INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday'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.
Carmel City Hall reopening
Carmel City Hall will reopen to the public and employees on April 12. Staffing will gradually be increased until it is fully staffed by May 3.
People visiting city hall will need to have a temperature check at the door. People who have been vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks.
“Based on the numbers we have seen in Carmel and Hamilton County, and the guidance we have received from the Governor’s office, we feel it is time to carefully return employees and visitors to City Hall,” said Mayor Jim Brainard. “I appreciate our city employees’ dedication and extra effort to continue serving the citizens and businesses of Carmel through this challenging time. I also want to thank the community for their patience, understanding and perseverance as we focused on keeping our community safe and moving forward. We recognize that it will take some time to fully transition out of our cautionary practices, but with the rising numbers of Hoosiers being vaccinated and lower number of serious illnesses in our local hospitals, we feel that Carmel is ready to begin the process of reconnecting.”
Employees who are not fully vaccinated must consent to COVID testing and have a negative test result within three days prior to return.
Carmel will continue to offer live-streaming and videos of public meetings on the city’s website and social media. Visitors can also watch those proceedings in person.
The state is reporting 30,699 more people have been fully vaccinated in Indiana. That brings the total fully vaccinated to more than 1.3 million people.
The state also reported 1,397 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths. The state's death toll since the start of the pandemic is now 12,710.
US jobless claims increase to 744K
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims have declined sharply since the virus slammed into the economy in March of last year. But they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic erupted, weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week.
For the week ending March 27, 3.7 million people were receiving traditional state unemployment benefits, the government said. If you include supplemental federal programs that were established last year to help the unemployed endure the health crisis, a total of 18.2 million are receiving some form of jobless aid the week of March 20.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 30.92 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 559,000 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 133.13 million confirmed cases with more than 2.88 million deaths and 75.68 million recoveries.
The actual 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.
Nearly quarter of Hoosiers 16 and up are fully vaccinated
State health officials say nearly a quarter of Indiana residents age 16 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard showed Wednesday that a total of 1,291,190 Hoosiers — or 23.7% of Indiana’s residents who are at least 16 — have been fully vaccinated. Another 1,827,696 first doses of vaccine have been administered statewide.
The CDC reports nearly one-in-four adults across the country have been fully vaccinated with one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
The data shows that at least 24.9% of U.S. adults have now been fully vaccinated.
According to the agency's data, at least 19.4% of the total population in the United States has been fully vaccinated, with either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States.
For those above the age of 65, the data shows that at least 57.4% have now been fully vaccinated.
Notre Dame opening vaccine clinic for students beginning Thursday
The University of Notre Dame announced it will open a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus Thursday, April 8.
In a letter to students, faculty, and staff, President Rev. John I. Jenkins said the university would receive enough Pfizer doses to fully vaccinate every student — undergraduate, graduate and professional — before the end of the spring semester.
Although faculty and staff will be able to make appointments for the campus clinic, they are encouraged to visit other locations listed on ourshot.in.gov. Students are encouraged to get vaccinated on campus.
The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday all students will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccination beginning with the fall 2021 semester.
University executive officers sent a letter to the campus community Wednesday, saying the requirement is a "new and important addition to our health policies." The school will allow for medical and religious exemptions.