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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, March 6, 2021

Public health officials say the arrival of Johnson & Johnson's new vaccine made mass vaccinations possible.

INDIANAPOLIS — 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 select groups through Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Here's everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

ISDH update

The state is reporting 1,243 new COVID-19 cases. That brings the total number of Hoosiers to have confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 666,516. 

There were also an additional 36 deaths bringing the death toll to 12,299 Hoosiers.

To date, there have been 8,212,940 total COVID-19 tests administered with a 3.2 percent positivity rate in the last 7 day period.

Day 2 of IMS vaccine clinic

A mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will vaccinate 4,200 people a day for four days. 

Saturday is the second day of vaccinations at IMS. 

Public health officials say the arrival of Johnson & Johnson's new vaccine made mass vaccinations possible.

The demand for the J&J vaccine is greater than expected. Appointments filled up so quickly, health officials added a fourth day. That day then filled up before it was officially publicized.

The vaccination clinic at IMS runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. but again, you must already have an appointment scheduled.

Senate works through night with virus aid on path to passage

The Senate worked through the night and past sunrise Saturday on Democrats' showpiece $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill after a deal between leaders and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin on emergency jobless benefits broke a logjam that had stalled the package.

The compromise, announced by Manchin, D-W.Va., and a Democratic aide late Friday and backed by President Joe Biden, cleared the way for the Senate to begin a marathon series of votes on amendments before eventual approval of the sweeping legislation. The bill then would return to the House, which was expected to give it final congressional approval and send it to Biden to sign.

RELATED: Third stimulus check: Potential timeline for $1,400 direct payments

Meijer opens COVID-19 vaccine to Indiana teachers

Meijer announced Friday it is preparing to vaccinate 10,000 teachers across the state. The move comes after a strong effort to prioritize educators getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana.

The retailer will have a dozen clinics administer more than 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of next week to Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers and school staff who preregister. 

Those workers will need to verify their school affiliation on Meijer's registration website before receiving a vaccine. They can also register by texting "ISTA" to 75049 or visiting a Meijer pharmacy in person. 

Appointments for the second dose will be made when teachers and school staff receive their first dose.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 28.89 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 11 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 523,000 deaths in the U.S. 

Worldwide, there have been more than 116.2 million confirmed cases with more than 2.58 million deaths.

The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.

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.