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.
Kroger providing free non-surgical N95 masks
Kroger will help provide free, non-surgical N95 masks as part of its partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Customers will be able to visit Kroger stores with a pharmacy to pick up complimentary masks while supplies last. Kroger anticipates getting the masks on Thursday.
Up to three masks will be available to every customer while supplies last. Customers should look for a branded display or ask an associate for help finding it.
The Indiana Department of Health reported 10,164 new positive cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. There have been 1,569,850 positive cases in Indiana since the start of the pandemic.
The state reported an additional 134 people died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 20,167.
IDOH reported 2,540 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The total number of people vaccinated in Indiana is now at 3,628,923.
There were 4,644 booster doses administered Monday, bringing the total number to 1,643,166.
Pfizer opens study of COVID shots updated to match omicron
Pfizer has begun a study comparing its original COVID-19 vaccine with doses specially tweaked to match the hugely contagious omicron variant.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced the study on Tuesday.
COVID-19 vaccine makers have been updating their shots to better match omicron in case global health authorities decide the change is needed.
The new U.S. study is enrolling up to 1,420 healthy adults, ages 18 to 55, to test the updated omicron-based shots for use as a booster or for primary vaccinations. Researchers will examine the tweaked vaccine’s safety and how it revs up the immune system in comparison to the original shots.
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 5 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.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 71.70 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 868,500 deaths recorded in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 355.02 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 5.60 million deaths and more than 9.83 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.
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.
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.