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Indiana coronavirus updates for Monday, Oct. 18, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, Oct. 18, 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.

RELATED: Here's everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

RELATED: Eligible Hoosiers can sign up for Pfizer’s booster shot, but not everyone needs to

Indiana crosses 1 million mark in COVID-19 cases

The Indiana State Department of Health has recorded the state's 1 millionth case of COVID-19. In numbers reported Monday, 701 more Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 1,000,163 through midnight Sunday.

The state also reported one additional deaths from COVID-19 since the last update on Friday. Indiana has lost 15,771 residents since the pandemic began.  

ISDH reported another 8,928 Indiana residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Monday morning. The total number of Hoosiers now considered fully vaccinated is 3,337,984.

ISDH recorded another 14,943 booster doses, with that total now at 235,088 booster doses administered to Indiana residents.

Marion County offering at-home COVID-19 testing challenge

Marion County is encouraging residents in targeted ZIP codes to test themselves for COVID-19 on a regular basis to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge provides access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that people can administer at home.

If residents use the tests twice a week, regardless of symptoms, they can share their results and take a survey to earn up to $35 in gift cards.

The target ZIP codes were identified by the Marion County Public Health Department based on their high rates of COVID-19 cases, lower-than-average rates of vaccination and a concentration of essential workers. 

Eligible ZIP codes 

46222, 46201, 46218, 46208, 46224, 46235, 46202, 46241, 46203, 46226, 46204, 46205, 46227, 46221, 46219, 46225, 46260, 46229, 46254, 46107, 46216, 46240, 46268

The test packages contain four kits, with eight tests total. One person can take two tests per week, for four weeks. Individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for the challenge. But anyone over the age of 2 is welcome to participate. The testing challenge lasts for at least a month, or until all tests are used.  

Quidel, the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors' offices in the United States, also makes the tests for the MCPHD challenge.

Marion County residents can log on to COVIDhometestindy.org to order test kits for doorstep delivery. Test kits will also be available for pickup locally at the following locations:  

  • MCPHD Northeast District Health Office: 6042 E. 21st St.
  • MCPHD Action Health Center: 2868 Pennsylvania St.
  • MCPHD Northwest District Health Office: 6940 N. Michigan Road
  • MCPHD Hasbrook Building: 3838 N. Rural St.

Click here for more information about the Say Yes! COVID Test Program.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 44.93 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 724,000 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 240.66 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.89 million deaths. More than 6.61 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.

Vaccine clinics at Indianapolis library branches resume this week

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available at the Indianapolis Public Library’s Martindale-Brightwood Branch, located at 2435 N. Sherman Drive, and the College Avenue Branch, located at 4180 N. College Ave.

These two COVID-19 vaccination sites are operating on the same weekly schedule:

  • Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Clinics are closed on Sunday and Monday

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all available.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, and no appointment is needed. 

Face masks are required for visitors while inside library buildings.

Japan having surprising success against COVID-19

Almost overnight, Japan has become a stunning, and somewhat mysterious, coronavirus success story.

Daily new COVID-19 cases have plummeted from a mid-August peak of nearly 6,000 in Tokyo, with caseloads in the densely populated capital now routinely below 100, an 11-month low.

Some possible factors in Japan's success include a belated but remarkably rapid vaccination campaign, an emptying out of many nightlife areas as fears spread during the recent surge in cases, a widespread practice — well before the pandemic — of wearing masks and bad weather in late August that kept people home.

But with vaccine efficacy gradually waning and winter approaching, experts worry that without knowing exactly why cases have dropped so drastically, Japan could face another wave like this summer, when hospitals overflowed with serious cases and deaths soared — though the numbers were lower than pre-vaccination levels.