Indiana coronavirus updates for April 6, 2022 | ICIN

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Wednesday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana.

Registrations for the vaccine are now open for Hoosiers 5 and older through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland tests positive for COVID-19

Attorney General Merrick Garland has tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at home for five days, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Garland is the second Cabinet official to announce a positive test result on Wednesday. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also tested positive for the virus using an at-home antigen test.

The announcement from the Justice Department comes hours after Garland held a news conference in Washington, standing side-by-side with the deputy attorney general, FBI director and other Justice Department officials.

The Justice Department says Garland asked to be tested “after learning that he may have been exposed to the virus.” Officials say he is not experiencing symptoms, is fully vaccinated and has received a booster.

The Justice Department said Garland would isolate at his home for at least five days and work remotely. The department said it would also conduct contact tracing in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meijer administering 2nd booster shot

Meijer is ready to administer the second round of COVID-19 booster shots to eligible patients 50 and over and those with certain immunocompromising conditions. 

It does not matter where the patient received other vaccinations or first booster.

The second booster will be available at all Meijer pharmacies across the Midwest.

Customers can text COVID to 75049 or visit to schedule an appointment when eligible or walk into any Meijer pharmacy.

FDA panel meeting Wednesday to discuss future of COVID-19 booster shots

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will meet Wednesday to discuss the future of COVID-19 booster shots.

Just last week, the FDA authorized a second booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for those age 50 and older and certain immunocompromised people.

“It keeps on changing, as we’ve noticed, with multiple mutations and variants over the past few years. But what we also need to look at is – how effective are we as an immune system to battle it?” said Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health Network.

Yeleti said those who are immunocompromised or older than 75 should get as many boosters as is recommended.

“Right now it’s way too early, but it is certain you will need periodic booster shots. Obviously, the question is how many boosters per year? Is one enough, or do you need two or three per year? In part, that’s going to depend on the number of mutations that occur. It is reasonable to assume that just one, maybe two is all you’re going to need for the average person,” Yeleti said.

Yeleti said those considered low-risk should do well with one annual booster shot.

“Again, the reason for getting the shot is not to prevent you from getting COVID, but to prevent hospitalization,” Yeleti said.

Biden orders new research push on treating, understanding long COVID

Confronting the pandemic’s lasting shadow, President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered a new national research push on long COVID, while also directing federal agencies to support patients dealing with the mysterious and debilitating condition.

The White House said Biden is assigning the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate an urgent new initiative across federal agencies, building on research already underway at the National Institutes of Health.

Biden also directed federal agencies to support patients and doctors by providing science-based best practices for treating long COVID, maintaining access to insurance coverage, and protecting the rights of workers as they try to return to jobs while coping with the uncertainties of the malaise.

Yes, COVID-19 tests can detect omicron subvariant BA.2

BA.2 has been referred to as “stealth” omicron because it has “genetic mutations that could make it harder to distinguish from the delta variant using PCR tests” compared to the original version of omicron, the American Medical Association says.

But a spokesperson for the CDC says that nickname is a misnomer and “causes confusion,” adding that all tests – including at-home rapid and PCR tests – “do not have issues in detecting BA.2.”

Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., a microbiologist who serves as director of the Mayo Clinic’s Clinical Virology Laboratory, agrees. He said rapid and PCR tests are still able to pick up BA.2, similar to the original version of omicron and prior COVID-19 variants.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 80.29 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:45 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 982,580 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 493.68 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.15 million deaths and more than 11.04 billion vaccine doses administered.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.

Medicare enrollees can now get free at-home COVID tests at drug stores

Amid worries that the latest coronavirus variant could spark another rise in cases, Medicare announced Monday that millions of enrollees will finally have access to free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at drug stores.

More than 59 million people with Medicare’s “Part B” outpatient coverage will be able to get up to eight free at-home tests per month, or enough for an individual to test twice a week, as some doctors have recommended.

Medicare has lagged private insurance in following the Biden administration’s directive to cover at-home tests because rules and regulations stood in the way, and officials had to find a work-around. This is the first time the health insurance program for older people and those with disabilities has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to recipients. 

MORE: Medicare enrollees can now get free at-home COVID tests at drug stores

Indiana dropping county COVID-19 risk map from website

Indiana health officials are dropping the state’s color-coded map that rated each county’s risk of COVID-19 spread in favor of relying on a different federal rating system. That is one of the significant changes the Indiana Department of Health announced March 30 for its online COVID-19 dashboard. 

Indiana’s risk map was based on the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita and the percentage of tests confirming infections. The map updated last week shows 87 of the state’s 92 counties at the lowest risk level. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national risk map is based on COVID-19 hospitalizations. It showed all Indiana counties at low risk levels as of Wednesday.

2nd COVID-19 booster shot available to Hoosiers 50 and up

The Indiana Department of Health announced Wednesday that Hoosiers age 50 and older, as well as those 12 and older with weakened immune systems, are now eligible to receive a second mRNA COVID-19 booster shot at least four months after their first booster dose.

The announcement comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for that age group and and certain younger people with severely weakened immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later recommended the extra shot as an option but stopped short of urging that those eligible rush out and get it right away.

The IDOH is advising vaccine providers that they can begin administering second boosters of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to people who qualify.

The CDC also says that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose of either mRNA vaccine.

You can find a vaccine location at or by calling Indiana 211 (866-211-9966). Appointments are recommended, but many sites do accept walk-ins.

Marion County COVID-19 vaccination and test clinics continue

The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and testing to anyone interested in receiving these services.

MCPHD is operating one COVID-19 testing site, which is a drive-thru clinic located at 3838 N. Rural St. in Indianapolis.

The clinic’s current hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This clinic offers PCR testing only and no rapid testing. A list of additional test sites registered with the Indiana Department of Health is available at

Appointments for COVID-19 testing at the MCPHD location are not required but are available by visiting or calling 317-221-5515.

MCPHD is also offering COVID-19 vaccines at its district health offices, ACTION Health Center, and four other locations in Marion County. Appointments for vaccines are not required but are recommended. 

Please visit or call 2-1-1 to find a vaccination clinic.

Marion County March clinic schedule

  • Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
    Mondays: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Tuesdays: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Eagledale Plaza Health Office, 2802 Lafayette Road
    Tuesdays: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Northwest District Health Office, 6940 N. Michigan Road
    Thursdays: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • ACTION Health Center, 2868 N. Pennsylvania St.
    Wednesdays: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Martindale-Brightwood Public Library Branch, 2435 N. Sherman Drive (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • College Avenue Public Library Branch, 4180 N. College Ave. (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • East 38th Street Public Library Branch, 5420 E. 38th St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • IndyGo Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Wednesdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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