While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for June 17

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments you may have missed overnight in the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a look:

Unvaccinated Hoosiers and new cases. Unvaccinated Hoosiers make up over 99% of COVID-19 cases in the state, including a large number of hospitalizations. 

The Indiana Department of Health reports the odds of a fully-vaccinated individual being hospitalized with COVID-19 are 1 in 50,000.

The odds of being hospitalized without vaccination is 1 in 525 people.

Health experts say that statistic shows just effective the vaccine is in protecting you against COVID-19.

Still, a large number of Hoosiers haven’t gotten their vaccine.

“The vast majority of people who are getting COVID right now and are hospitalized are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Shaun Grannis, vice president of data & analytics at the Regenstrief Institute.

Shelby County fair. As more and more Hoosiers become vaccinated against COVID-19, we’re seeing the state’s daily infection rates against the virus fall, giving way to a rise in life feeling a bit more normal.

Carnivals, county fairs and all sorts of summer activities are returning and one in Shelby County has found a way to bring the fun while fighting to end the pandemic. 

“It’s critical. I think it’s critical for people who want the vaccine. We’re gonna be available at as many places and times that we can to make sure everybody is immunized that want it,” Shelby County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Sandra Hall said. “Anybody who wants it, we just wanna make it available to em.”

You may think it odd to find vaccines among vendors at the fair… but for Hall the decision was a win win.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we continue to have more activities like this and more fairs and more gatherings by doing the vaccinations here where many people will see,” Hall said. “It’s exciting because we’ve had a year and half of just everybody’s gotten, their whole lives have been turned upside down and to see their turnouts and to see people having fun and getting together again, it’s exciting.”

Tool for Child Tax Credit. The IRS unveiled a new online tool to help low-income families register for Child Tax Credit checks, which are due to hit bank accounts in less than a month.

The tool allows eligible people who aren’t required to file taxes due to low income to provide the IRS the basic personal information – including name and Social Security number – needed to calculate and issue their Advance Child Tax Credit payments.

This tool is an updated version of the one used last year to help non-filers register for the batch of $1,400 stimulus checks. People can also use the tool to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for stimulus money they may have previously missed out on.

Both the monthly checks and the total benefit have changed from last year, when the full credit was typically applied at tax filing time. This year, families who claim the Child Tax Credit will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child between 6 and 17 years old at the end of 2021. They will receive $3,600 per qualifying child, under age 6 at the end of 2021. Those benefit amounts will be reduced for high-income earners.

NFL loosening restrictions. The NFL is almost back to business as usual — for vaccinated players.

The NFL and NFL Players Association have updated COVID-19 protocols to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated players and to encourage others to get the vaccine.

Unvaccinated players must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren’t permitted to use the sauna or steam room and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling.

Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions, according to a memo sent to teams on Wednesday that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Media access to the press box, field and sidelines, locker room and postgame interview room will be available only to media members who are fully vaccinated.

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