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.
Pandemic-delayed surgeries share blame for blood shortage
Some hospitals are delaying or rescheduling surgeries because of a shortage of blood donations during the pandemic.
“We haven’t seen anything like this in about 30 or 40 years at least,” Dr. Vishesh Chhibber, director of transfusion medicine at UMass Memorial Health, told the Boston Globe.
Periodic, localized blood shortages are not uncommon, but this shortage is “unprecedented in its scope,” said Dr. Claudia Cohn, chief medical officer for the American Association of Blood Banks.
Officials point toward a number of factors including the typical summer drop in blood donations at a time when surgeries are increasing because of procedures that were postponed during the pandemic.
Nationwide, the Red Cross normally has a five-day supply of all types of blood, said Kelly Isenor, spokesperson for the Red Cross of Massachusetts,
Right now, the supply of the sorely needed type O blood would last only a half-day. “It’s going out faster than it’s coming in,” Isenor said.
ISU opts to encourage, but not mandate COVID-19 vaccine
Indiana State University will encourage but not require COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees when they return to the western Indiana school for the upcoming academic year.
ISU President Deborah Curtis announced Friday that COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandated, but employees and students will be asked to voluntarily submit proof of COVID vaccinations for the 2021-22 academic year.
The Tribune-Star reports that Curtis says ISU needs the vast majority of people on the Terre Haute campus to be vaccinated. She says that starting around July 1, employees will be able to upload proof of vaccination, and for students, it will begin Aug. 1.
15 months later, Radio City reopens with Dave Chappelle
Fifteen months after shuttering for the pandemic, New York's Radio City Music Hall reopened its doors Saturday for the Tribeca Festival premiere of a new Dave Chappelle documentary for a full-capacity, fully-vaccinated audience.
The debut of “Dave Chappelle: This Time This Place,” which chronicles Chappelle's pandemic stand-up series held in rural Ohio cornfields, marked the first time the hallowed midtown hall was yet again packed since closing in March 2020 — a shutdown that put a year-plus's worth of concerts on ice for easily the longest spell since the venue first opened in 1932.
The premiere Saturday evening was seen as a symbolic reawakening of the arts in New York, where many of the world's most famous stages — Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Broadway theaters — remain dark.
But after so many pandemic months of silence, that's quickly changing. On Sunday, Madison Square Garden will host its first full-capacity concert with the Foo Fighters. “Springsteen on Broadway” is set to resume performances on June 26.
Delta variant detected in Indiana
Health leaders announced the delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Indiana. As of Saturday, there were 97 cases of the variant, according to the state’s website.
They were found through sequencing, that’s when the state submits randomized samples to test for variants.
The delta variant is known to be a more dangerous strain of the novel coronavirus, especially for those who are not vaccinated. It can also spread more quickly.
“Every person that’s been hospitalized or have died recently from COVID-19, one thing we know about all of them, is they have been unvaccinated,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of Marion County Public Health Department.
Now with the delta variant, Dr. Caine says there is more of a need to ramp of vaccinations.
“It’s very contagious, 40 percent more contagious and we think it may be associated with more severe complications,” she said.
The most vulnerable to the variant, are people in their 20s and 30s, which is the same group with a low vaccination rate.
But health officials do believe the vaccine does provide immunity to this new strain.
FULL STORY: Delta variant of COVID-19 detected in Indiana
Amid pandemic, historic Indiana grain mill saw record year
A grain mill that opened more than 180 years ago in northern Indiana saw a sales boom during the pandemic after it opened a drive-through for customers eager to buy freshly milled grains.
The historic Bonneyville Mill in Bristol was closed to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, like many Indiana businesses. But staff at the 1830s mill just south of the Michigan border converted its original horse and wagon bay that farmers once used to deliver freshly harvested grain into a drive-through for automobiles.
The Elkhart Truth reports that allowed the mill to rack up its most profitable year on record for sales of freshly milled flour and other grains.
As Brazil tops 500,000 deaths, protests increase against president
Anti-government protesters have taken to the streets in more than a score of cities across Brazil as the nation’s confirmed death toll from COVID-19 soared past half a million. It's a tragedy many critics blame on President Jair Bolsonaro’s attempt to minimize the disease.
Thousands gathered Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, waving flags reading “Get out Bolsonaro.” Other marchers hoisted posters reading: “500 thousand deaths. It’s his fault."
Similar marches took place in at least 22 of Brazil’s 26 states. They were promoted by left-wing opposition parties who have been heartened by Bolsonaro’s declining poll ratings with next year’s presidential race looming.
Infections on the rise in Russia
Russia’s national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 17,906 new infections, more than double the daily tally from early June.
More than half of the new infections are in Moscow, where cases have tripled this month. The soaring case count has caused alarm among officials, who have increased measures to obstruct the spread.
Moscow, its outlying area and two other Russian regions this week ordered mandatory vaccinations for workers in retail, education and other service sectors. Moscow has closed food courts in shopping centers and restricted restaurants and bars in the capital to takeout orders from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Russians are widely resistant to vaccinations and only about 12% of the population has received a shot. Nearly 5.3 million cases have been reported in the country of 146 million, with 128,911 deaths, but experts consider both numbers undercounts.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 33.53 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 601,740 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 178 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.86 million deaths. More than 2.57 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.
Marion County vaccine tour, sweepstakes underway
The Marion County Public Health Department is going on tour to offer incentives to get residents vaccinated against COVID-19. The tour started Saturday, June 19. Pop-up clinics will come to meet residents where they are. Find the full schedule here.
The clinics will run through July 2. Any resident who gets vaccinated at one of the county's clinics or pop-up locations will get the chance to win prizes:
- A package of two Indianapolis Colts season tickets with a signed Peyton Manning rookie jersey
- Two half-season Indiana Pacers ticket packages, each also including a signed Domantas Sabonis 2020 All-Star jersey
- Indianapolis Indians clubhouse tickets and a jersey
- Tickets to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- A gift basket from the Indianapolis Zoo that includes a free membership
- Fun cards for pool admission at Indy Parks
There will be daily drawings for smaller prizes, while the winners of the larger items will be randomly selected after July 2. For more information about the sweepstakes, visit marionhealth.org/vaccinateindy.
Johnson Co. library to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics
The Johnson County Public Library is hoping a series of clinics will help as the number of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 begins to plateau.
The clinics will be held at the following locations, days and times:
Trafalgar Library Branch
- June 23, 2021: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- July 14, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Aug. 6, 2021: 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
White River Library Branch
- July 13, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Aug. 3, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Franklin Library Branch
- July 1, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- July 22, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The Pfizer vaccine will be given at all of the clinics and Spanish translators will be available.
If a person does not have transportation, Access Johnson County’s Demand Response service offers curb-to-curb service between their home and the clinic and back. The cost is as little as $4 each way. If a person can’t afford the fare, Access will waive the fare. To schedule a ride, call 317-738-5523.