INDIANAPOLIS — Monday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Beech Grove Schools move to eLearning beginning Tuesday
Beech Grove Schools will be in eLearning beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10.
The superintendent’s office has notified patrons about the change, citing a “concerning upward trend in the number of positive COVID-19 cases” seen in Beech Grove schools, particularly the high school.
The message to families said “only isolated COVID cases have occurred at our other schools.”
The district said the decision to move to eLearning would be reviewed at the end of this week.
Athletic events, practices and extracurricular activities are also canceled, a decision that would also be reviewed at the end of the week, according to the schools.
Center Grove adjusts schedule due to COVID-19 cases
Students at Center Grove middle and high schools will have a day off Tuesday after an increase in COVID-19 cases in the district.
The school announced the schedule change Monday.
Students in grades 6-12 will have an e-learning day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, then move to a blended schedule starting on Thursday.
Elementary school students are not affected by the changes.
Last week, most Johnson County school districts moved to e-learning or hybrid schedules for students, but Center Grove decided to stick with in-person learning.
US surpasses 10,000,000 cases
The U.S. became the first nation in the world to reach 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, as record spikes continue in states nationwide. It took 10 days to go from 9 million to 10 million, the shortest time yet between 1 million cases.
The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 new cases for five consecutive days, according to a Johns Hopkins tracker. Only one other country — France — has had one day over 100,000.
Texas, California and Florida top the list of states with the most cases since the pandemic began. According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, Texas has had 990,930 total cases, California has had 972,713 cases and Florida has had 843,897.
The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from more than 64,000 on Oct. 24 to nearly 104,000 on Nov. 7, according to the university’s data.
The U.S. also leads the world with more than 237,000 deaths related to COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths rose over the past two weeks from 801 on Oct. 24 to 930 on Nov. 7, the university said.
The Indiana State Department of Health reports 4,213 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 214,509 since the pandemic began.
There are also 34 more deaths for a total of 4,418 in Indiana.
The 7-day positivity rate is now up to 9.6 percent for the state.
The state Department of Health will offer free drive-thru clinics from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations this week:
- Tell City
Corner of Franklin St. and 16th St.
- Crown Point
Lake County Health Department
2900 W. 93rd Ave.
- Rising Sun
Rising Sun Church of Christ
315 N. High St.
Lawrence County Fairgrounds 11261
US Highway 50 W.
For complete details, or to find other testing sites around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.
Carmel Holiday Spectacular to stream on YouTube
The Carmel High School Choir Program announced its annual Holiday Spectacular show will be pre-recorded and streamed on YouTube this year.
"As the world continues to adapt to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carmel High School Choirs have been safely hard at work on a spectacular virtual holiday event for everyone near and far," read the school's announcement Monday.
The show "Hometown Holiday" will feature more than 450 on-stage performers plus musicians and backstage support.
Repeat broadcasts are scheduled at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 19 and 2 p.m. Dec. 20. Additional streams may be added. Check with Carmel High School Choirs for updates.
HSE announces family-only indoor sports policy
Hamilton Southeastern Schools announced Monday that its winter sports season will begin with a family-only attendance policy.
The restriction means only an athlete's immediate family members may attend home contests.
HSE Athletics shared the news in a tweet Monday morning, saying the policy was implemented with three goals:
- Keep athletes, coaches and families safe
- Keep playing
- Allow families a chance to watch
Early data promising in Pfizer vaccine study
Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, indicating the company is on track later this month to file an emergency use application with U.S. regulators.
Monday's announcement doesn't mean a vaccine is imminent: This interim analysis, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries.
Pfizer Inc. did not provide any more details about those cases, and cautioned the initial protection rate might change by the time the study ends. Even revealing such early data is highly unusual.
“We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, told The Associated Press. “We’re very encouraged.”
Authorities have stressed it's unlikely any vaccine will arrive much before the end of the year, and limited initial supplies will be rationed.
Biden names advisory board
Joe Biden is pivoting from the presidential campaign to the pressing fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the world’s most powerful nation harder than any other.
Biden's transition team on Monday announced its coronavirus advisory board made up of public health experts.
The transition team said the co-chairs and members are serving as advisors to Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the transition’s COVID-19 staff.
The board has three co-chairs, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University.
- Dr. Luciana Borio, MD, is VP, Technical Staff at In-Q-Tel
- Dr. Rick Bright, PhD, American immunologist, virologist, and former public health official
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, oncologist and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania
- Dr. Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, Cyndy and John Fish Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Dr. Celine Gounder, MD, ScM, Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and cares for patients at Bellevue Hospital Center
- Dr. Julie Morita, Executive Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
- Dr. Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.
- Ms. Loyce Pace, MPH, Executive Director and President of Global Health Council
- Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine
- Dr. Eric Goosby, expert on infectious diseases and Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine
Notre Dame begins COVID-19 exit testing for students
Notre Dame's student body is scheduled to begin exit testing Monday in preparation to head home for Thanksgiving break and finish the fall semester in distance learning.
According to information posted Thursday on Notre Dame's COVID-19 dashboard, students were given a deadline of Sunday night, Nov. 8 to schedule their exit testing appointment. Any student who did not schedule an appointment to be tested for the virus between Nov. 9 and Nov. 21 will be required to report for surveillance testing before the end of the semester. Student athletes regularly undergo separate testing and are exempt from the exit testing requirement.
Students who did not comply would not be allowed to register for spring semester classes until after all other students have registered during the the first full week of December.
Sunday, Rev. John Jenkins, the university's president, sent another letter to students threatening more stringent registration actions for spring if they did not report for new mandatory testing following Saturday night's postgame celebration Notre Dame beat top-ranked Clemson in double overtime.
“The University will place a registration hold on the record of any student who fails to appear for testing when asked to do so. A registration hold would mean that you are unable to matriculate or register for classes next semester or receive a transcript,” wrote Jenkins.
He said students may not leave the South Bend area until they receive the results of their exit test and could have a registration hold if campus officials learn students have left the area.
Students should expect more information about mandatory testing and registration Monday.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 9.96 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 1:30 a.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 237,000 deaths and 3.88 million people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been more than 50.39 million confirmed cases with more than 1.25 million deaths and 33 million recoveries.
The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.
Biden to announce COVID-19 task force Monday
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce the members of his coronavirus task force on Monday, according to news reports.
They will be in charge of preparing a plan to curb the spread of the virus, according to CNBC. This announcement would come as the United States experiences a record spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Friday, the US hit a record of 126,400 cases in a single day.
Axios, who first reported Biden's plan to announce a task force, said it will be led by three co-chairs, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University. The report said there would be a total of 12 members on the team.
Mill Creek Schools switching to virtual learning Monday and Tuesday
Students at Mill Creek School Corporation on the west side will move to virtual learning Monday, Nov. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 10.
The corporation's superintendent tweeted the announcement Sunday evening.
Benton Schools closed Monday, virtual learning rest of week
Benton Community School Corporation near Lafayette announced all schools will be closed Monday, Nov. 9.
The corporation said students will switch to virtual learning Tuesday, Nov. 10 through Friday, Nov. 13.
New Palestine HS switches to virtual learning
New Palestine High School announced that it will be switching to virtual learning effective immediately until Thanksgiving break.
All other Southern Hancock County schools will continue in-person instruction.
Bartholomew Co. Schools moving to e-learning
Students in Bartholomew County will transition to virtual learning starting Monday, Nov. 9.
The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation announced the change Thursday, saying the spread of COVID-19 in the community "has made it very difficult to continue our normal operating procedures."
All schools in the district will be on e-learning through Thanksgiving, with a plan to return to an in-person or remote option for families on Nov. 30. The district will continue to monitor the situation and make the final determination on the return date at a later time.
Most Johnson County schools making schedule changes due to COVID-19 surge
Most Johnson County schools are adjusting their class schedules following a rise in COVID-19 cases. But Center Grove schools, the largest school district in the county, is not.
Greenwood Middle and High School students will begin a hybrid learning schedule Monday, Nov. 9 due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Students with last names that begin with A-L will have in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays and then remote learning on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Students with last names that begin with M-Z will have remote learning on Mondays and Tuesdays and then in-person classes on Thursday and Friday.
- Wednesdays will be used for teacher office hours and online instruction.
Elementary students will not be affected and will still remain in the classroom five days a week.
Last Wednesday, the Indiana State Department of Health placed Johnson County in the “orange” level of community spread for COVID-19, which recommends a hybrid learning schedule for grades 6-12.
Franklin Community Schools announced a move to what it calls “Phase II” of their hybrid schedule for the middle school and high school starting Monday.
Indian Creek Middle School and High School will temporarily move to a hybrid learning model starting Monday.
Edinburgh Middle School and High School will move to a hybrid teaching schedule on Monday through Nov. 24. The school district plans to return to in-person learning following the Thanksgiving break on Monday, Nov. 30.
Clark-Pleasant Schools in Whiteland and Greenwood is considering a move to a hybrid schedule, but no decision has been made yet.
Center Grove Schools has decided to continue in-person learning at this time.