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.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 70.21 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 6 a.m. Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 864,560 deaths recorded in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 346.61 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 5.58 million deaths and more than 9.77 billion vaccine doses 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.
At-home test hotline open
The hotline to order your free at-home COVID tests from the government is finally up and running.
The hotline is open from 8 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week and offers assistance in more than 150 languages.
Call 800-232-0233 to order.
As is the case with orders online, people who place orders for at-home tests by phone will need to provide their names and home addresses. No credit card or health insurance is required.
IDOH Friday update
The Indiana Department of Health reported 2,874 more Hoosiers were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday morning. The total number of people vaccinated in Indiana now stands at 3,620,906.
There were 6,888 booster doses administered Thursday, bringing the total number given in Indiana to 1,622,131.
The state also reported 95 additional deaths that occurred between Aug. 13, 2021, and Thursday, which brings the state's death toll to 19,992. There were 17,684 new cases of COVID recorded, though some of those results dated back to Jan. 8. More than 1.52 million Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID since the pandemic began.
Marion County delays jury trials' return amid COVID-19 cases
The resumption of jury trials has been pushed back in Indiana’s most populous county after officials say about 90 court employees tested positive this month for COVID-19.
The Indianapolis Star reports that court officials in Marion County, the home of Indianapolis, announced Thursday that jury trials would resume “with a phased-in approach” starting Jan. 31.
Earlier this month, the courts announced that all jury trials would be reset to dates after Jan. 21 amid a statewide surge driven by the fast-spreading COVID-19 omicron variant.
About 90 court staff, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, have now tested positive for the virus since Jan. 3.
Booster shots needed against omicron, CDC studies show
They are the first large U.S. studies to look at vaccine protection against omicron, health officials said.
The papers echo previous research — including studies in Germany, South Africa and the U.K. — indicating available vaccines are less effective against omicron than earlier versions of the coronavirus, but also that boosters significantly improve protection.
Click here to read more on the three studies' findings.