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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021

The latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Saturday'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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Expanded COVID-19 testing

The Indiana Department of Health is partnering with Gravity Diagnostics to increase free COVID-19 testing across the state.

Gravity will provide the staff and supplies needed to collect and analyze up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day, including rapid antigen and PCR tests. The increased testing could lead to an additional 45 sites around the state.

Part of the agreement will allow for voluntary testing in schools. Gravity will coordinate with schools directly to determine their interest in testing. Details are still being finalized on how the testing in schools will work.

Testing sites will be posted at www.coronavirus.in.gov and at https://gravitydiagnostics.com/covid-19-testing-drive-thru-locations/.

Unions split on vaccine mandates, complicating Biden push

Labor unions are divided over vaccine mandates. The split has become more significant after President Joe Biden announced his plan to require federal workers to get inoculated and private companies with more than 100 employees to get them vaccinated. 

Several prominent unions have praised Biden's plan. But some unions have pushed back. Police and firefighter unions have fought hard against mandates in cities. Some federal unions have objected to Biden's mandate for U.S. government workers. 

Experts say they are taking different approaches because the labor movement represents workers of all political persuasions.

Businesses keeping close watch on Biden's vaccine mandate plan 

President Joe Biden's plan to mandate that large companies require their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 will impact businesses in central Indiana.

So far in the state, several major employers have already announced vaccine mandates for workers. IU Health, Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics and Ascension St. Vincent are among those that announced requirements before the president announced the federal mandate.

Other businesses, like the Cyrus Place Event Center downtown, say they are leaving the decision on whether or not to get vaccinated up to individuals for now.

"If they make it a law, yes, but if they don't make it a law, I think I'm going to leave it up to the client to see what they want to do," said Cyrus Jafari.

13News also reached out to Lucas Oil Stadium ahead of the Indianapolis Colts game Sunday. A spokesperson said it's up to event organizers, but so far there has been no discussion of policy changes since Biden's announcement.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 40.86 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 659,000 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 223.85 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.61 million deaths. More than 5.63 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.

This weekend's mobile vaccine clinics in central Indiana

Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
Trinity Lutheran Church
8540 E. 16th St., Indianapolis