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Indiana coronavirus updates for Monday, February 22, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, Feb. 22.

INDIANAPOLIS — 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 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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Governor directs flags to half-staff

Gov. Eric Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff in memory of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

Flags should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset Friday, Feb. 26 as per the President's proclamation.

Meijer vaccine clinics

Meijer is planning to launch COVID-9 vaccine clinics across the state this week. The company believes it will be able to vaccinate 17,000 Hoosiers by Sunday.

The retailer said the doses will go to Indiana residents 65 years and older who have pre-registered through the company’s vaccine registration process.

Meijer will receive doses from the CDC directly for use in Indiana. The retailer will hold 64 vaccine clinics at stores throughout the state, including several large-scale clinics where Meijer pharmacy teams will vaccinate up to 1,200 people in a single day.

Meijer had already been providing vaccine clinics at 13 of its stores around Indiana.

ISDH update

The state is reporting 824 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 656,358 since the pandemic began.

Indiana's death toll from coronavirus now stands at 11,982 after 35 additional deaths were added on Monday.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 28.13 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 2:30 a.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 498,000 deaths in the U.S. 

Worldwide, there have been more than 111.36 million confirmed cases with more than 2.46 million deaths and 62.83 million recoveries.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

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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.

Biden to mark nation crossing 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

President Joe Biden will mark the U.S. crossing 500,000 lives lost from COVID-19 with a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House.

The nation is expected to pass the grim milestone on Monday, just over a year after the first confirmed U.S. fatality due to the novel coronavirus.

The White House said Biden will deliver remarks at sunset to honor those who lost their lives. He will be joined by First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will participate in the moment of silence and lighting ceremony.

Biden has made a point of recognizing the lives lost from the virus. His first event upon arriving in Washington for his inauguration a month ago was to deliver remarks at a COVID-19 memorial ceremony.

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.

Fauci said of virus levels and vaccinating the public, "when it goes way down and the overwhelming majority of people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable saying ... we don't need to have masks."

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