INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
Marion County update. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is expected to deliver an update on the county’s response to the pandemic.
He will be joined this afternoon by Marion County’s Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine for a live presser.
Fans at Indy 500. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway says the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held with up to 40% of venue capacity permitted.
IMS says that totals approximately 135,000 fans. Officials say the plan has been approved by the Marion County Public Health Department after consultation with state and local health officials.
Face coverings will be required and enforced throughout the venue, as well as temperature checks administered upon public gate entry.
200 million shots goal reached. On Wednesday the President announced his administration met the goal of 200 million shots in American arms one week ahead of his first 100 days in office.
“Today we did it,” President Biden said “The time is now to open up a new phase of this historic vaccination effort.”
To reach more Americans President Biden is asking all US employers to give paid time off to get vaccinated.
Appeal for pandemic orders. Should a local health department be able to override local elected officials during a pandemic? A bill at the Indiana statehouse says no.
Senate Bill 5 only pertains to times of declared public emergencies like the one we are in now.
Those in favor of it say the legislation will stand the test of time but those against it fear it will stand in the way of safety.
Right now, in Indiana, unelected local health department officials have the power to shut down businesses if they aren’t following pandemic safety measures. We’ve seen it happen across the state and some lawmakers have a problem with it.
J&J vaccine factory report. The Baltimore factory contracted to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was dirty, didn’t follow proper manufacturing procedures and had poorly trained staff, resulting in contamination of material that was going to be put in the shots, said U.S. regulators.
The Food and Drug Administration released a statement and a 13-page report detailing findings from its recent inspection of the now-idle Emergent Biosciences factory.
Agency inspectors said a batch of the bulk drug substance for J&J’s single-shot vaccine was contaminated with material used to make COVID-19 vaccines for another Emergent client, AstraZeneca. That batch, reportedly enough to make about 15 million J&J vaccine doses, had to be thrown out.