INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Monday'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 select groups 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.
IU commencement Friday
Indiana University and its regional campuses will host nine, in-person commencement ceremonies beginning Friday. They will be for both 2021 and 2020 graduates.
All ceremonies will be held outside, and attendance will be limited to graduates only.
Here is the list of commencement ceremonies by campus:
- IU Bloomington: Graduate ceremony May 7, undergraduate ceremony May 8
- IU Southeast: May 10
- IU Kokomo: May 11
- IU South Bend: May 12
- IU Northwest: May 13
- IU East: May 14
- IUPUI: May 15
- IUPUC: May 15
State adds 9K fully vaccinated, reports 1 additional death
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 9,015 more people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Monday morning. The state's total number of individuals in the state who have received either the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines now stands at 1,942,376.
ISDH reported one more person has died from the virus. That death occurred Saturday and brings Indiana's official mortality total from COVID-19 to 12,938. An additional 412 people died with COVID-19 symptoms but had no positive test on record.
Indiana recorded 812 new positive cases for the virus in the past 24 hours. In total, ISDH has recorded 723,442 positive tests since March 6, 2020.
Face masks still required at Indiana casinos
Gamblers will have to keep wearing face masks inside Indiana’s casinos at least through the end of May. Updated health guidelines issued by the Indiana Gaming Commission said operators of the 13 state-licensed casinos decided to keep the mask rule in place to stem COVID-19 spread even though Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted the statewide mask mandate as of April 6.
The casino rules require customers to wear masks except when eating, drinking or smoking while seated at a slot machine, bar or restaurant table.
US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Two White House officials say the U.S. trade representative will begin talks in the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping poorer countries from making their own generic version of critically needed COVID-19 vaccines.
The White House has come under pressure over the issue. White House chief of staff Ron Klain says trade representative Katherine Tai will be starting talks with the trade organization on ways to get the vaccine more widely distributed, licensed and shared.
Klain and national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration will have more to say on the matter in the coming days.
Russia lags behind others in its COVID-19 vaccination drive
Russia boasted last year of being the first country to authorize a coronavirus vaccine. But almost five months into its immunization campaign, Russia is lagging behind many nations in getting its population vaccinated.
Through April 27, only about 12.1 million people have gotten at least one shot and only 7.7 million, or 5%, have been fully vaccinated. That puts Russia far behind the U.S., where 43% have gotten at least one shot, and the European Union with nearly 27%.
The numbers cast doubt on whether Russia can achieve its ambitious goal of vaccinating more than 30 million people by mid-June and 69 million by August.
Devastating virus surge spreads impact into India's politics
India has recorded another 368,147 infections and 3,400 deaths as a catastrophic surge ripples through the country.
The update comes as political opposition parties and a New Delhi court push for more oxygen to be delivered to hospitals crippled by the latest surge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party faced resounding defeats in state elections over the weekend as his government faces criticism it left the health system unprepared for the surge and held massive rallies that may have spread the virus.
India has now confirmed 19.9 million cases of infection since the start of the pandemic, and more than 218,000 people have died.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 32.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3 a.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 577,000 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 152.8 million confirmed cases with more than 3.2 million deaths and 89.6 million recoveries.
The actual number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.
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.