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July 12 - July 18 News Updates

The Census Bureau announced that it will begin following up in select areas with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.

The majority of census offices across the country will begin follow-up work on August 11. All offices will conclude work no later than October 31.

The State of Indiana has a 66% response rate for the census. Response for the census for individual cities are:

Gary 45%;

East Chicago 42.5%;

Hammond 60.3%;

Merrillville 68%:

Valparaiso 73%.

Officials in all cities are urging all residents to complete the census forms.

The continued rise in new virus cases in Indiana prompted Gov. Eric Holcomb to announce Wednesday he is extending the state’s current restrictions for at least another two weeks. Initially, the state was expected to get to stage 5 by July 17.

Indiana is seeing delayed test results due to the national backup. She also said the state is seeing more young Hoosiers infected with coronavirus.

The state’s health director, Dr. Kristina Box, warned that another surge of cases could come in the fall with the start of the regular flu season.

Wednesday’s press conference took on a more somber tone as state officials stressed the continued danger of the coronavirus.

All Lake County schools will be starting on their scheduled date. However, most will give parents the option of in-school or online learning. All schools will be following the CDC guidelines of social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizing. Each school district has put in other precautions based on their individual circumstances.

Students in Portage Township Schools will learn from home for at least the first quarter of the new school year due to continuing public health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. Portage High School has suspended all prep sports.

During the week of July 6, the Department of Workforce Development confirms it stopped processing unemployment claims for four days to track down a surge of fraud in payment system.

Fraud alerts started in late June after two weeks of dramatic spikes in unemployment claims.

Millions of dollars are at stake, but the Department won't say how much has already been lost.

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