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Your Local Coronavirus Questions, Answered

We asked for your questions about how the coronavirus is affecting your life in Bloomington, and you answered: we at City Limits have received more than 250 questions about the coronavirus.

We started answering them in the March 26 installment of City Limits and answered more in the March 27 Noon Edition program. And our coverage continues here, at our coronavirus live blog.

Every day as this crisis continues, we will be deliberate in letting you know these answers to your questions, no matter the platform.

Every weekday we'll publish a new City Limits: Coronavirus story, so bookmark this webpage. Our team of reporters is committed to answering as many of these questions as possible on our website, in our social media channels and when possible on radio and television reports. 

But please know – we don’t have the medical expertise for you to describe your symptoms and get a reasonable answer about whether you have the virus or should go to get tested. We'll turn to the experts to find answers, and we will provide general information we hope will be helpful, but please don’t consider our information as a substitute for working with your health care professional.

Thank you for your questions - and your patience, as we do our best to find out answers.

Stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely, 
Bob Zaltsberg

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Questions We've Answered

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May 28, 2020

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A man half-wearing a medical mask stands outside Menard's.

Freedom, Safety & Home Improvement Stores: Bloomington Customers Grapple With Mask Policies

As summer nears and the COVID-19 case numbers in Indiana continue to rise, the idea of a packed home improvement store poses new and somewhat unknown health risks. 

May 26, 2020

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Job Center closed sign

Could Indiana Shut Down Again If COVID-19 Cases Spike?

As part of our City Limits: Coronavirus project, a listener asked what will happen if COVID-19 “spikes while we’re opening up. Will we go back to lockdown like in the beginning?”

May 25, 2020

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A stock image of someone making a cloth face mask (coronavirus).

Can Businesses Require Their Customers To Wear Masks And Gloves?

A handful of states require residents to wear face coverings when going out in public. Indiana is not one of those states.

May 22, 2020

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How Are Outdoor Summer Activities Different Now Because Of COVID-19?

Holcomb’s executive order notes that boating is only allowed with social distancing measures in place; but Stage 3 guidelines allow for social gatherings of up to 100 people.

May 21, 2020

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Two Hoosiers fight the flu in a photo from the 1919 IU Arbutus.

How Did Monroe County Deal With The Spanish Flu Pandemic Of 1918?

Perry Township Trustee Dan Combs has compiled an extensive dataset of Monroe County deaths caused by the Spanish Flu.

May 20, 2020

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Houses in Bloomington

Can My Property Management Company Show My Home During The Pandemic?

Our City Limits series received multiple questions about rental companies and landlords sending maintenance employees for inspections and whether renters have to let them in.

May 19, 2020

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A healthcare worker wearing PPE collects samples for coronavirus testing.

Bloomington OptumServe Location On Track To Start Testing Appointments This Week

The exact location of the site in downtown Bloomington has not been made known because it won’t be taking walk-in patients. You must schedule an appointment, and at that time, you will be told where to go for your test.

May 18, 2020

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dwd_office.jpg

Self-Employed And Out Of Work? You Can Get Unemployment Money, Too

Those who have already filed for pandemic unemployment assistance and have been denied will get an email with additional instructions from the department, if they haven't already.

May 15, 2020

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A stock image of ice cubes.

Do Freezing Temperatures Kill The Coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says simply it is not known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19.

May 14, 2020

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cellphone

Indiana Is Paying $40 Million For COVID-19 Contract Tracing. Here's How It Works

This week, the state launched its contact tracing call center, taking over the task for 21 local health departments across Indiana, including here in Monroe County. 

May 13, 2020

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A child holding the hands of two adults (parents, divorce, parenting, kids).

Co-Parenting During A Pandemic: Balancing Quarantine And Custody Agreements

For divorced parents, sharing custody of children can be trying. But shared custody during a pandemic presents a new set of challenges.

May 12, 2020

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A City Limits coronavirus coverage graphic

If I Didn't File Taxes Am I Eligible For A Stimulus Check?

A questioner to City Limits who didn’t have to file a tax return wondered how they would get a stimulus payment.

May 11, 2020

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A medical face mask and rubber or latex gloves.

PPE Available Free For Small Businesses

The PPE Marketplace, which is initially free of charge, will consist of bundles of PPE, based on the size of your business.

May 8, 2020

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A City Limits coronavirus coverage graphic

Here's Where To Find COVID-19 Data

State and local leaders and health officials are monitoring various data sets surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 7, 2020

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The marquee on the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington.

Bloomington, Monroe Co. Officials: Stay-At-Home Extension Decision Was Based On Data

Many questions to City Limits: Coronavirus asked what went into the decision to not follow plans for most of the rest of the state outlined May 1 by the governor.

VIEW MORE STORIES

May 5, 2020

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What Happens If I Can't Pay My Electric, Water Or Gas Bills?

Utility companies are prohibited from discontinuing service to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic according to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order.

May 4, 2020

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Research Is Thin On Vaping, Coronavirus

A questioner asked City Limits: Coronavirus, “Is any research being done on vape and corona vulnerability, including the way kids share the vape devices?” There likely is some, but it’s difficult to gauge how definitive any of it has been.

May 3, 2020

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Noon Edition: State Eases 'Stay-At-Home' Order, Monroe County's Emergency Health Declaration Extended

Join us Monday as we discuss Gov. Holcomb's plans to reopen Indiana businesses and Monroe County's extended Emergency Health Declaration.

May 1, 2020

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Stylists And Barbers Ready To Make The Cut

Our City Limits series has been flooded with questions about hair - when will salons reopen? What guidelines will they have to adhere to and how will they ensure their clients safety?

April 30, 2020

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Not Just A Statistical Error: Why COVID-19 Has Gripped A Small Indiana County

Given its rural setting and sparse population, one might think Decatur County and southeastern Indiana are unlikely places for a COVID-19 outbreak.

April 29, 2020

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Despite Cloth Mask Support, Effectiveness Is Unclear

Medical experts generally recommend wearing a cloth mask to help slow the spread of coronavirus when going outside your home. But people also want to know how effective wearing homemade masks actually is.

April 28, 2020

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Do I Have To Wear A Mask And Rubber Gloves In Public?

With the safety recommendations from the CDC and the ISDH changing so rapidly, a reader wrote into our City Limits: Coronavirus series wondering if she had to wear a mask and rubber gloves when she goes out in public.

April 27, 2020

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No, Pneumonia Vaccines Do Not Protect Against Coronavirus

Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

April 24, 2020

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Doctor's Orders Needed For Coronavirus Testing; Free Screenings Available, Too

The bottom line: If you want a coronavirus test, contact your health care provider with this state health department guidance in mind.

April 23, 2020

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Noon Edition: What's It Like To Work In Medicine During A Pandemic?

Join us this week as we talk about what it looks like to work in medicine during COVID-19.

April 23, 2020

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Local Officials, Economists And Businesses Weigh In On 'Stay At Home' Order

As talk of reopening the economy begins, listeners have been sending questions to City Limits about how it should be handled—and if the discussion is happening too soon. City officials, business owners, and economic experts weigh-in.

April 22, 2020

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What Are Delivery Services Doing To Protect Their Workers?

The local franchise of delivery.com has partnered with Cardinal Spirits to provide drivers with hand sanitizer.

April 21, 2020

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What's The Projected Opening Date For The New Hospital?

With Gov. Eric Holcomb deeming construction essential business, Shockney says he and other IU Health officials wanted to keep day-to-day operations as normal as possible.

April 20, 2020

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A Not So Restful Night's Sleep: COVID-19 Stress Dreams

Since the pandemic began, people have been reporting more vivid dreams and overall better memory of their dreams. Share with us how COVID-19 has affected your dreams.

April 20, 2020

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Wearing A Fabric Face Mask In Public? Here's How To Wash It Correctly

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing clothes with detergent and according to manufacturer instructions is sufficient. You should use the warmest possible water settings wherever possible.

April 17, 2020

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How Can I Help Out During The Pandemic?

People are continuing to look for ways to help, as social distancing continues and COVID-19 continues to affect the community.

April 16, 2020

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What's The City Doing About Social Distancing At Seminary Park?

One reader had concerns about congregations of people around Seminary Park in Bloomington and the Kroger next door and wanted to know what the city was doing about the lack of social distancing there.

April 16, 2020

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What Happens With Funerals During The Pandemic?

Part of the stay-at-home order limits gatherings in the state to 10 people or fewer. Funerals in Albany, Georgia, turned that city into one of the country’s worst coronavirus hotspots in March. All this led one of our viewers to ask – what happens with funerals now?

April 15, 2020

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Helping Hands And Pitching In: Local Efforts To Spread Cheer Amid Coronavirus

"The hope that this is going to end someday in the not-too-distant future is precisely what will get me through to the other side": here's how two local residents are making their own silver linings amid the pandemic.

April 14, 2020

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Yes, You Can Still Travel Outside Indiana — If You Have To

Discouraging travel is one of the main ways we can reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, which is expected to peak this month in Indiana.

April 13, 2020

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Warmer Weather Not Expected To Change Behavior Of Coronavirus

A questioner to City Limits: Coronavirus wondered if there was evidence to support that possibility: “When the weather warms is the virus expected to decrease?” Experts say, probably not.

April 10, 2020

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Monroe County Public Library Physical Locations Closed, Online Services Available

The Monroe County Public Library’s physical locations are closed until further notice, but that doesn’t mean all of its services are off-limits.

April 9, 2020

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Indiana Correction Officials Outline COVID-19 Precautions

Since the middle of March, inmates entering the Monroe County Jail in Bloomington have been monitored for any signs of sickness.

April 8, 2020

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Coronavirus And Spring Yard Work: Are Greenhouses Considered Essential?

Multiple City Limits question-askers were concerned about large groups of people shopping at Mays Greenhouse on the south side of Bloomington.