INDIANAPOLIS — Friday'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 Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
IPS returning to full in-person learning
Indianapolis Public Schools is returning to full in-person learning on April 5. The district alerted parents to the change on Friday.
The district said, after getting updated guidance from the Marion County Public Health Department, middle and high school students on the hybrid model will be able to return to a full-time schedule at their schools.
Students doing remote learning will be able to opt back in to in-person learning. Parents will just need to notify the school directly by March 12. Parents who choose in-person learning can switch their child to remote learning at any time during the remainder of the school year.
Families who remain in remote learning, or that opt-in for remote learning by March 12, will be required to remain there for the remainder of the school year.
The district does note that innovation school might follow a different plan. If a student attends an innovation school, parents are encouraged to reach out to the school directly.Meijer announces plan to vaccinate teachers
Meijer announced Friday it is preparing to vaccinate 10,000 teachers across the state. The move comes after a strong effort to prioritize educators getting the COVID-19 in Indiana.
Meijer is partnering with the Indiana State Teachers Association to open vaccine clinics in stores around the state to help make it easier for teachers and other school staff to get the vaccine.
The store will have a dozen clinics administer more than 10,000 doses by the end of next week to Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers who preregister. Teachers will need to verify their school affiliation on Meijer's registration website before receiving a vaccine. They can also register by texting "ISTA" to 75049 or visiting a Meijer pharmacy in person.
The state is reporting 879 new COVID-19 cases. That brings to 665,285 the number of Hoosiers to have confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
There were also an additional 32 deaths bringing the death toll to 12,263 Hoosiers.
Gov. Holcomb receives COVID-19 vaccine Friday morning
Gov. Eric Holcomb has received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IMS President Doug Boles; Paul Winters, father of U.S. Rep. Andre Carson; State Sen. Rodric Bray; State Rep. Robin Shackleford and State Sen. Greg Taylor were also vaccinated alongside Holcomb Friday morning.
The vaccinations took place prior to the opening of the vaccination clinic at 8 a.m.
Mass vaccination clinic at IMS begins Friday morning
The Indiana State Department of Health is hosting three mass vaccination clinics to help get as many qualifying Hoosiers vaccinated against COVID-19.
The vaccination clinics will be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration last week and is being shipped across the country.
The first vaccination clinic takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will be open Friday, March 5 through Monday, March 8 from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. each day. Participants are asked to enter through the main gate off 16th Street and remain in their cars for the vaccine.
All clinics require advance registration through ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. No walk-ups will be permitted.
Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg and the University of Notre Dame will host mass vaccination clinics later this month. Click here to see the full schedule.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 28.82 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. ET Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 520,000 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 115.61 million confirmed cases with more than 2.56 million deaths and 65.38 million recoveries.
The real 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.
White House: 98% of those who got 2nd stimulus check will get 3rd check
Roughly 98% of U.S. households that received a COVID-19 relief check in December or January will also qualify for the next round of payments being championed by President Joe Biden, according to a White House official.
Biden has said that Americans were promised $2,000 in direct checks, but only $600 was approved in December. The president views that promise as a cornerstone of his $1.9 trillion relief package pending in the Senate. His proposal offers $1,400 in additional payments that would quickly phase out based on income, so that money is better aimed at the middle class and poor.
Under the current Senate bill, the Biden administration estimates that 158.5 million households will receive direct payments, according to the White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations. The official stressed that almost everyone gets a check twice as large as in December, although 3.5 million households that received some payment from the $900 billion December package would no longer qualify.
The decrease is due to tighter limits in the Senate bill on who can receive checks. The Biden administration has wanted to honor the promise made to voters, but it also does not want to be viewed as sending money to the affluent.
Under the Senate bill, anyone earning up to $75,000 qualifies for the full $1,400 with the payment being cut off entirely at $80,000. Couples earning up to $150,000 also receive checks with the payments disappearing at an income of $160,000.