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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, July 24, 2021

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Saturday, July 24, 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.

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

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities.  

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota marked a notable shift during a pandemic in which coronavirus dashboards have become a staple for Americans closely tracking case counts and trends to navigate a crisis that has killed more than 600,000 people in the U.S. 

In Nebraska, the state actually stopped reporting on the virus altogether for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the official virus emergency, forcing news reporters to file public records requests or turn to national websites that track state data to learn about COVID statistics. The state backtracked two weeks later and came up with a weekly site that provides some basic numbers.

Other governments have gone the other direction and released more information, with Washington, D.C., this week adding a dashboard on breakthrough cases to show the number of residents who contracted the virus after getting vaccines. Many states have recently gone to reporting virus numbers only on weekdays. 

VA offers walk-in J & J vaccines in Marion Saturday

The VA Northern Indiana Health Care System will host two walk-in Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinics the next two Saturdays, July 24 and 31, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Marion and Fort Wayne campuses. 

Marion Campus
1700 E 38th Street
Marion, IN 46953

Fort Wayne Campus
2121 Lake Ave.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Veterans, spouses and caregivers are welcome.

To find testing sites around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

Hoosiers age 12 and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine; individuals younger than age 18 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only. To find a vaccination clinic near you, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted at most sites.

Mobile vaccination clinics are planned on the following schedule:

Today, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.:
Rolling into Roanoke
126 N. Main St., Roanoke, IN 46783

Purdue student wins equivalent of a year's tuition after signing up for school's vaccine lottery

Incoming freshman Quentin Betts became the first of ten Purdue students to receive word on Friday that he'd struck gold - Boiler gold - as part of the school's vaccine incentive lottery.

Mascot Purdue Pete held up a large Old Golden Ticket with $9,992 printed on it, the equivalent of one year's tuition at Purdue.

RELATED: Purdue University to award nearly $10K to 10 fully vaccinated students

Purdue announced the drawing a few months ago as another way to encourage students to get vaccinated. At last report, 60% of incoming students had been fully vaccinated.

Tim Doty, Purdue's director of media and public relations, said, "the more people we know are vaccinated, the more we know people are upholding the Protect Purdue pledge."

All students had to do was submit proof of vaccination to be part of the drawing.

Other lottery winners should be notified in the next two weeks.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 34.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 6 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 610,720 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 193.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.14 million deaths. More than 3.8 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.

RELATED: Track vaccinations in your ZIP code

Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases. Police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants. 

The unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying signs calling for “freedom” and “the truth.” There was a heavy police presence in Sydney, including mounted police and riot officers in response to what authorities said was unauthorized protest activity. Police confirmed a number of arrests. 

New South Wales Police said it recognized and supported the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, but the protest was a breach of public health orders.

Marion County releases school guidance

The Marion County Public Health Department released guidance for the 2021-2022 school year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The health department is recommending cohorting students, 3-foot social distancing, and mask-wearing for students and staff who are not vaccinating. Masks are also recommended for anyone with underlying health conditions, regardless of vaccination status.

MCPHD is also recommending students and staff who are close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case quarantine for 10 days unless they are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of a positive coronavirus case will only need to quarantine if they develop symptoms. 

In line with federal law, all individuals riding on buses must wear face coverings.

The county is still encouraging all eligible Hoosiers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit ourshot.in.gov to find a vaccine site. The vaccine is free and available to everyone 12 or older. IU Health is providing free transportation to and from vaccine appointments. Get a ride by calling 1.888.IUHEALTH and choosing option 9.

Pop-up vaccine clinic offering free, month-long IndyGo pass

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is teaming up with IndyGo in encouraging Hoosiers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Anyone who gets vaccinated at the pop-up clinic on Friday, July 30 at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center (201 E. Washington St.) from 2-6 p.m. will get free access to IndyGo buses for one month.

No registration is required to get vaccinated at the pop-up clinic.

All participants will receive a free 31-day IndyGo paper pass at the clinic immediately following their vaccination. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines will be offered and are available to anyone 18 years of age and older.