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Indiana coronavirus updates for Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.

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 5 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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Death toll tops 20K in Indiana

More than 20,000 Hoosiers have now died from coronavirus.

The Indiana Department of Health reported Monday that 20,033 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause of death since March 2020. The number reflects 41 more coronavirus-related deaths in Indiana since the state last updated its numbers on Friday, Jan. 21.

The state also reported 5,965 new positive cases of coronavirus Monday, bringing the state's total since March 2020 to 1,560,117 positive cases of COVID-19. 

Hospitalizations have continued to slowly decline in recent days, with 3,137 COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Sunday. That is down from a pandemic-high 3,506 patients reported on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Nearly 18 million (17,975,998) total tests have been administered to just under five million individuals (4,982,658) since Feb. 26, 2020.

The health department also reported Monday that 5,570 more Hoosiers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The total number of people vaccinated in Indiana now stands at 3,626,421.

FDA limits authorization on 2 COVID monoclonal antibody treatments due to omicron

COVID-19 antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because they are unlikely to work against the omicron variant that now accounts for nearly all U.S. infections, U.S. health regulators said Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it was revoking emergency authorization for both drugs, which were purchased by the federal government and given to millions of Americans with COVID-19 -- bamlanivimab and etesevimab, which are given together, and REGEN-COV. They remain authorized "only when the patient is likely to have been infected with or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments," the FDA said.

If the drugs prove effective against future variants, the FDA said it could reauthorize their use.

IU women's basketball game against Illinois postponed

The game between Indiana and Illinois on Thursday, Jan. 27 has been postponed due to COVID with the Illinois program.

Both teams and the Big Ten Conference are working to reschedule the game.

If the game cannot be played, it will count as a "no contest" for both teams.

Ticket holders will receive further information from the ticket office.

IU offering free N95 and KN95 masks to students, faculty and staff

Indiana University is distributing free N95 and KN95 masks to students, faculty and staff beginning Monday and continuing through early February, as supplies are available. 

The masks are available at designated locations across all IU campuses. 

The university said this expanded offering will be in addition to the surgical masks already available at most building entrances.

Aaron Carroll, IU’s chief health officer, said broader distribution of disposable masks was prompted by evolving guidance about masking, broader availability of masks from suppliers, and concerns with counterfeit N95 and KN95 masks in the marketplace.

“We encourage everyone to keep a mask supply at hand; this is simply an additional resource for the IU community,” he said.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 70.70 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 1:30 a.m. Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 866,500 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 351.40 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 5.59 million deaths and more than 9.80 billion vaccine doses administered.

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 administration to give away 400 million N95 masks starting this week

The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting this week, now that federal officials are emphasizing they're better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings.

The White House announced Wednesday that the masks will come from the government's Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly protective masks on hand. The masks will be available for pickup at pharmacies and community health centers across the country.

This will be the largest distribution of free masks by the federal government to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In early 2020, then-President Donald Trump's administration considered and then shelved plans to send masks to all Americans at their homes. President Joe Biden embraced the initiative after facing mounting criticism this month over the inaccessibility — both in supply and cost — of N95 masks as the highly transmissible omicron variant swept across the country.

New Zealand adds new COVID restrictions as omicron spreads

New Zealanders are set to face new COVID-19 restrictions after nine cases of the omicron variant were detected in a single-family that flew to Auckland for a wedding earlier this month. The so-called “red setting” of the country’s pandemic response includes heightened measures, such as required mask-wearing and limits on gatherings, and will go into effect on Monday. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Sunday that “red is not lockdown,” noting that businesses can remain open and people can still visit family and friends and move freely around the country. 

New Zealand had been among the few remaining countries to have avoided any outbreaks of the omicron variant.

NFL ends daily COVID-19 testing for all players

The NFL is curtailing daily testing of all players, vaccinated or unvaccinated, for COVID-19. In a memo sent to the 32 clubs and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said Friday that medical experts from the NFL and the players’ union agreed to the change. 

Those doctors said they have seen enough evidence of a decrease in positive tests in the last month to feel comfortable with dropping daily tests. Last month, weekly testing for vaccinated players and personnel was stopped, but anyone who reported symptoms of COVID-19 or was part of targeted surveillance still was subjected to testing.

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