The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, June 20, 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.
Delta variant detected in Indiana
Health leaders announced the delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Indiana. As of Saturday, there were 97 cases of the variant, according to the state’s website.
They were found through sequencing, that’s when the state submits randomized samples to test for variants.
The delta variant is known to be a more dangerous strain of the novel coronavirus, especially for those that are not vaccinated. It can also spread more quickly.
“Every person that’s been hospitalized or have died recently from COVID-19, one thing we know about all of them, is they have been unvaccinated,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of Marion County Public Health Department.
Now with the delta variant, Dr. Caine says there is more of a need to ramp of vaccinations.
“It’s very contagious, 40 percent more contagious and we think it may be associated with more severe complications,” she said.
The most vulnerable to the variant, are people in their 20s and 30s, which is the same group with a low vaccination rate.
But health officials do believe the vaccine does provide immunity to this new strain.
Amid pandemic, historic Indiana grain mill saw record year
A grain mill that opened more than 180 years ago in northern Indiana saw a sales boom during the pandemic after it opened a drive-through for customers eager to buy freshly milled grains.
The historic Bonneyville Mill in Bristol was closed to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, like many Indiana businesses. But staff at the 1830s mill just south of the Michigan border converted its original horse and wagon bay that farmers once used to deliver freshly harvested grain into a drive-through for automobiles.
The Elkhart Truth reports that allowed the mill to rack up its most profitable year on record for sales of freshly milled flour and other grains.
As Brazil tops 500,000 deaths, protests increase against president
Anti-government protesters have taken to the streets in more than a score of cities across Brazil as the nation’s confirmed death toll from COVID-19 soared past half a million. It’s a tragedy many critics blame on President Jair Bolsonaro’s attempt to minimize the disease.
Thousands gathered Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, waving flags reading “Get out Bolsonaro.” Other marchers hoisted posters reading: “500 thousand deaths. It’s his fault.”
Similar marches took place in at least 22 or Brazil’s 26 states. They were promoted by left-wing opposition parties who have been heartened by Bolsonaro’s declining poll ratings with next year’s presidential race looming.
Infections on the rise in Russia
Russia’s national coronavirus taskforce on Saturday reported 17,906 new infections, more than double the daily tally from early June.
More than half of the new infections are in Moscow, where cases have tripled this month. The soaring case count has caused alarm among officials, who have increased measures to obstruct the spread.
Moscow, its outlying area and two other Russian regions this week ordered mandatory vaccinations for workers in retail, education and other service sectors. Moscow has closed food courts in shopping centers and restricted restaurants and bars in the capital to takeout orders from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Russians are widely resistant to vaccinations and only about 12% of the population has received a shot. Nearly 5.3 million cases have been reported in the country of 146 million, with 128,911 deaths, but experts consider both numbers undercounts.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 33.53 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 601,740 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 178 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.86 million deaths. More than 2.57 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.
Marion County vaccine tour, sweepstakes underway
The Marion County Public Health Department is going on tour to offer incentives to get residents vaccinated against COVID-19. The tour started Saturday, June 19. Pop-up clinics will come to meet residents where they are. Find the full schedule here.
The clinics will run through July 2. Any resident who gets vaccinated at one of the county’s clinics or pop-up locations will get the chance to win prizes:
- A package of two Indianapolis Colts season tickets with a signed Peyton Manning rookie jersey
- Two half-season Indiana Pacers ticket packages, each also including a signed Domantas Sabonis 2020 All Star jersey
- Indianapolis Indians clubhouse tickets and a jersey
- Tickets to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- A gift basket from the Indianapolis Zoo that includes a free membership
- Fun cards for pool admission at Indy Parks
There will be daily drawings for smaller prizes, while the winners of the larger items will be randomly selected after July 2. For more information about the sweepstakes, visit marionhealth.org/vaccinateindy.
Johnson Co. library to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics
The Johnson County Public Library is hoping a series of clinics will help as the number of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 begins to plateau.
The clinics will he held at the following locations, days and times:
- June 23, 2021: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- July 14, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Aug. 6, 2021: 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
White River Library Branch
- July 13, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Aug. 3, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- July 1, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- July 22, 2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The Pfizer vaccine will be given at all of the clinics and Spanish translators will be available.
If a person does not have transportation, Access Johnson County’s Demand Response service offers curb-to-curb service between their home and the clinic and back. The cost is as little as $4 each way. If a person can’t afford the fare, Access will waive the fare. To schedule a ride, call 317-738-5523.