While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for June 2

Coronavirus

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

Here’s a look:

Hospital vaccine clinics closing. Several central Indiana hospital systems are phasing out their hospital-based COVID-19 vaccine clinics and will instead try to vaccinate more Hoosiers in physician offices.

As demand for the vaccine continues to decline and fewer Hoosiers are visiting hospitals to get the shots, I.U. Health, Johnson Memorial Health and Columbus Regional Health are among those who are changing the vaccination strategy.

“Pretty much all of our I.U. Health hospital-based vaccine clinics will be closing at the end of this month,” said I.U. Health Associate Chief Medical Executive Dr. Paul Calkins. “Some of them will extend part of the way into July. It’s really time to move on from that model to a different model for vaccination, in our opinion.”

Since reaching its peak in early April, Indiana’s daily vaccination rate has been trending downward, and that trend has been noticeable in many hospital clinics. A couple months ago, Dr. Calkins said I.U. Health hospital clinics were administering between 3,500 and 5,000 doses per day.  

Multilingual hotline. The City of Indianapolis and Marion County Public Health Department, along with several cultural organizations, announced a second vaccine registration hotline for multilingual residents.

The city said the hotline is part of a continuing strategy to increase the vaccination rates among Indianapolis residents.

The city said Hoosiers can call 317-327-2100 to connect with a fully bilingual volunteer who will assist them to set up their vaccine appointment. The registration hotline will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 5.

“Indianapolis is great because of its diversity of ethnicity, culture, and language,” said Mayor Hogsett. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must make it as convenient as possible for all residents to sign up for their vaccination, regardless of their native language or English proficiency. Through this hotline and other future programming, we will continue to remove barriers to easy vaccine access.”

The multilingual hotline will be available in nine different languages: English, Spanish, Burmese, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili, Yoruba, Hakhan Chin, and French.

Samples return to Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club announced Tuesday that its sampling and demo program, Taste & Tips, will be returning to clubs after being suspended last March due to COVID-19 concerns.

Initially, Taste & Tips will take place on the weekends and in limited quantities, using new safety measures, such as sealed samples.

Sam’s Club’s sampling program has been an attraction in clubs for more than 35 years.

“Over the past year, our members’ shopping behaviors have evolved,” said Megan Crozier, Chief Merchandising Officer, Sam’s Club, in a statement. “Today, more than ever, members want to do more than just shop when they come to our clubs – they want to have an experience. In addition to the return of Taste & Tips, we’ve planned new, immersive sampling experiences that add even more excitement to our clubs.”

Trading card boom. Since March of 2020, we’ve seen shortages with many different items because of the pandemic.

Some personal hobbies even took a toll.

And when everyone was stuck at home during the height of the pandemic, people tried to find new hobbies or resurrect old ones.

While going through shoeboxes in closets, many people across the country rediscovered their old trading cards they collected as a kid.

“It’s crazy. Right now it’s the hottest market in the world. They’re looking for everything that they can of sports and collectibility,” said Chris Magstadt.

And it isn’t just sports cards flying off the shelves. Pokemon cards have once again exploded in popularity. So much so, they had to release a statement acknowledging the run on pokemon.

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