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Indiana coronavirus updates for Sunday, February 21, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Sunday'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 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

ISDH update

The Indiana State Department of Health reports 888 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 more deaths.

Tp date, there's been 655,541 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the state and 11,947 deaths. 

Indiana lawmakers support allowing virtual board meetings

Indiana legislators are supporting proposals that would permanently allow members of local government boards to participate virtually in public meetings. 

Similar bills approved by the House and Senate would permit boards to adopt policies allowing members to vote virtually as long as they can be seen and heard. 

State and local government boards have generally been allowed to hold all-virtual meetings since last spring under COVID-19 public health measures issued by the governor. 

The bills in the General Assembly would require at least half of the board members to attend public meetings in person.

Rockies Ian Desmond opts out for 2nd straight season

Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced he is opting out for a second straight season. Desmond posted on his Instagram account that his desire to be with his family is greater than his desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. 

He said that, for now, he's going to train and watch how things unfold, leaving the door open for a possible return. 

The 35-year-old Desmond is in the final year of a five-year, $70 million deal he signed in December 2016. He is scheduled to make $8 million this season. Colorado has a $15 million option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.

Skateboard champion charged with organizing possible superspreader party in California

 A skateboarding world champion is among five people prosecutors in Southern California have charged with organizing parties that were possible superspreader events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Los Angeles Times reports Nyjah Huston, a four-time world skateboarding champion, and Edward Essa, the owner of a home in the Fairfax District, held a party last month with at least 40 people that was shut down by police after receiving a complaint.

Huston and Essa were both charged with creating a nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Neither could be reached for comment.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been nearly 28.01 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 497,600 deaths in the U.S. 

Worldwide, there have been more than 111.11 million confirmed cases with more than 2.46 million deaths and 62.67 million recoveries.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

RELATED: VERIFY: Are Indiana’s new COVID-19 case numbers inflated with multiple positive tests for the same person?

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.

RELATED: How will we know we've reached herd immunity?

RELATED: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

UK to lessen restrictions to nursing home visits

The British government has announced a small step out of lockdown -- allowing nursing home residents to have a single friend or family member visit them indoors.

Residents and their visitors will be able to hold hands, but not hug. The change takes effect March 8. For months, nursing home residents have only been able to see loved ones outdoors or through screens.

Scottish nursing home residents will be able to have two visitors starting on the same date.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will announce a “road map” out of lockdown on Monday. The government has stressed that reopening will be slow and cautious, with store reopenings or outdoor socializing unlikely before April, though children will go back to school, also on March 8.

Britain has had about 120,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest toll in Europe.