Indiana COVID 19 Immediately: IN Studies 954 New COVID-19 Circumstances, 17 Deaths; MIchigan Metropolis expands Washington Park to seaside closings

MICHIGAN , Ind. (WLS) – reports 954 new -19 cases and 17 more deaths on Thursday.

The Indiana Department of Health confirmed a total of 59,602 positive cases in the , including 2,683 deaths. 666,283 tests were performed with a positivity rate of 8.9%.

Michigan Mayor Duane Parry extended Washington Park’s closure until midnight on July 30th. The closure includes Washington Park, the Seniors Center, Fedder’s Alley, the zoo, and the Sunset Grille. The order can still be extended.

“I understand we will all miss the beach, but it will make us love it more later and it will make us love it,” said resident Mary Watts.

“I work on the beach and it sometimes affects how many hours I work,” said resident Natalia Ruiz. “I think it’s a really good idea to stop the spread of COVID.”

Parry has requested that the park board meet immediately to discuss the rest of park operations this year and develop new rules and guidelines for Washington Park to adapt to the fluid changes in the pandemic.

The state has extended its current restaurant and bar capacity limits, as well as other restrictions, for at least another two weeks as coronavirus cases rise across the state. Holcomb delayed lifting these limits for the first time two weeks ago, but said Wednesday that a persistently volatile environment in Indiana and other states has led it to keep them in place for at least two more weeks. Holcomb’s decision means that Indiana restaurants will continue to have 75% capacity in their dining rooms while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and cinemas can be open at half capacity.

Governor Eric Holcomb will issue a nationwide mandate for face masks starting next week.

Holcomb said Wednesday that the order will apply to anyone aged 8 and over in indoor or business areas, as well as outdoor areas, if sufficient distance cannot be maintained. The order takes effect on Monday.

Holcomb said his assignment will also require masks in schools for 3rd grade and above from students, teachers and other staff. Holcomb said renewed growth in the number of infections and hospitalizations required mask order.

However, the attorney general believes that the governor has exceeded his powers in issuing a statewide face mask mandate and that only lawmakers can make violations a criminal offense. Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill gave an opinion Wednesday night, just hours after Holcomb announced the mask ordinance, due to come into effect Monday, to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The statement does not block the governor’s action. Hill is on his way out of office after failing to win the Republican nomination for re-election after allegedly groping four women while drunk.

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Indiana Dunes National Park has launched a coronavirus safety campaign urging visitors to northwest Indiana Park to practice social distancing and other precautions when they reach the beach. The Northwest Indiana Times reports that the park’s “Think Before You Beach” campaign began on Saturday with signs on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, as well as social media posts and videos reminding visitors of social distance, wearing a mask, and Use public facilities with caution. Park spokesman Bruce Rowe said the campaign “is a reminder to the public that if they don’t wear a mask or if they don’t socialize, they can catch the outdoors on a crowded beach.”

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New information on coronavirus-related deaths from Indiana nursing home residents collected by state health officials shows 128 more deaths than previously reported by the facilities.

These numbers, released on Wednesday, bring those COVID-19 deaths to at least 1,390 residents by July 14, accounting for nearly half of the state’s coronavirus deaths since mid-March.

Meanwhile, officials announced Thursday that bars and nightclubs in the city would close starting Friday. This is due to an increase in COVID-19 cases among people under 40 years of age.

The state moved ahead of schedule to phase 4 of its reopening plan. However, phase 5, which was supposed to start on July 4th, was delayed. Instead, the state entered what is known as “Phase 4.5” on July 4th.

Phase 4.5 will be largely the same as Phase 4, Holcomb said. Indiana will maintain the existing restrictions through at least July 18th. The state will also continue its current restriction of 250 people for social gatherings. As of June 12, restaurants have a 75% capacity in their dining rooms, while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and amusement parks are open at half capacity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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