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Indiana coronavirus updates: for Saturday, March 26, 2022

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Saturday, March 26, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Saturday'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 5 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.

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Clergy alliance sponsors vaccine clinic Saturday

The National Action Network of Indiana, the Baptist Minister’s Alliance and the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots and free testing to help fight the pandemic.  

A clinic is scheduled in Marion County on Saturday in a zip code on the east side that has been tremendously impacted.

As an incentive, sponsors will be giving away $50 gift cards to everyone that gets vaccinated or boosted while supplies last. 

Saturday's clinic will be held from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. while supplies last at Messiah Baptist Church at 5640 East 38th Street.

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Marion County COVID-19 vaccination and test clinics continue

The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and testing to anyone interested in receiving these services.

MCPHD is operating one COVID-19 testing site, which is a drive-thru clinic located at 3838 N. Rural St. in Indianapolis.

The clinic's current hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This clinic offers PCR testing only and no rapid testing. A list of additional test sites registered with the Indiana Department of Health is available at coronavirus.in.gov.

Appointments for COVID-19 testing at the MCPHD location are not required but are available by visiting marionhealth.org/indycovid or calling 317-221-5515.

MCPHD is also offering COVID-19 vaccines at its district health offices, ACTION Health Center, and four other locations in Marion County. Appointments for vaccines are not required but are recommended. 

Please visit ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to find a vaccination clinic.

Marion County March clinic schedule

  • Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
    Mondays: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    Tuesdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Saturday, March 26 only, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Eagledale Plaza Health Office, 2802 Lafayette Road
    Tuesdays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Northwest District Health Office, 6940 N. Michigan Road
    Thursdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • ACTION Health Center, 2868 N. Pennsylvania St.
    Wednesdays: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Martindale-Brightwood Public Library Branch, 2435 N. Sherman Drive (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • College Avenue Public Library Branch, 4180 N. College Ave. (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • East 38th Street Public Library Branch, 5420 E. 38th St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • IndyGo Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Kroger offering 'Test to Treat'

Kroger Health announced that its Little Clinics are participating in the Biden Administration’s “Test to Treat” initiative for patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. 

The service is available at all 225 locations in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Virginia.

If you visit a Little Clinic and test positive for COVID-19, you will receive their antiviral prescription, if clinically appropriate, which can be filled at a Kroger pharmacy. 

Patients can schedule a test at https://www.kroger.com/health/clinic and select, “COVID Viral Test (Test Active Infection)” as the reason for their visit.

The U.S. COVID-19 Therapeutic Locator provides additional information linked here.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 79.93 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 6 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 976,500 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 479 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.11 million deaths and more than 10.86 billion vaccine doses administered.

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.

Indiana COVID-19 hospitalizations drop to lowest in 2 years

Indiana’s steep decline in serious COVID-19 illnesses over the past two months has pushed hospitalizations for the illness to the lowest level in the state since the first weeks of the pandemic. 

State health department tracking shows the total COVID-19 patients at Indiana hospitals stood at 360 as of Tuesday, down about 90% from mid-January's peak of about 3,500. 

Indiana is now averaging about 10 COVID-19 deaths a day after the state's death rate topped 70 a day for much of January,  according to state health department tracking. 

The state health department has recorded more than 23,000 COVID-19 deaths over the past two years.

RELATED: Methodist Hospital COVID unit reflects on pandemic after two years

Experts worry about how US will see next COVID surge coming

Experts are watching for a potential new COVID-19 surge in the U.S. — and wondering how long it will take to detect. They say recent changes could hurt the nation's ability to see the beginning of a new wave. 

Those changes include how Americans are getting tests and a decision by federal officials to reduce the number of labs hunting for variants. 

Health officials are increasingly focusing on hospital admissions, which rise only after a surge has arrived. 

And a wastewater surveillance program remains a patchwork that cannot yet be counted on to fully understand coming surges.

“We’re not in a great situation,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Brown University pandemic researcher.

Scientists acknowledge that the wide availability of vaccines and treatments puts the nation in a better place than when the pandemic began, and that monitoring has come a long way. 

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