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MCPHD ‘optimistic’ about fans
The Indianapolis 500 is only 65 days away and unlike Last year, looks like “The Greatest Show of the Race” will have spectators.
Organizers are hoping that for the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500, they can overthrow it and enjoy the race as they have done every year until the pandemic strikes in 2020, emptying the fan stands.
“We hope to be optimistic. I’m a fan of the Indianapolis racing circuit,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Marion County director of public health.
Caine plays a key role in any decision to open the track to fans.
“If we look at our numbers and how they evolve, I think we’ll have fans at the Indy 500,” she explained.
Speedway owner Roger Penske has said he wants to see 250,000 fans at this year’s race.
While she is optimistic at this point, Caine said it might be difficult for the health department to say what the capacity will be.
Senate votes to extend P3 small business loan program
The Senate passed a 92-7 bill on Thursday to extend the deadline for business owners to apply for forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, giving applicants two more months to apply federal assistance.
The bill had already passed in the House, so it is now going to President Joe Biden’s office for proclamation. Congress launched the loan program last year to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline for applications would be extended until May 31 under the bill, and the federal government would have until June 30 to process applications.
The Small Business Administration reports that it has approved nearly 7.9 million loans totaling about $ 704 billion.
Biden Doubles COVID Vaccine Target to 200 Million Doses
Biden opened his first official press conference by doubling his initial target on COVID-19 vaccines by promising the country will administer 200 million doses by the end of his first 100 days in office. The administration had met Biden’s initial goal of 100 million doses earlier this month – even before his 60th day in office – as the president strived to defeat a pandemic that has killed more than 545,000 Americans and devastated the country’s economy.
Although seemingly ambitious, Biden’s vaccination target amounts to a continuation of the current pace of vaccinations until the end of next month. The United States currently uses an average of 2.5 million doses per day and an even higher rate is possible. Over the next month, two of the bottlenecks to getting Americans vaccinated are expected to ease, as the US vaccine supply is set to increase and states lift eligibility requirements to get vaccinated.
State reports 977 new cases, 8 deaths
The Indiana State Department of Health reported 977 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 680,998 cases since last March.
With eight additional deaths recorded between December 6, 2020 and Wednesday, Indiana has now lost 12,576 people to the virus. Another 406 probable deaths have been reported in patients who died without a recorded positive test.
Over a million Hoosiers now fully vaccinated
A total of 2,548,924 doses have been administered in Indiana since the end of December. This includes 1,530,403 first doses and 1,018,521 people who received a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson single vaccine and are therefore fully vaccinated.
To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or need assistance.
Marion County Leaders Provide Update on COVID-19 Response
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine provide an update Thursday morning on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank Gov. [Eric] Holcomb and the State Department of Health for bringing us to this milestone, ”Hogsett told Hoosiers 16 years and over being eligible get vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Wednesday, March 31.
Hogsett announced that Marion County will not repeal the city’s mask mandate or current trade restrictions on April 6. These will remain in place until the county public health order is lifted.
Tuesday, Holcomb said the statewide mask mandate would become an advisory on April 6, but the face covering will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and at all vaccination sites and COVID-19 testing until further notice. He also said decisions regarding the capacity of venues and social gatherings will be made by local officials from April 6.
Mobile vaccination clinics
The Indiana State Department of Health is partnering with IU Health to host a mobile vaccination clinic at a church on the east side of Indianapolis on Friday March 26 and Saturday March 27.
Immunizations will take place at the Eastern Star Church Health Center from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
The vaccination clinic will offer the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
Due to the high demand, all vaccination slots are already occupied for the two days.
ISDH will host more mobile vaccination clinics in traditionally underserved communities on dates yet to be determined:
Light of the World Christian Church, New Era Church, Greater Shepherd Baptist Church, Providence AME Church and Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, in partnership with IU Health
The Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, in partnership with Eli Lilly
Riverside Park, in partnership with Eli Lilly & Flanner House
Grants for minority communities
Starting April 1, community organizations will submit funding requests for projects that promote the well-being and recovery of minority communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The average grant is expected to be $ 25,000, but mini-grants as low as $ 2,500 will also be available for small projects.
Applications are due April 15 and will be awarded on April 26.
Unemployment claims in the United States fall to 684,000, the fewest since the start of the pandemic
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 684,000, the least since the pandemic erupted a year ago and is a sign that the economy is improving.
Thursday’s Labor Ministry report showed jobless claims fell by 781,000 the previous week. This is the first time that weekly jobless claims have fallen below 700,000 since mid-March last year. Before the pandemic tore the economy apart, apps had never exceeded this level.
Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims
Initial claims were 684,000 for the week ending 3/20 (-97,000).
Yet a total of 18.9 million people continue to receive unemployment benefits, up from 18.2 million the previous week. About a third of these recipients participate in expanded federal assistance programs, which means they have been unemployed for at least six months.
Latest US and Global Issues
There were over 30.01 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 545,000 deaths in the United States
Globally, there have been over 124.79 million confirmed cases with over 2.74 million deaths and 70.78 million recoveries.
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The actual number of people infected with the virus globally is believed to be much higher – perhaps 10 times higher in the United States, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention – taking into account the limitations of the tests and the numerous mild cases not reported or recognized.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses like pneumonia or death.
Pfizer launches clinical trial for COVID-19 antiviral
Drugmaker Pfizer announced they have started phase I of a U.S. trial of COVID-19 oral antiviral therapy.
Pfizer’s oral clinical candidate, PF-07321332, is a protease inhibitor that the company says has demonstrated antiviral activity against the virus.
“Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic requires both vaccine prevention and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus,” said Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD., Scientific Director and President of Global Research, of Pfizer Development and Medicine. The way SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of COVID-19, it seems likely that having access to treatment options both now and beyond will be critical. the pandemic. ”
Other drugmakers, including rivals Merck & Ridgeback Bio, have oral antiviral therapies in mid-term trials.
AstraZeneca Insists COVID Vaccine 76% Effective After Dispute In US
AstraZeneca insisted on Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective even after counting additional illnesses in its controversial US study, the latest in an extraordinary public break with US officials.
In a late-night press release, AstraZeneca said it had recalculated the data from that study and found the vaccine to be 76% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, instead of 79%. he had claimed earlier in the week.
A day earlier, an independent panel overseeing the study accused AstraZeneca of collecting data to praise the protection offered by his vaccine. The panel, in a stern letter to the company and U.S. health executives, said the company had left out some cases of COVID-19 that arose in the study, a move that could erode confidence in the science.
AstraZeneca had relied on the results of a predominantly American study of 32,000 people to help restore confidence in a vaccine which, although widely used in Britain, Europe and other countries, has seen a difficult deployment.