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Indiana coronavirus updates for Monday, May 16, 2022

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Monday, May 16, 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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CDC confirms 1 million US deaths

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 1 million, less than 2 1/2 years into the outbreak. The figure is based on data kept by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

That is a once-unimaginable figure that only hints at the multitudes of loved ones and friends staggered by grief and frustration. 

The number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to the number of Americans who died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if the populations of Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out. 

Some of those left behind say they cannot return to normal. They replay their loved ones’ voicemail messages. Or watch old videos to see them dance. When other people say they are done with the virus, they bristle with anger or ache in silence.

“'Normal.' I hate that word,” said Julie Wallace, 55, of Elyria, Ohio, who lost her husband to COVID-19 in 2020. “All of us never get to go back to normal.” 

Three out of every four deaths were people 65 and older. More men died than women. White people made up most of the deaths overall. But Black, Hispanic and Native American people have been roughly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as their white counterparts.

RELATED: 1 million COVID deaths in US put into perspective

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 82.47 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 11 a.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 999,600 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 521.56 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.26 million deaths and more than 11.4 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.

Kim blasts pandemic response as North Korean outbreak surges

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has blasted officials over slow medicine deliveries and ordered his military to respond to the largely undiagnosed COVID-19 crisis that has left 1.2 million people ill with fever and 50 dead in a matter of days. 

More than 560,000 people are in quarantine due to the fever. Eight more deaths and nearly 393,000 newly detected fevers were reported Monday. It's not known how many were COVID-19 since North Korea likely lacks enough test kits. 

It’s also not clear if North Korea’s urgent messaging about the outbreak indicates a willingness to receive outside help. It has shunned vaccines from a U.N.-backed program. 

China and South Korea say they're willing to help but indicated North Korea hasn't requested any.

South Africa in new surge of COVID from versions of omicron

South Africa is experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 cases driven by two omicron sub-variants, according to health experts.

For about three weeks the country has seen increasing numbers of new cases and somewhat higher hospitalizations, but not increases in severe cases and deaths, said Professor Marta Nunes, a researcher at Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

“We're still very early in this increase period, so I don’t want to really call it a wave,” Nunes said. “We are seeing a slight, a small increase in hospitalizations and really very few deaths.”

South Africa's new cases have gone from an average of 300 per day in early April to about 8,000 per day this week. Nunes says the actual number of new cases is probably much higher because the symptoms are mild and many who get sick are not getting tested.

South Africa's new surge is from two variations of omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, which appear to be very much like the original strain of omicron that was first identified in South Africa and Botswana late last year and swept around the globe.

Some Shanghai businesses to reopen Monday

Shanghai officials say they will allow some businesses to reopen Monday, even while it remains unclear whether residents will be able to leave their homes. Those businesses include supermarkets, agricultural markets and restaurants. 

City residents are waiting cautiously to see how the new measures will actually play out. Although the city’s official total lockdown began at the end of March, many have been stuck in their homes for longer. 

Shanghai officials have previously said the city of 25 million people would reopen in a limited way, only for restrictions to return even as cases wane.

Residents who have been allowed to return to work are put into a “closed loop” system similar to the one used for the Olympics. That means they cannot return home but have to live on-site.

China reported 1,718 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with the vast majority being infections without symptoms. 

Back to normal? Cannes Film Festival prepares to party

After the 2020 Cannes Film Festival was canceled by the pandemic and the 2021 edition was scaled back — even kisses were forbade on the red carpet — the lavish French Riviera cinema soiree is set to return with a festival that promises to be something like normal. 

Or at least Cannes’ very particular brand of normal, where for 12 days formal wear and film mingle in sun-dappled splendor, standing ovations stretch for minutes on end and director names like “Kore-eda” and “Denis” are spoken with hushed reverence. 

This year's festival, which starts Tuesday, features the star power of Tom Cruise, a splashy new Elvis Presley biopic and a long-list of world-renown auteurs.

Air Force cadets may not graduate due to vaccine refusal

Four cadets at the Air Force Academy may not graduate or be commissioned as military officers later this month because they have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, and they may be required to pay back thousands of dollars in tuition costs, according to Air Force officials. 

The Army and Navy said that, as of now, none of their seniors are being prevented from graduating at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., or the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, due to vaccine refusals. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last year made the COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for service members, including those at the military academies, saying the vaccine is critical to maintaining military readiness and the health of the force.

The graduations are scheduled to occur in the next two weeks.

US 'vulnerable' to COVID without new shots

The new White House COVID-19 coordinator is issuing a dire warning. He said in an Associated Press interview that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments. 

Dr. Ashish Jha said in the interview Thursday that Americans’ immune protection from the virus is waning, the virus is adapting to be more contagious and booster doses for most people will be necessary — with the potential for enhanced protection from a new generation of shots.

"As we get to the fall, we are all going to have a lot more vulnerability to a virus that has a lot more immune escape than even it does today and certainly than it did six months ago,” Jha said. "That leaves a lot of us vulnerable.”

Jha predicted that the next generation of vaccines, which are likely to be targeted at the currently prevailing omicron strain, “are going to provide a much, much higher degree of protection against the virus that we will encounter in the fall and winter." But he warned that the U.S. is at risk of losing its place in line to other countries if Congress doesn't act in the next several weeks.

Biden urges world to renew COVID fight as US nears 1 million deaths

 President Joe Biden appealed to world leaders on Thursday for a renewed international commitment to attacking COVID-19 as he led the U.S. in marking the approaching “tragic milestone” of 1 million deaths at home from the virus. He ordered flags lowered to half-staff and warned against “complacency” around the globe. 

“This pandemic isn’t over,” Biden told the second global pandemic summit. “Today, we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States, 1 million COVID deaths — 1 million empty chairs around the family dinner table."

The coronavirus has killed more than 999,500 people in the U.S. and at least 6.2 million people globally since it emerged in late 2019, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Biden issued a proclamation Thursday directing that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through sunset on Monday to honor those who lost their lives to the virus.

The president called on Congress to provide more funding for testing, vaccines and treatments, something lawmakers have been unwilling to deliver so far.

The lack of funding — Biden has requested another $22.5 billion of what he calls critically needed money — is a reflection of faltering resolve at home that jeopardizes the global response to the pandemic.

Eight months after he used the first such summit to announce an ambitious pledge to donate 1.2 billion vaccine doses to the world, the urgency of the U.S. and other nations to respond has waned.

2nd COVID-19 booster shot available to Hoosiers 50 and up

The Indiana Department of Health announced Wednesday that Hoosiers age 50 and older, as well as those 12 and older with weakened immune systems, are now eligible to receive a second mRNA COVID-19 booster shot at least four months after their first booster dose.

The announcement comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for that age group and and certain younger people with severely weakened immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later recommended the extra shot as an option but stopped short of urging that those eligible rush out and get it right away.

The IDOH is advising vaccine providers that they can begin administering second boosters of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to people who qualify.

The CDC also says that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose of either mRNA vaccine.

You can find a vaccine location at ourshot.in.gov or by calling Indiana 211 (866-211-9966). Appointments are recommended, but many sites do accept walk-ins.

Marion County COVID-19 vaccination and test clinics continue

The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and testing to anyone interested in receiving these services.

MCPHD is operating one COVID-19 testing site, which is a drive-thru clinic located at 3838 N. Rural St. in Indianapolis.

The clinic's current hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This clinic offers PCR testing only and no rapid testing. A list of additional test sites registered with the Indiana Department of Health is available at coronavirus.in.gov.

Appointments for COVID-19 testing at the MCPHD location are not required but are available by visiting marionhealth.org/indycovid or calling 317-221-5515.

MCPHD is also offering COVID-19 vaccines at its district health offices, ACTION Health Center, and four other locations in Marion County. Appointments for vaccines are not required but are recommended. 

Please visit ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to find a vaccination clinic.

Marion County clinic schedule

  • Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
    Mondays: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    Tuesdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Eagledale Plaza Health Office, 2802 Lafayette Road
    Tuesdays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Northwest District Health Office, 6940 N. Michigan Road
    Thursdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • ACTION Health Center, 2868 N. Pennsylvania St.
    Wednesdays: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Martindale-Brightwood Public Library Branch, 2435 N. Sherman Drive (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • College Avenue Public Library Branch, 4180 N. College Ave. (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • East 38th Street Public Library Branch, 5420 E. 38th St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • IndyGo Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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