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Indiana coronavirus updates for Monday, Sept. 13, 2021

The latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.

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 Hoosiers 12 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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Indiana hospitals strained for ICU space amid latest surge

Indiana hospitals continue to take the brunt of a statewide surge in infections and hospitalizations spurred by the more contagious delta variant. 

The state Health Department's latest report showed that hospitals around the state were treating 2,631 patients for COVID-19 as of Sunday — up more than six times for the state's level of about 400 patients a day in early July. Statewide, just nearly 83% of all ICU beds are occupied. 

Dr. Chris Weaver, an emergency medicine physician and senior vice president of clinical effectiveness for IU Health, said that while last winter's surge has taught hospitals to more quickly convert rooms to accommodate critical care patients, ICUs are "full and capacity is tight."

Indiana health officials announce COVID-19 testing expansion

The Indiana Department of Health has announced that Indiana will increase free COVID-19 testing across the state through a partnership with Gravity Diagnostics. 

The state health department says that under the partnership, the Kentucky-based company will provide staff and supplies needed to collect and analyze up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day, including rapid antigen and PCR tests. 

The testing operation is expected to come together in a matter of weeks and have the ability to expand to up to 45 sites, if needed. 

The agreement also offers the option to provide voluntary testing in K-12 school settings statewide, although details are still being finalized.

ISDH daily update

The Indiana State Department of Health reported that another 16,038 residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Monday morning. The total number of Hoosiers now considered fully vaccinated is 3,169,433.

ISDH also reported Monday that another 2,349 Hoosier have tested positive for COVID-19. No more deaths from the virus were reported Monday. Indiana has lost a total of 14,391 residents since the pandemic began.

Eskenazi Health partners with churches on vaccine clinics

Eskenazi Health will partner with Eastern Star Church, Resurrection Community Church, New Direction Church and Purpose of Life Ministries on COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

September Vaccine Event Dates and Times:

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021
    Location: New Direction Church, 5330 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46205
    Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
    Location: Resurrection Community Church, 2502 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46218
    Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

October Vaccine Event Dates and Times:

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021
    Location: Eastern Star Church – CARE Center, 5719 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. 46218
    Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021
    Location: New Direction Church, 5330 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46205
    Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
    Location: Resurrection Community Church, 2502 E.38th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46218
    Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021
    Location: Purpose of Life Ministries, 3705 W. Kessler Blvd. N. Dr., Indianapolis, Ind. 46222
    Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

November Vaccine Event Dates and Times:

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021
    Location: Purpose of Life Ministries, 3705 W. Kessler Blvd. N. Dr., Indianapolis, Ind. 46222
    Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 40.95 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 1 a.m. Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 659,900 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 224.62 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.63 million deaths. More than 5.67 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

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.

CDC study shows unvaccinated more likely to die of COVID-19

New U.S. studies released Friday show the COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and death even as the extra-contagious delta variant swept the country.

One study tracked over 600,000 COVID-19 cases in 13 states from April through mid-July. As the delta variant surged in early summer, those who were unvaccinated were 4.5 times more likely than the fully vaccinated to get infected, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die, according to research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Vaccination works,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director, told a White House briefing Friday. “The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic.”

Biden's vaccine rules to set off barrage of legal challenges

President Joe Biden’s sweeping new vaccine requirements have Republican governors threatening lawsuits. His unapologetic response: “Have at it.”

The administration is gearing up for another major clash between federal and state rule. But while many details about the rules remain unknown, Biden appears to be on firm legal ground to issue the directive in the name of protecting employee safety, according to several experts interviewed by The Associated Press.

“My bet is that with respect to that statutory authority, they’re on pretty strong footing given the evidence strongly suggesting … the degree of risk that (unvaccinated individuals) pose, not only to themselves but also unto others,” said University of Connecticut law professor Sachin Pandya.

Republicans swiftly denounced the mandate that could impact 100 million Americans as government overreach and vowed to sue, and private employers who resist the requirements may do so as well. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called it an “assault on private businesses" while Gov. Henry McMaster promised to "fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.” The Republican National Committee has also said it will sue the administration “to protect Americans and their liberties.”

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The White House is gearing up for legal challenges and believes that even if some of the mandates are tossed out, millions of Americans will get a shot because of the new requirements — saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus.

Biden is putting enforcement in the hands of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is drafting a rule “over the coming weeks,” Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Friday. He warned that “if a workplace refuses to follow the standard, the OSHA fines could be quite significant.”