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Week Update July 19 - July 25

The Governor of Indiana has announced all residents and visitors in the state will be required to wear face coverings such as masks in public or risk facing a criminal charge.

Governor Eric Holcomb is due to sign an Executive Order which will mean a statewide mask requirement would take effect in Indiana on July 27.

Those who don't follow the new order could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail.

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince said on Friday that Gary has seen double digits increases in new coronavirus cases. He says he plans to take all necessary steps, including instituting and enforcing a mask mandate for all public spaces.

Health Commissioner Roland Walker said we need to understand that corona virus will probably be around for the rest of our lives. Gary currently has had a total of 1,000 cases and 62 total deaths.

There have been 15 new cases just between Thursday and Friday.

The East Chicago Health Department is reporting that they have added 36 new cases of Covid-19 between July 20 and 24. There have been a total of 681 cases in the city

The department is also reporting that the age group of 13 to 20 has seen over 190 cases and the age group of 40 - 50 has seen 226. These two age groups represent the highest number of cases in the city.

By ethnicity, Latinos represent 420 cases, African Americans 186, White 34 and all other groups 41.

Portage Township and Gary Schools said they would provide students virtual learning for the coming school year.

Gary Community School Corp. Emergency Manager Paige McNulty made the announcement in a Wednesday morning press conference with Gary Health Commissioner Dr. Roland Walker.

The district will organize virtual open houses for students to meet their teacher in advance of the school year's start, and has developed partnerships with the local Boys & Girls Club, YWCA and churches to help provide supervision of students to assist working parents.

The school corporation's bus fleet breakfast and lunch distribution will continue.

WiseWay Market will now require shoppers to wear face masks inside its stores to curb the spread of COVID-19, it announced Monday.


Anyone who doesn't bring their own mask can buy one directly from the store for $1.

To date, others that already or will soon mandate masks be worn on their property include Strack & Van Til, Meijer, Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Starbucks, Menard's, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco.

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%:

and Valparaiso 73%.

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

Region residents can eliminate the need for a personal visit from a census enumerator by fulfilling their legal obligation to participate in the once-a-decade national population count online at 2020census.gov, or by calling 844-330-2020

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