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As your congressman, I wanted you to see the latest details on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Indiana.
Updates from the Indiana State Department of Health
New Cases, Data
The ISDH today reported 455 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Indiana, bringing the total number of Hoosiers diagnosed with the virus to 49,063 as of 12:00pm today. 2,539 Hoosiers have died.
A total of 535,857 tests have been reported to ISDH to date.
For more data on COVID-19 in Indiana, click here.
The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/, which is updated every day at 12:00pm.
Allen County COVID cases dropping, but caution still advised
The following contains excerpts from this WOWO article.
Local coronavirus case numbers have been holding steady, and are lower than in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.
The Allen County Health Department tells the Journal Gazette that while the first week of July has seen COVID-19 cases ranging from the high teens to the low 30s per day, while June typically saw between 30 and 60 cases per day, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods.
Some of those lower numbers could be due to less testing being done over the recent 4th of July holiday weekend, a health department spokeswoman says. Case numbers have also been affected by recent changes in testing guidelines, allowing anyone to be tested regardless of symptoms.
Hospital capacity and ventilator availability numbers are remaining steady and stable statewide.
Face masks required in 4 Indiana counties
The following appeared on Fox59.com this morning.
There is no statewide mask mandate in Indiana, but four counties have implemented one. Starting tomorrow, those counties are Marion, Elkhart, Lagrange, and St. Joseph Counties.
And while there’s no order in Monroe County, the new public health order there requires businesses to post a sign at their main entrance. The signs request customers wear face coverings at the business to protect those around them.
Businesses have to post the signs by Wednesday, July 8.
Noble County 4-H fair opens this week
The following contains excerpts from this KPCNews article.
The rides, grandstand shows and food alley may not be there, but 4-H is still coming to the Noble County Fairgrounds starting this week.
With temperatures in the 90s on Tuesday Doug Keenan, county extension director, was hard at work preparing for the start of the fair today. Chairs were being set up 6 feet apart and everything was being disinfected for the sewing, consumer clothing and fashion revue that is set to take place today at West Noble High School.
The first animal shows are Saturday.
Keenan said despite all of the safety precautions, which were put in place the 4-H’ers are excited to be able to show their animals.
This year’s fair will look a little different due to COVID-19, with exhibitors being asked to check in their animals the day of the show and take them home afterward, as opposed to filling up the fairgrounds barns and camping out during the week.
Inside the show ring things will also look a little different as competitors are being asked to wear masks during the shows. The staff, volunteers and judges will also be wearing masks.
Keenan said Purdue Extension will be providing masks for those competitors and volunteers who don’t have one. The black masks have the Purdue University logo on them.
Hand sanitizer will also be available in a variety of locations throughout the fairgrounds for visitors and participants to utilize.
Spectators at the shows are also asked to try to maintain as much distance as possible and take precautions to try to prevent the spread of the virus.
Capacity limits will be posted for each building on the fairgrounds and spectators will be asked to maintain good social distancing. Visitors and competitors will also be asked to enter each building through one door and exit through another to eliminate people moving in and out in the same direction.
With only a couple of shows each day Keenan said all show areas will be disinfected inbetween shows to help keep everyone safe.
For a look at the schedule of 4-H activities coming up, click here.
Trump Moves to Pull U.S. Out of World Health Organization
The following contains excerpts from this Wall Street Journal article.
The U.S. has formally notified the World Health Organization it will withdraw from the United Nations agency over President Trump’s criticism of its ties to China.
The U.S. State Department sent notice to the U.N. on July 6 it would end its 72-year-old membership in the WHO. “The President has been clear that the WHO needs to get its act together,” a department spokesman said. “That starts with demonstrating significant progress and the ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks with transparency and accountability.”
The exit won’t take effect until next July.
The president says the WHO, the U.N.’s chief global health institution, is under China’s sway and has failed to respond adequately to the coronavirus pandemic. He has said the U.S. would redirect the funds it currently sends the WHO to other “deserving, urgent global public-health needs” because the agency failed to make reforms the U.S. had requested.
“They’re a puppet of China,” Mr. Trump said in May at the White House. “They give us a lot of bad advice.”
Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.), ranking member of the House oversight committee, supported the Trump administration’s decision. “China lied, the WHO complied, and Americans died,” he said in a statement.
The formal announcement moves the Trump administration one step closer to its goal of creating an alternative global health structure outside the boundaries of the U.N. system. Administration officials have floated the idea of creating an office within the State Department tasked with responding to pandemics. Previously, a similar office was situated in the National Security Council until it was disbanded in 2018.
Unemployment Expected to Reach Highest Level Since Great Depression
The following contains excerpts from this Wall Street Journal article.
Unemployment rates in the world’s advanced economies will end the year higher than at any time since the Great Depression and not return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest, the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development said Tuesday.
The Paris-based research institute that serves the U.S. and 36 other countries warned against the premature withdrawal of emergency measures designed to support employment, and said governments should launch new programs to encourage businesses to hire workers, particularly those entering the jobs market for the first time.
Jobless rates could be even higher if a second wave of outbreaks leads to fresh, if partial lockdowns, the OECD said. If the U.S. is hit by a second wave of lockdowns, the OECD forecasts jobless rates of 12.9% in 2020 and 11.5% in 2021, compared with 11.3% this year and 8.5% next year if there is no sustained resurgence.
The lockdowns that governments imposed from mid-March in an effort to contain the coronavirus led to large-scale layoffs. Across the OECD’s members, the jobless rate has returned to the level last seen in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
“We are basically back where we were in 2010,” said Stefano Scarpetta, director of employment at the OECD. “In three months, we’ve lost all the gains in employment that it took a decade to make.”
Mr. Scarpetta estimates that even if a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks is avoided, the jobless rate for OECD members will hit 9.4% in the final three months of this year, a level not seen since the 1930s. In the event of a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks, the jobless rate could rise to 12.6%.
Even if further outbreaks are avoided—an outcome the OECD labels the “optimistic” scenario—the jobless rate is expected to fall only gradually, to 7.7% by the end of 2021. In the event of a second wave, it is expected to stand at 8.9%.
The loss of jobs is only one measure of the pandemic’s impact on the labor market. Based on statistics from a small group of countries that includes the U.S., the OECD estimates that total hours worked fell by 12.2% in the first three months of the lockdown, compared with 1.2% in the first three months of the global financial crisis.
Although the U.S.’s jobless rate fell in May and June, the OECD expects it to experience the largest rise in unemployment this year, an increase of 7.6 percentage points.
By comparison, Germany’s unemployment rate is expected to rise by 1.4 percentage points this year, while the French rate is forecast to increase by 2.5 percentage points. In both cases, the expected drop in 2021 will leave the jobless rate higher than it was before the pandemic struck.
Thanks for letting me fill you in.
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Indiana’s Third District
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