INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
HSE approves return to class
The Hamilton Southeastern school board approved a return to school plan Wednesday.
The plan calls for students in Pre-K through sixth grade to return to in-person instruction Monday-Friday, starting on Jan. 19. Students in grades 7-12 will move to a 50/50 hybrid schedule on that date.
According to the district's operations plan for a hybrid schedule, students with a last name starting with the letter A-K will attend in-person classes Mondays and Tuesdays. Those with a last name starting with L-Z will be in school Wednesdays and Thursdays.
State leaders give update
Gov. Eric Holcomb and state leaders are giving an update on Indiana's fight against COVID-19 as more Hoosiers become eligible to receive the vaccine. Watch live below or on Facebook.
Addressing the planned phases of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the plan would remain unchanged. She said the state's main goal is the reduce the number of deaths and strain on hospitals. She said vaccinating older individuals first is the best way to do that.
ISDH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said nearly 60,000 Hoosiers age 70-79 had signed up to receive the vaccine since Wednesday morning when registration for 70+ Hoosiers opened.
US COVID-19 deaths hit another one-day high at over 4,300
Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. hit another one-day high at over 4,300 with the country's attention focused largely on the fallout from the deadly uprising at the Capitol.
The nation's overall death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000. Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million.
The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 3,686 new cases for a total of 574,119.
There are also an additional 59 COVID-19 deaths bringing the total to 8,790 since the start of the pandemic.
70+ Hoosiers now eligible for vaccines
Hoosiers age 70 and older are now able to schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations. The Indiana State Department of Health made the announcement Wednesday morning.
Eligible Hoosiers can schedule their shots at ourshot.in.gov by following these steps:
- Click on the link in the red box near the top of the page that says "Click here to find a vaccination site."
- Select the county you live in.
- Select a vaccine clinic available in your county.
- Select the blue link that says "Click here to register."
- Select the group you belong to (People 70 years or older), and enter your date of birth.
- Certify that you are 70 years or older.
- Click "Schedule an appointment."
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 22.84 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 380,000 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 91.62 million confirmed cases with more than 1.96 million deaths and 50.66 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.
Airline passengers to US must get negative COVID-19 test first, CDC says
As new, more transmissible variants of the new coronavirus have emerged, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require anyone flying to the United States to test negative for COVID-19 starting Jan. 26.
"With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public," the CDC said in a statement.
The CDC says passengers headed to the U.S. must get a viral test within three days before departure, and it is recommended they get tested again three to five days after arrival and stay home for at least seven days.
Passengers must provide written or electronic documentation of their negative test to the airline. Those who refuse to do so must be denied boarding, the CDC says.
US-Canada border closure extended to Feb. 21
The U.S.-Canada border will remain closed until at least Feb. 21, 2021, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.
Trudeau said that nonessential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border will remain banned. Canada and the U.S. agreed to the ban in March 2020 and have renewed it monthly ever since.
The move comes, again, as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike in the states.
Trudeau also said Tuesday that Canada has an agreement with Pfizer to buy an additional 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. Agreements with Moderna and Pfizer alone mean Canada will now have 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arriving this year, Trudeau said.
“We are on track to have every Canadian who wants a vaccine receive one by September,” Trudeau said.