INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Monday'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 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.
Biden announces US sharing 20M additional COVID vaccine doses
President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. will share an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in the coming six weeks.
The doses would come from existing U.S. production of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks. It would mark the first time that U.S.-controlled doses of vaccines authorized for use in the country will be shared overseas, as domestic demand for the shots has dropped significantly in recent weeks.
The announcement comes on top of the Biden's administration’s prior commitment to share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the U.S., by the end of June. The AstraZeneca doses will be available to ship once they clear a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.
Biden is also tapping COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients to lead the administration's efforts to share doses with the world. The Biden administration has yet to announce how they will be shared or which countries will receive them.
To date, the U.S. has shared about 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada and Mexico. Additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine manufactured in the U.S. have begun to be exported as the company has met its initial contract commitments to the federal government.
Colts hosting another vaccine clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium
The Indianapolis Colts are partnering with Meijer to host another COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Those who received their first shot of the Moderna vaccine at the clinic on April 23 and 24 will be eligible to receive the second dose Friday, May 21 or Saturday, May 22. Meijer will send an automated reminder to check their vaccination card for their second appointment time.
Walk-up appointments for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days as well.
Parking is free in the South Lot, via Capitol Avenue.
Simon employees returning to work
The Simon Property Group headquarters in Indianapolis has employees returning to work in downtown Indianapolis.
Simon had about 450 of the 850 employees return to work in April. They were the employees with offices.
The balance of employees are returning this week, save a small number that will require special accommodations. There will also be a group that will work remotely a couple days a week.
Carmel self-defense school offering free classes for fully-vaccinated people
The School of Self Defense is encouraging Hoosiers to get fully vaccinated.
The school, located at 11495 N. Pennslyvania St. in Carmel, is offering two weeks of free adult self-defense classes to people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
There are 11 classes each week in four different martial arts styles.
The promotion runs from June through August. The School of Self Defense will require proof of vaccination to redeem the offer.
Click here for more information.
State reports 6,704 more people fully vaccinated, 6 deaths
The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 6,704 more people were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Monday morning. The new count puts Indiana above 2.3 million individuals who have now received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine (2,135,999) or the single dose Johnson & Johnson shot (169,948).
ISDH also reported six additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 that occurred between May 12 and Sunday. Indiana has now counted 13,069 confirmed deaths from the virus, along with 417 probable deaths in people who died with COVID-19 symptoms but had no positive test on record.
Indians expanding capacity at Victory Field to 50% in June
Victory Field will open to 50% capacity for Indianapolis Indians home games in June.
The Indians will play 12 home games from June 1-20 — six against the Columbus Clippers and six vs. the Memphis Redbirds.
Approximately 6,900 tickets will be available for each game.
Single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 24 at 10 a.m. Click here to purchase tickets.
According to the current Marion County Public Health Department order, face coverings will be required for all fans over the age of 2 years old. Fans may only remove masks when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat location.
Fauci says pandemic exposed 'undeniable effects of racism'
The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the United States says “the undeniable effects of racism” have led to unacceptable health disparities.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says those especially hurt African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans during the pandemic. Fauci spoke Sunday by webcast from Washington, to a graduation ceremony for Emory University in Atlanta.
He says many people in minority groups face obstacles starting at birth, including lack of an adequate diet and lack of access to health care. Fauci says correcting societal wrongs will take decades. He's urging the college graduates to be part of the solution.
CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is defending the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that she delivered the science as soon as it was available.
To date more than 156 million Americans, or more than 47% of the population, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 121 million are fully vaccinated.
Walensky cautioned that even with the new guidelines, it was still too early to declare victory, but added that she was cautiously optimistic about the pandemic.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 32.94 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 1:30 a.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 585,900 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide there have been more than 163 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.37 million deaths. More than 1.46 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
The actual 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.