Indiana coronavirus updates Saturday, May 7, 2022 | ICIN

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Saturday, May 7, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Saturday’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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US approaching 1 million COVID-19 deaths; what numbers say

The count of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 is nearing 1 million, and there’s a wealth of data making clear which groups have been hit the hardest. 

More than 700,000 people 65 and older died. Men died at higher rates than women. 

White people made up most of the deaths overall. Yet an unequal burden fell on Black, Hispanic and Native American people considering the younger average age of minority communities. 

Racial gaps narrowed between surges then widened again with each new wave. Most deaths happened in urban counties, but rural areas paid a high price at times.

In nearly every 10-year age group, more men have died from COVID-19 than women. Men have shorter life expectancies than women, so it’s not surprising that the only age group where deaths in women outpaced those in men is the oldest: 85 and older.

The surge that began in late 2020 was particularly rough for rural America.

Americans living in rural areas have been less likely to get vaccinated than city dwellers, more likely to be infected and more likely to die. Surges swamped the thin resources of rural hospitals. 

RELATED: WHO issues new report estimating full COVID-19 death toll

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 81.83 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:45 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 997,310 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 516.79 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.24 million deaths and more than 11.33 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.

Parents sue Western Boone schools over mask policy

The parents of a former Granville Wells Elementary School student filed a lawsuit accusing the district of violating her state and federal rights.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court and says the girl was discriminated against because of a disability and her religious beliefs.

13 Investigates received the following statement from Western Boone County Community School Corporation’s attorney Kent Frandsen:

“During the time the Western Boone Schools required the use of face masks or shields at school, its practices and actions were consistent with the directives of the Governor and state and local health officials. The mask policy was enforced while it was in effect, but school administrators are not aware of any retaliation against this student or any other student who may have objected to it. We have no further comment about the lawsuit at this time.”

Michael and Melissa Cleaver say their child has asthma and “experienced shortness of breath, tightening of her throat, and anxiety” while wearing a face covering. The parents obtained a doctor’s note at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year so she could wear a face shield. The district granted the request.

The Cleavers say things were fine until March and April last year, when the school began to enforce the district’s mask policy more strictly.

They report the child was “written up several times” and made to “walk during recess” because she would lift her face shield to stop “headaches.” They also say a teacher would “verbally attack and scream” at their daughter when she would lift her face shield to try and stop “headaches.”

At the end of April, the girl requested “an accommodation to the face covering and/or mask policy due to her sincerely held religious beliefs and disability.” The suit says the girl is a Christian and has asthma.

The district denied the request. The family’s attorney wrote in an email, “the school refused to engage in the interactive process to identify an accommodation.”

FDA restricts Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to blood clot risk

U.S. regulators on Thursday strictly limited who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to a rare but serious risk of blood clots.

The Food and Drug Administration said the shot should only be given to adults who cannot receive a different vaccine or specifically request J&J’s vaccine. U.S. authorities for months have recommended that Americans starting their COVID-19 vaccinations use the Pfizer or Moderna shots instead.

FDA officials said in a statement that they decided to restrict J&J’s vaccine after taking another look at data on the risk of life-threatening blood clots within two week of vaccination.

WHO: Nearly 15M deaths associated with COVID-19

The World Health Organization is estimating that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. 

In a report released on Thursday, the U.N. agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the figure as “sobering,” saying it should prompt countries to invest more in their capacities to quell future health emergencies.

Scientists tasked by WHO with calculating the actual number of COVID-19 deaths between January 2020 and the end of last year estimated there were between 13.3 million and 16.6 million deaths that were either caused directly by the coronavirus or were somehow attributed to the pandemic’s impact on health systems, like people with cancer unable to seek treatment when hospitals were full of COVID patients.

The figures are based on country-reported data and statistical modelling. WHO did not immediately break down the figures to distinguish between direct deaths from COVID-19 and others caused by the pandemic.

RELATED: Yes, the CDC recommends mask-wearing on planes, trains and public buses

CDC restates recommendation for masks on planes, trains

U.S. health officials on Tuesday restated their recommendation that Americans wear masks on planes, trains and buses, despite a court ruling last month that struck down a national mask mandate on public transportation.

Americans age 2 and older should wear a well-fitting mask while on public transportation, including in airports and train stations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended, citing the current spread of coronavirus and projections of future COVID-19 trends.

For months, the Transportation Security Administration had been enforcing a requirement that passengers and workers wear masks.

The government had repeatedly extended the mandate, and the latest one had been set to expire May 3. But a federal judge in Florida struck down the rule on April 18. The same day, the TSA said it would no longer enforce the mandate.

The CDC asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision, which the department did. On Tuesday, CDC officials declined to comment on the status of the appeal. DOJ officials did not immediately respond to a request for information.

Moderna seeks to be 1st with COVID shots for kids under 6

Moderna on Thursday asked U.S. regulators to authorize low doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 6, a long-awaited move toward potentially opening shots for millions of kids by summer.

Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration that it hopes will prove two low-dose shots can protect babies, toddlers and preschoolers — albeit not as effectively during the omicron surge as earlier in the pandemic.

“There is an important unmet medical need here with these youngest kids,” Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told the Associated Press. Two kid-size shots “will safely protect them. I think it is likely that over time, they will need additional doses. But we’re working on that.”

Now, only children ages 5 or older can be vaccinated in the U.S., using rival Pfizer’s vaccine, leaving 18 million younger kids unprotected.

Pfizer on Tuesday said it has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose of its COVID vaccine for children from 5 to 11 years old. 

U.S. health authorities already urge everyone 12 and older to get one booster dose for the best protection against the newest variants — and recently gave the option of a second booster to those 50 and older.

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 ourshot.in.gov 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 coronavirus.in.gov.

Appointments for COVID-19 testing at the MCPHD location are not required but are available by visiting marionhealth.org/indycovid 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 ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to find a vaccination clinic.

Marion County 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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