INDIANAPOLIS — Monday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Hogsett requesting additional funding for COVID-19 programming
Tonight, the City-County Council will consider a funding package that aims to provide continued funding for critical programs addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on Indianapolis’ most vulnerable populations.
The majority of the money will fund additional shelter capacity and services for individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as a continuation of the city’s contact tracing and rental assistance programs.
So far, the city’s non-congregate shelter site has served nearly 300 residents. Over 550 residents have been served between two winter contingency overflow shelters. Since the start of the rental assistance program, over 15,800 households have received funding.
Utilizing the $168 million allocation of CARES Act funding, the City of Indianapolis has spent more than $33 million for residential rental assistance.
New virus strain hits Indiana
The Indiana State Department of Health announced Monday a new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified in Indiana. It's the same variant as the strain identified in the United Kingdom last fall.
The strain was identified through ISDH and CDC testing labs. It's not believed to cause more severe symptoms, but it is more easily spread.
"It's common for viruses to mutate, and we are seeing that occur with COVID-19," said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. "Because this strain of the virus can be transmitted more easily, it's more important than ever that Hoosiers continue to wear their masks, practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene and get vaccinated when they are eligible."
ISDH daily update
The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 3,726 more cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths. In all, Indiana has recorded 567,338 total cases of the virus and 8,643 confirmed deaths.
There are an additional 373 probable deaths that doctors believe were due to COVID-19, but the patients didn't have positive COVID test results on file.
The state has administered 6,140,884 tests to 2,762,573 Hoosiers since the start of the pandemic.
From Dec. 29 to Jan. 4, the positivity rate for all tests was 16.5 percent for all tests and 28.4 percent for unique individuals.
Fishers to use old Marsh for vaccination clinic
The City of Fishers is working to convert an old Marsh store into a COVID-19 mass vaccination site.
The city says crews began cleaning out the old store near 116th and Brooks School road over the weekend.
Pending state approval, city officials hope to have the location up and running by Jan. 18.
First vaccine given at Hamilton County fairgrounds
An 86-year-old woman from Fishers was the first resident to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds Monday.
The health department said 160 people are expected to receive vaccines Monday.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 22.4 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 374,000 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 90.27 million confirmed cases with more than 1.93 million deaths and 49.99 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.
Hamilton County Health Department to begin vaccinating 80 and older Monday
The Hamilton County Health Department will begin vaccinating people older than 80 years of age starting Monday, Jan. 11. Those who fall into this age group can register for an appointment starting at 9 a.m. Friday at www.ourshot.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1.
"We know that in Indiana, age is the biggest contributor to severe disease and death from COVID-19. This age group alone accounts for 52 percent of the state's virus-related deaths," said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Chief Medical Officer for the State Department of Health, during a news conference last Wednesday.
The Hamilton County Health Department is expected to receive 800 doses of the vaccine. It will administer the shots at the Annex Building at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Caregivers with a loved one who is 80 or older can register on their behalf. Individuals can also call 2-1-1 for help with transportation. Vaccines are free but if you have insurance, you should provide that information upon registration.
All recipients must prove they live or work in Indiana.
Once those older than 80 years of age are vaccinated, the Indiana State Department of Health will open vaccination registration to people between the ages of 70-79, followed closely behind by people ages 60-69.
Aria Diagnostics same-day COVID test results available Monday
Aria Diagnostics announced it now has new technology that allows them to process PCR COVID-19 tests and have results by 8 p.m. the same day.
According to Aria, it's now the only private lab able to provide full PCR test results that quickly outside a hospital in Indiana.
The test will be available beginning Monday, Jan. 11 at the lab's Fishers location at Cornerstone Lutheran Church, 13450 E 116th St. The testing site is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Testing is by appointment only and costs $165. Book appointments online at ariadxs.com.
Possible COVID-19 exposure for lawmakers sheltering during riot
House lawmakers may have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 while they sheltered at an undisclosed location during the Capitol siege by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.
The Capitol's attending physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named.
Dr. Brian Moynihan wrote that "many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours" on Wednesday. He said "individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection."
Dozens of lawmakers were whisked to the secure location after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol that day, breaking through barricades to roam the halls and offices and ransacking the building.
Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.
No further details were provided on which person has tested positive for the virus.