as early as next week to discuss capacity for future games.
Indiana University officials on Thursday asked all 40 fraternity and sorority houses at its Bloomington campus to shut down, saying their high rates of coronavirus infections made them unsafe.
But the Indiana University School of Medicine is seeking up to 1,500 volunteers to take part in a late-stage clinical trial of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The medical school announced Thursday that it's one of 81 sites in the U.S., and the only one in Indiana, chosen to test the vaccine developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University. The medical school's testing of the vaccine will be conducted at IU Health University Hospital, in Indianapolis. Volunteers will need to travel to Indianapolis to receive two doses of the vaccine or placebo, as well as attend follow-up visits.
The Hometown Country Jam Music Festival in Hobart was postponed Friday due to COVID-19 restrictions. It will now take place June 5, 2021. All tickets will be transferred to the new date unless a refund is requested within 30 days. Visit HometownCountryJam.com/2020-Refund for more information.
Indiana health officials also are warning residents to take coronavirus precautions seriously over the Labor Day weekend, even as new statewide COVID-19 risk ratings show most counties with minimal or moderate virus spread.
But Chicago health officials say they are keeping an eye on Indiana's rising cases and could add the state to their emergency travel order.
"I certainly though, want to let Chicagoans know that we have concerns about Indiana and particularly would encourage you not to travel to college and university towns in Indiana," said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Health.
Data show numbers have spiked near college towns like South Bend and Muncie, according to Arwady.
"Really hoping that is more of a data reporting anomaly but we have some real concern there," said Arwady.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.