Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Thursday, July 22, 2021.
Registrations for the vaccine are now open for Hoosiers 12 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.
State reports 5K more Hoosiers fully vaccinated, 1 additional death
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 5,432 more Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Thursday morning, bringing the total number of Hoosiers who are fully vaccinated to 2,913,717.
ISDH reported 878 new positive tests for COVID-19, along with one new death reported July 17. As of July 22, 13,535 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19.
The total number of unique individuals who have tested positive is now 763,688.
Carmel Clay Schools announces mask policy
Carmel Clay Schools announced how it will handle masks for students and staff for the upcoming school year. The district will follow guidance from ISDH and the CDC.
The most recent recommendations are for all unvaccinated individuals to wear masks, but they are not required to do so. Masks will not be required or recommended for those who are vaccinated. Parents will determine if they want their unvaccinated child to wear a mask at school, but all students and staff must wear masks on school buses.
Carmel Clay students will return to full-time, in-person school on Aug. 12. Parents of any student with a documented medical issue preventing them from attending class in person should contact the district’s assistant director of special services. Joanna Mulligan can be reached at email@example.com or 317-844-9961.
US jobless claims rise to 419,000 from a pandemic low
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point of the pandemic, even as the job market appears to be rebounding on the strength of a reopened economy.
The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims increased last week to 419,000, the most in two months, from 368,000 the previous week. The weekly number of first-time applications, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.
US gymnast Eaker doing well after positive test
U.S. gymnast Kara Eaker is doing well physically but remains in isolation three days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Annie Heffernon, the vice president of the women’s program for USA Gymnastics, said Eaker is in isolation while teammate Leanne Wong is in quarantine.
Both athletes served as alternates for the U.S. team. Wong, who continues to test negative, was put in quarantine due to contact tracing.
Heffernon called the positive test a “nightmare scenario” and admitted she is dealing with anxiety while waiting for the team’s daily COVID-19 test results.
The six-women U.S. delegation of Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner worked out on each event during podium training on Thursday.
The American women are staying in a hotel near the venue rather than the Olympic village, a decision made before they arrived for the Games.
COVID-19 vaccine clinics to be held for veterans in Marion and Fort Wayne
The VA Northern Indiana Health Care System will host two walk-in coronavirus vaccine clinics in the coming weeks.
The first clinic will be held on Saturday, July 24 and the second will be held Saturday, July 31. The clinics will run from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days at the following VA locations:
- Fort Wayne Campus, 2121 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805
- Marion Campus, 1700 E. 38th St., Marion, IN 46953
During the clinics, all veterans, caregivers and spouses will be able to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 34.22 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 609,800 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 192 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.12 million deaths. More than 3.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
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.
RELATED: Track vaccinations in your ZIP code
China rebuffs WHO’s terms for further COVID-19 origins study
A senior Chinese health official says China cannot accept the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19.
National Health Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin says he was “rather taken aback” by the call for a further look into the pandemic’s origins and specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. He dismissed that theory as a disproved rumor.
The head of the WHO acknowledged last week that it was premature to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and a leak of the coronavirus from a Chinese lab. Zeng says the lab in the city of Wuhan has no virus that can directly infect humans.
Death rates soar in Southeast Asia as virus wave spreads
Images of bodies burning in open-air pyres during the peak of the pandemic in India horrified the world in May, but in the last two weeks three Southeast Asian nations have surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate as a new coronavirus wave tightens its grip on the region.
The deaths have followed record numbers of new cases, which have left health care systems struggling to cope and governments scrambling to implement new restrictions to try to slow the spread, fueled by the virulent delta variant. Vaccinations are sluggish but have been picking up.
There are also growing concerns that China’s Sinovac jabs are less effective against the delta variant, and both Indonesia and Thailand are planning booster shots of other vaccines.