While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 18


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

Here’s a look:

Vaccines at first Indy 500 practice. IndyCar drivers are set to be back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday for the first day of Indy 500 practice.

Tickets are still available. Ticketholders will be able to be vaccinated at the track.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered at three first aid stations inside the track when there’s track activity.

On Friday, the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to those who went to family day at the end of April. 

Changes to Marion County mask mandate? Marion County remains under a mask mandate this week despite the CDC’s guidance that fully-vaccinated individuals can resume most normal activities without a mask.

The Marion County Health Department tells us discussion are underway right now and new local guidelines could come by the end of the week.

While they wouldn’t comment directly on what is being discussed, local health officials say county vaccination rates and level of immunity could be two major factors in the decision to lift the mandate.

Lucas Oil clinic. The Indianapolis Colts announced they will team up again with Meijer to offer COVID-19 vaccinations at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The clinic will be on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 for Hoosiers 18 and older.

The first dose of the Moderna vaccine was provided during the first clinic in April. This weekend, those who got their first dose can come back for their second dose.

International effort to vaccinate. On Monday, President Joe Biden announced the next step in battling the COVID-19 pandemic would be helping vaccinate the rest of the world.

“The United States will share at least 20 million of those doses, that extra supply with other countries,” Biden said.

These vaccines will come from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson and will be shared along with 60 million doses of AstraZeneca.

“The United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas. That represents 13% of the vaccines produced by the United States by the end of June,” Biden said.

High-rise quarantine in Germany. Health officials say they have quarantined the residents of two high-rise buildings in the western German town of Velbert after several people tested positive with the coronavirus variant first detected to India.

Officials from the county of Mettmann said “there are currently several infections with the Indian virus variant in Velbert.”

They said several families who were in close touch with each other were affected and that everyone was being tested. Local broadcaster WDR reported about 200 people in the two buildings were affected. They have been quarantined, are getting tested and the Red Cross is providing food and other help.

So far, the COVID-19 variant that was first detected in India has not been found a lot in Germany, but is said to be more contagious than other variants currently more prevalent in Germany.

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