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Indiana coronavirus updates for Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Wednesday'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.

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ISDH daily update

The Indiana State Department of Health reported nearly 1,200 more coronavirus cases Wednesday than in the day prior as the delta variant surges. In the last month, the delta variant of COVID-19 has accounted for 99.6% of samples. 

On Wednesday state health officials reported 2,773 new positive cases of COVID-19, a sharp increase from the 1,630 new cases reported Tuesday. 

There were also 32 more deaths. To date, Indiana has recorded 991,460 positive cases and 15,616 deaths from the virus.

Hospitalizations continue to decline. On Wednesday, there were 1,708 patients being treated for COVID-19 in Indiana hospitals. That's compared to 2,687 one month ago.

The state also reported 3,916 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated, bringing the total to 3,321,588.

Indiana's COVID-19 vaccination pace falls to lowest level

Indiana’s pace of COVID-19 vaccination shots has fallen to its lowest level since the shots became available last winter. 

The state health department’s tracking shows Indiana giving about 6,000 shots a day through last week. That's about half the rate from early September, even as the state continues to lag behind the national vaccination rate and Indiana’s pandemic death toll has topped 16,000 people. 

Former state health commissioner Dr. Richard Feldman said he was concerned that the falling vaccination pace will leave too few people immunized, allowing COVID-19 to “smolder and smolder and smolder” through the population. 

Indiana's fully vaccinated rate of 49% is the country's 14th lowest.

As of Wednesday morning, 3,317,833 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 44.56 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. Wednesday according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 716,000 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 238.71 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.86 million deaths. More than 6.51 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.

Fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed across US border starting in November

The U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.

Senior administration officials previewed the new policy late Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to speak ahead of the formal announcement. 

Biden vaccine order on large employers moves closer to enforcement

The Biden’s administration’s mandate that employers with 100 or more workers require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus testing has moved one step closer to enforcement.

On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalized the initial draft of the emergency order and sent it to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. That’s according to the Department of Labor.

OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will conduct a standard review of the regulation.

Officials did not immediately provide an estimate for the OMB examination. The agency has 90 days to review the rule or send it back to OSHA for revision. Text of the proposed order won’t be published until OMB completes its review.