Indiana coronavirus updates for March 15, 2022 | ICIN

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Tuesday’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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AP source: Pfizer seeking OK for 4th COVID dose for seniors

Drugmaker Pfizer is expected to request authorization this week for an additional COVID-19 booster dose for seniors, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It would add a fourth dose to the regimen, which currently consists of a primary series of two shots, followed months later by a booster dose, in an effort to provide maximum protection to the over-65 population that has been hit hardest by the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control must approve the request. 

Speaking to CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, “Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now. The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. It’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long. But we are just submitting those data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer.”

IDOH update

The Indiana Department of Health reported 591 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The total number of people vaccinated in Indiana is now at 3,693,718.

There were 818 booster doses administered Monday, bringing the total number to 1,729,083.

Costco ending shopping hours reserved for seniors, first responders

Membership-only retailer Costco has announced it will end special operating hours for senior customers, health care workers and first responders. 

In an update posted on its website, Costco said after April 17, there would be no restrictions on who could shop at any time. Currently, only a select group of shoppers were allowed in between the hours of 9 and 10 a.m. in most locations while seniors shopped.

The special hours at Costco and other stores were put in place during the early stages of the pandemic. People over 60 have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, especially if they are unvaccinated, putting them in danger in large crowds of people such as in crowded stores.  

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 79.56 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 965,100 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 459.81 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.04 million deaths and more than 10.70 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.

Purdue, Notre Dame relax mask protocols

Purdue University dropped its mask mandate and moved to mask optional on Monday, March 14. This means masks are not required in classrooms or research spaces. 

However, the university did say masks will still be required in health care settings and where contractually required. Masks also continue to be required as part of the quarantine process for those infected or exposed to COVID-19.

The university’s decision was made based on data showing declining COVID-19 cases, current CDC guidance and the high rate of vaccinations among the campus community. According to Purdue, the campus is now 90% vaccinated. 

Free vaccines and boosters will continue to be available at no cost at Purdue’s campus vaccine clinic. The university will also continue to provide free N95 and KN95 masks throughout campus.  

The University of Notre Dame also began easing its mask mandate on Monday, leaving them optional indoors for staff, students and visitors who are fully vaccinated.

Masks are still required in classrooms, labs or studios whenever a faculty member or instructor requires them. 

Regardless of vaccination status, masks continue to be required for all who visit the University Testing Center, Health Services and Wellness Center. 

All individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to mask for five days following their isolation period. Students, staff, faculty and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks inside campus buildings.

Notre Dame says people are expected to carry a mask with them at all times.

Barack Obama says he tested positive for COVID-19

Former President Barack Obama announced Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

“I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise,” Obama explained in a tweet. “Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative.”

The former president said his COVID diagnosis is a reminder for people to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, even as coronavirus cases drop. 

Back in March 2021, Barack and Michelle Obama joined three other former presidents and former first ladies for a public service announcement to urge Americans to get vaccinated. 

According to CNN, the former president had recently returned to Washington, D.C. after spending time in Hawaii for most of the winter. A source told CNN that Obama tested positive while in DC.

China’s virus cases rise

The number of new daily coronavirus cases in an outbreak in China’s northeast has more than tripled. Meanwhile, the government there tightened anti-disease controls by suspending bus service to Shanghai and ordering residents of another city to stay home. 

The government reported 1,938 new cases in China’s mainland, more than three times the previous day’s total. About three-quarters of those, or 1,412 cases, were in Jilin province in the northeast. 

The case numbers in China’s latest surge of infections are low compared with some countries. But authorities are enforcing a “zero tolerance” strategy of trying to isolate every infected person. 

Some residents of Cangzhou, south of Beijing, were told to stay home after cases were reported there.

IPS hosts immunization clinic at Crispus Attucks on Wednesday

Indianapolis Public Schools is hosting a “Back on Track” clinic at Crispus Attucks High School Wednesday, March 16, to allow children to update routine childhood vaccinations that were delayed or canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and HPV will be available, as well as flu shots and, for those age 5 and older, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

The event is open to everyone and will include free school supplies and raffles every 30 minutes for $50 gift cards from MDwise, which is partnering with IPS on the clinic.

Parents and caregivers should sign up online at: (enter enrollment code IN65942, then select “Crispus Attucks 3/16”).

Registration is encouraged but not required.

The clinic hours run from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Crispus Attucks High School, which is located at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King St. on the near west side of Indianapolis.

Those needing a ride to the clinic may contact MDwise customer service at 800-356-1204.

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.
    Saturday, March 26 only, 8 a.m. – 12 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.
    Saturday, March 19 only: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    Saturday, March 12 only: 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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