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June 28 - July 4 Weekend Update

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Lake County, Indiana continued to rise this week, double or even triple the number of daily cases of three weeks ago. Statewide, hospitalizations have also increased in recent days after weeks of steady decline.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new statewide face mask campaign using hashtag Mask Up Hoosiers to emphasize the role face coverings play in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

State Health Commissioner Katrina Box said the state is asking the public to voluntarily wear face coverings. But added the state will support local mask requirements such as those in place in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

The Elkhart County Health Department issued a mandate to require residents to wear masks in public on June 29th. The mandate comes as the county continues to see its number of positive Coronavirus cases rise. To date, there are 3003 positive cases of Coronavirus in Elkhart County that have been linked to 42 deaths.

Holcomb said masks will be required of all state employees as well.

On Wednesday, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, approved four contracts for $30,293 worth of tactical equipment for the Lake County Sheriff’s department. The Department requested pepper spray to pepper bullet guns.

The sheriff’s office responded to protests in Hammond, Griffith, St. John and Southlake Mall in Hobart, where 14 people were arrested for disorderly conduct after tensions rose between police and protesters following the George Floyd murder.

Sheriff Oscar Martinez said that the department ordered the tactical equipment to replenish what it used during the Southlake Mall protests and to have extra supplies.

On Wednesday home health care workers and state representatives gathered for a rally in Merrillville to call for higher wages and pandemic pay — joining a nationwide initiative to advocate for the workers for higher pay and pandemic pay.

Currently, the Merrillville Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Indiana office is in negotiations with Help at Home, a home care agency in Merrillville. Home care workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new statewide face mask campaign using #MaskUp Hoosiers to emphasize the role face coverings play in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

When students return to Indiana University campuses, face coverings will be required at all times.

School officials say all students, staff, and any other visitors on any campus must wear one to enter.

To ensure this happens, IU will provide each student, staff, and faculty member with two masks. School leaders say they're working on plans to help enforce the requirement.

MGT, the management company for the Gary school officials told the state Distressed Unit Appeal Board the district hoped to sell vacant schools soon.

The sales hope to eliminate the need to use funding secured from the deferral of Common School Fund loans for building demolition.

In early March, officials said they received offers on 24 schools and properties. In all, the district received 73 offers with uses including residential development, education and training, urban farming, manufacturing, storage, and church.

Public comment was being accepted until mid-March, until the pandemic shuttered schools and businesses across the nation.

This past Friday, City of Gary leaders said they are partnering with Chicago-based CARA to clean up Gary's streets and provide workforce opportunities to residents.

CARA, is a neighborhood beautification initiative that also couples as a workforce development program in which residents are trained in job readiness. The program, entitled Clean Slate, Cleanslate will work with out-of-work Gary residents, including felons and drug addicts, and re-acclimate them into the workforce while helping to beautify and clean across the city.

Cleanslate has a location at City Hall and is already taking applications for people to join its cleanup crew and job readiness training program, Reaves said.

Chase Bank said a technical issue caused incorrect balances to be displayed in customers’ checking accounts Sunday, and the issue has been resolved.

Chase said the problem was fixed as of 9 a.m. Sunday, and the accounts are showing current balances. Earlier Sunday, Chase customers reported missing or added funds to their accounts, with some app outages.