Hoosiers 70 and older now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers 70 and older now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines continue to be administered to eligible Hoosiers. (Source: Courtesy of Augusta Health)

INDIANAPOLIS (FOX19) - As vaccines are being rolled out across the state, Indiana reported 3,686 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Since March 6, the Indiana State Department of Health has reported 574,119 cases of COVID-19.

Here is a breakdown of new and total cases for Indiana counties in the FOX19 NOW viewing area:

  • Dearborn County: 23 new cases (4,389 total)
  • Franklin County: 12 new cases (1,386 total)
  • Ohio County: Four new cases (449 total)
  • Ripley County: 16 new cases (2,845 total)
  • Switzerland County: 16 new cases (595 total)
  • Union County: Four new cases (600 total)

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be administered to eligible Hoosiers.

On Tuesday, around 100 doses were given to those 80 years of age and older. Now, Hoosiers 70 years old and older are eligible to get a vaccine.

More than 30,000 Indiana residents between the ages of 70-79 made appointments on Wednesday when they first became available.

While Hoosiers 70 and older account for 11.8% of the state’s population, they represent 42% of the hospitalizations and 78% of the COVID-19 deaths in Indiana, according to the ISDH.

Once the COVID-19 vaccine is open to Hoosiers 60 and older, the ISDH says they will have targeted 22.5% of all Indiana residents.

[Sign up for an appointment by going to ourshot.in.gov.]

Dearborn County (2) was among the three counties in the FOX19 NOW viewing area to report additional deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday. Franklin County and Union County each reported one more death from the virus.

The ISDH reported 59 additional deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday. A total of 8,790 Hoosiers has died from COVID-19 since March 15, according to the ISDH.

Indiana’s seven-day positivity rate for all tests is 16.1%.

Six southeast Indiana counties in the FOX19 Now viewing remain in the highest level of the state’s COVID-19 alert map.

Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland, and Union counties are all in the red level of Indiana’s alert map, according to the state’s updated data.

Counties in the red level indicate their seven-day positivity rate is 15% or greater, and there are 200 or more new weekly cases per 100,000 residents.

There are specific guidelines for counties in the red level under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s order:

  • All social gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Special, seasonal or commercial events planned for more than 25 people require the approval of a safety plan by the local health department. College and professional sports are included.
  • Health officials advise that events be canceled or postponed.
  • Attendance at winter indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular events, including IHSAA sports, is limited to participants, support personnel and parents, or guardians.
  • Local officials can consider limiting hours for the operation of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.
  • Community recreational sports leagues and tournaments may continue with participants, required personnel, and parents or guardians only.
  • Common areas and break rooms should be closed.
  • Senior care activities are suspended.
  • Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other congregate settings can impose visitation limits.

On Monday, the ISDH announced a new strain of COVID-19 that is more easily spread has now been identified in the Hoosier state.

The strain is the same one that was found in Britain. Health officials say it does not cause more severe infections.

“It’s common for viruses to mutate, and we are seeing that occur with COVID-19,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “Because this strain of the virus can be transmitted more easily, it’s more important than ever that Hoosiers continue to wear their masks, practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene and get vaccinated when they are eligible.”

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