While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for January 15

Coronavirus

January could set a grim precedent. December was the deadliest month for COVID-19 in Indiana and hospitals worry January will be bad as well. In the last month and a half, the state has seen about 35 percent of its total COVID-19 deaths.

More than 2,300 Hoosiers died of COVID-19 in December. As of Thursday, coronavirus has killed more than 660 Hoosiers in January.

At Indiana University Health, more than double the number of patients died of coronavirus in December in comparison to November.

“So far, we have had 88 in January in the first 14 days so we are on track, and hopefully that won’t happen, but we are worried about another 200 death month at IU Health,” said Dr. Paul Calkins, Associate Chief Medical Executive for IU Health.

Fishers Health Department offers immediate standby list for vaccinations. Every dose of vaccine is critical to combating the spread of the coronavirus. It’s why the Fishers Health Department has created an immediate standby list for people willing to rush to get the shot.

“Every facility has to use their doses in increments of ten, but the appointments don’t always end in a factor of ten,” explained Fishers Public Health Director Monica Heltz. “Once you puncture the vial, you have to use everything in that vial in six hours, or you have to throw it away.”

If someone misses their appointment or is showing symptoms of the virus, that leaves them with leftover vaccine. Recently, the health department put out a COVID vaccine survey.

“It’s meant to be a list, so we can have active communication with anybody who is interested,” said Heltz. “So we can be the ones to actively notify them that their turn has come for the vaccine.”

So far, roughly 17,000 people have responded to the survey. Inside is a questionnaire for people who want to be on standby for the vaccine. Standby priority goes according to the state’s recommendations for risk factors. It takes into account aspects such as age, demographics, or if your job has an increased risk of infection.

Major sporting events set to continue as Marion County is declared red. After this week’s update from the Indiana State Department of Health, nearly 80% of the state’s counties have turned red on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map.

The map currently shows 73 counties in red, denoting high community spread, and 19 in orange, which denotes moderate to high community spread.

Marion County is one of the latest counties to turn red on the state’s map, but large scale sporting events are still being given the green light.

“The change to ‘red’ does not impact the current public health order/restrictions for Marion County as of now and how we approve events that fall into that category,” said a spokesperson with the Marion County Health Department.

A national cheerleading competition called JamFest is still scheduled for this weekend despite the rise in warning levels. An estimated 500 teams from across the country are expected to fill the Indiana Convention Center this weekend.

Biden to deliver details of expanded vaccine plan today. President-elect Joe Biden will detail his COVID-19 vaccine administration plan on Friday, his transition team said in a press release.

Biden will deliver his remarks at 3:45 p.m. ET in Wilmington, Delaware.

Per NBC News, the Trump Administration finally began delivering critical COVID-19 vaccination data to the Biden team on Thursday.

Biden’s team has previously said it hopes to vaccinate 100 million people in the first 100 days of his presidency.

In the days leading up to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, Biden has been slowly unveiling his plans for the U.S.

Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. On a parallel track, it would deliver another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic, said aides who described the plan ahead of a speech by Biden on Thursday evening. 

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