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Indiana coronavirus updates for Thursday, March 10, 2022

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Thursday, March 10, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Thursday'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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IDOH daily update

The Indiana Department of Health posted new totals for deaths and new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The state added 10 deaths that occurred between Feb. 9, 2022 and Wednesday, pushing Indiana’s overall death toll for the pandemic to 22,225.

The state added 391 more Hoosiers to the total of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the updated number of cases in the state to 1,686,379. Reinfection cases now stand at 66,208.

US to ease nationwide mask mandate on transit next month

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is developing guidance that will ease the nationwide mask mandate for public transit next month, according to a U.S. official, but the existing face covering requirement will be extended through April 18.

The requirement, which is enforced by the Transportation Security Administration, had been set to expire on March 18, but was extended by a month to allow the public health agency time to develop new, more targeted policies. The requirement extends to planes, buses, trains and transit hubs.

According to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the announcement head of time, the CDC is developing a “revised policy framework” for when masks should be required on transit systems based off its newly released “COVID-19 community levels” metric.

IPS hosts immunization clinic at Crispus Attucks on Wednesday, March 16

Indianapolis Public Schools is hosting a Back on Track clinic at Crispus Attucks High School Wednesday, March 16, 2022 to allow children to update routine childhood vaccinations that were delayed or canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and HPV will be available, as well as flu shots and, for those age 5 and older, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

The event is open to everyone and will include free school supplies and raffles every 30 minutes for $50 gift cards from MDwise, which is partnering with IPS on the clinic.

Parents and caregivers should sign up online at: patients.vaxcare.com/registration (enter enrollment code IN65942, then select "Crispus Attucks 3/16").

Registration is encouraged but not required.

The clinic hours run from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Attucks High School, which is located at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Street on the near west side of Indianapolis.

Those needing a ride to the clinic may contact MDwise customer service at 800-356-1204.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 79.40 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 963,810 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 451.72 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.02 million deaths and more than 10.63 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.

Masks now optional at Children's Museum

Guests at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis now have the option to wear a mask indoors after a change that went into effect Wedesday, March 9.

Museum staff, volunteers, interns, contractors and vendors will still be required to wear face masks indoors. 

The museum said the change in its mask policy follows extensive consultation with its scientific advisory panel consisting of leading medical and public health officials.

Ahead of the outdoor Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience reopening on March 19, the Children's Museum will increase capacity limits to approximately 75%.

Franciscan Health adjusts visitation policies

With COVID-19 cases dropping in central Indiana and the number of patients hospitalized with the virus also on the decline, Franciscan Health is relaxing its visitor policies for the four medical campuses in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel.

The following policies went into effect at 9 a.m. Monday, March 7:

  • Patients will be allowed two visitors at a time during visiting hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. All ages are now permitted as visitors.
  • Active screening of visitors for COVID-like symptoms is being discontinued. Visitors should self-screen for COVID symptoms and only visit the hospital if symptom-free.
  • All visitors 2 and older are required to wear an unvented face mask. Visitors without an unvented mask will be provided one upon entering the hospital.
  • Visitors should continue to observe social distancing and practice good hand hygiene. 

The new policies were defined with input from the Franciscan Alliance leadership and guidelines from the CDC, Indiana Department of Health and Marion County Health Department.

Purdue to relax mask protocols in classes, research spaces Monday

Purdue University announced it will drop its mask mandate and move to mask optional beginning Monday, March 14. This means masks won't be required in classrooms or research spaces. 

However, the university did say masks will still be required in health care settings and where contractually required. Masks also continue to be required as part of the quarantine process for those infected or exposed to COVID-19.

The university's decision was made based on data showing declining COVID-19 cases, current CDC guidance and the high rate of vaccinations among the campus community. According to Purdue, the campus is now 90% vaccinated. 

Free vaccines and boosters will continue to be available at no cost at Purdue’s campus vaccine clinic. The university will also continue to provide free N95 and KN95 masks throughout campus.  

How to order more free COVID-19 test kits from US government 

The U.S. government is allowing Americans to order another round of free at-home COVID-19 tests.

The second round of orders allows two separate orders of an additional four tests, eight tests total, to be placed.

President Joe Biden announced the second round of orders will begin during his State of the Union address.

During the first round of orders back in January, 500,00 tests were available, but nearly half of those tests remain unclaimed.

To order the at-home tests, you can visit this USPS website starting next week and fill out the required information. All orders will ship completely free.

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 March clinic schedule

  • Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
    Mondays: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    Tuesdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Saturday, March 26 only, 8 a.m. - 12 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.
    Saturday, March 19 only: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Saturday, March 12 only: 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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