INDIANA, USA — This is a weekly blog with daily updates on COVID-19 numbers, COVID vaccine and other related content across Indiana for the week of Feb. 22, 2021. Governor Eric Holcomb does a live briefing at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Sunday, Feb. 28
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 736 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday.
With 17 additional deaths the occurred between Jan. 18 and Friday, Indiana has now lost 12,142 people to the virus.
As of Sunday, 992,727 Hoosiers have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 565,722 are fully vaccinated.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.
Saturday, Feb. 27
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 897 additional cases of COVID-19 among Hoosiers Saturday.
With 27 additional deaths that occurred between Nov. 27, 2020 and Friday, Indiana has now lost 12,125 people to the virus. Another 431 probable deaths have been reported to the state in patients who died with no positive test on record.
As of Saturday, 981,769 Hoosiers have received a first dose of vaccine, and 552,241 are fully vaccinated.
To schedule, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.
Friday, Feb. 26
ISDH confirms 963 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 660,071 since the pandemic began. Health officials said there were 33 new virus-related deaths which bring the state total to 12,098 since March.
Hoosiers who are struggling to find an open vaccine appointment might be able to get additional access with the help of new mobile units from the Indiana State Department of Health.
The units, operated by ISDH with support from the Indiana National Guard, were deployed to 10 counties where nearly all available vaccine appointments were booked for several weeks in order to provide additional access.
Thursday, Feb. 25
Indiana health officials report 1,109 additional cases bringing the total confirmed cases to 659,127.
There were 26 new COVID-related deaths which bring the death toll to 12,065 Hoosiers since March.
Wednesday, Feb. 24
Indiana is reporting 1,019 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and state leaders provided an update on vaccination efforts and the COVID-19 response.
While numbers are down, the state is still concerned about the number of deaths which were 215 in the past seven days. Gov. Holcomb said he would extend the executive order on the pandemic for another 30 days.
The governor is hoping when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets approved, the state will be able to dramatically increase vaccinations and speed up getting the state back to normal.
The state has received the delayed vaccine due to the winter weather last week and is receiving its weekly allotment on schedule. On Tuesday, the state opened up vaccinations to Hoosiers 60 and older. Around 112,000 people 60-64 have already registered for the vaccine, which is a quarter of all people in that age group in Indiana.
If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets approved, the state said it could start receiving doses as early as next week.
The state also said that it would remove first doses of vaccine from clinics breaking state guidelines on who receives it. Second doses will be provided to complete vaccinations of people using the clinics. The state will issue doses to other locations in the county for people to get vaccinated until the clinic can come into compliance.
The state also has 16 cases of the United Kingdom variant, which current vaccines show protection against.
Around 480,000 Hoosiers are now fully-vaccinated and the state is receiving about 250,000 doses per week.
Ten mobile units will be administering the vaccine starting Thursday in Bartholomew, Clinton, Dearborn, Green, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Randolph, Scott and White counties. Scheduling an appointment at those mobile sites can be done by calling 211 and going to ourshot.in.gov.
The Homebound Hoosier program is working to get the vaccine to individuals not able to otherwise get the vaccine. The vaccine is administered by EMS providers across the state. More than 1,200 homebound Hoosiers have already registered for the program. To register, contact your local Area Agency on Aging at 800-986-3505.
The state's positivity rate is 4.1 percent which is a drop from 4.7 percent last week.
Hospitalizations are now below 900, which are the lowest numbers since September. The state said 39 counties are now in blue. Only 10 counties are in orange and none are in red.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said several clinics across the state have ignored eligibility guidelines and won't receive any more first-dose shots. She didn't elaborate on where those clinics are.
Tuesday, Feb. 23
Officials reported 716 new COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths Tuesday, bringing statewide totals to 657,037 cases and 12,025 deaths.
The state's positivity rate for all tests is 4.1%, while the rate for unique individuals is 10.9%.
More than 459,600 Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated.
Monday, Feb. 22
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is reporting 824 new positive cases of COVID-19, 35 additional deaths.
Since the pandemic began, A total of 656,358 Hoosiers have tested positive.
According to ISDH, 11,982 people in the state have died from virus-related complications.
National COVID-19 updates
There have been more than 28.13 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 498,000 deaths in the U.S.
Biden to mark nation crossing 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
Monday, at 6 p.m. - President Biden is holding a remembrance ceremony for the half-million people who have died from coronavirus-related complications.
Biden is on a path to attain his goal of 100 million vaccination shots in 100 days, but now faces the challenge of vaccinating eligible adults by summer's end.
Dr. Fauci: Americans could possibly need to wear masks into 2022
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, made some encouraging yet cautious projections Sunday, while still urging Americans to stay vigilant about virus mitigation behaviors as localities try and vaccinate as many people as possible.
On CNN, Fauci said that he could see Americans still needing to wear masks going into 2022, yet stressed that we can expect to see a significant improvement in normalcy by the end of 2021.