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Indiana coronavirus updates for Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Wednesday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana.

Registrations for the vaccine are now open for Hoosiers 12 and older through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Here's everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

US plans to require COVID-19 shots for foreign travelers

The Biden administration is taking the first steps toward requiring nearly all foreign visitors to the U.S. to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, a White House official said Wednesday.

The requirement would come as part of the administration's phased approach to easing travel restrictions for foreign citizens to the country. No timeline has yet been determined, as interagency working groups study how and when to safely move toward resuming normal travel. Eventually, all foreign citizens entering the country, with some limited exceptions, are expected to need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S.

Holcomb resists Indiana mask mandate as virus variant spikes

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has not imposed a mask mandate inside state buildings despite federal guidance that masks should be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status. 

The number of Indiana counties approaching high risk for community spread of COVID-19 is also surging. The Republican also says he won't reinstate a statewide mask mandate or other restrictions, instead leaving such decisions to local officials.

A spokesperson for the governor told The Journal Gazette that masks are not required in state government buildings or for state employees. 

Holcomb also isn't following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation himself. He attended an indoor event in Hancock County without a mask on Tuesday.

Global cases hit 200 million

Global COVID-19 infections have now surpassed 200 million confirmed cases, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. This milestone comes as countries deal with ongoing surges caused by the delta variant and others. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, coronavirus infections around the globe had reached at least 200,014,602 cases by Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins. The delta variant has continued to threaten areas of the world where vaccination rates have remained low.

Martin University to clear debt for more than 200 students

Martin University is making a big move to help its students affected by the pandemic who are also struggling with past-due account balances.

The Indianapolis-based university announced it will clear past-due account balances for more than 200 students. The university hopes this move will help provide "much-needed relief" to students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monroe County requiring masks in indoor public places beginning Thursday

Monroe County is requiring everyone to wear masks indoors in public places again, regardless of vaccination status, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases from the contagious delta variant.

A spokesperson with the Monroe County Health Department confirmed with 13News the mandate goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 5 at 8 a.m. ET.

Indiana University is also instructing all students, employees and visitors to wear a mask indoors in coordination with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health. 

The recommendation applies to all IU campuses, including IUPUI, all regional campuses, IUPUC, and IU Fort Wayne.

ISDH update

The Indiana State Department of Health reports 14 more deaths from COVID-19 and an additional 1,774 cases. The death toll in Indiana from coronavirus is 13,610.

The state also reported another 4,597 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,963,081 Hoosiers.

This week's mobile vaccination clinics in central Indiana

Today and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon:
Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
19000 Grand Park Blvd., Westfield, IN 46074

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.:
Statehouse Market
430 Robert D. Orr Plaza, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Thursday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
Red Gold Orestes
120 E. Oak St., Orestes, IN  46063

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
Block Party at Flanner House
2424 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., Indianapolis, IN  46208

Patients with an appointment at a state-hosted public vaccination site can get a free Uber or Lyft ride. Call 2-1-1 or (866) 211-9966 to receive a voucher to cover the cost of an Uber ride to and from your vaccination appointments. IU Health offers free Lyft rides to any vaccine site in the state. Call 1.888.IUHEALTH (888-484-3258) and choose option 9 if you need transportation to your vaccine appointment.

Olympics Latest: Russian karate athlete positive for COVID

A Russian athlete competing in karate has been ruled out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Russian Karate Federation says on Instagram that Anna Chernysheva will not be able to compete and that her positive test was confirmed by a second test.

The 19-year-old was the Russian Olympic Committee team’s only karate athlete at the Olympics. She was due to compete Thursday in the women’s 55-kilogram kumite event on the first ever day of Olympic karate competition. It’s a new sport on the program in Tokyo.

Olympic organizers also say Algerian weightlifter Walid Bidani has withdrawn from the men’s over-109-kilogram event Wednesday “due to health situation which requires him to undergo quarantine.” The statement doesn’t mention the cause. Bidani won gold at the African championships in May.

China's worst virus outbreak in a year grows, 1 city sealed

China’s worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic a year and a half ago has escalated with dozens more cases around the country. One city is being sealed off and local officials blamed for lax pandemic measures will be punished. 

Since the initial outbreak was tamed last year, China’s people lived virtually free of the virus, with extremely strict measures stamping out small flareups. Now, the country is on high alert as a cluster of cases caused by the delta variant touched at least 17 provinces. 

After a hotspot grew from one city near a famed scenic area, officials issued an order that no one, whether tourist or resident, could leave.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 35.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 614,295 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 199.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.24 million deaths. More than 4.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.

RELATED: Track vaccinations in your ZIP code

South Africa quickens vaccine drive, gets more doses from US

Hitting its stride after a faltering start, South Africa’s mass vaccination campaign gave jabs to 220,000 people a day last week and is accelerating toward the goal of 300,000 per day. 

With large deliveries of doses arriving and some vaccines being assembled domestically, South Africa appears on track to inoculate about 35 million of its 60 million people by the end of the year. 

Across Africa, less than 1.5% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated. After starting with just a dozen vaccination sites, South Africa now has more than 3,000.