The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday, July 1, 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.
Marion County lifts most virus restrictions
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday Marion County will be lifting most coronavirus restrictions July 1.
This includes allowing full capacity at restaurants, bars and sports venues. People who aren’t vaccinated will also no longer be required to wear a mask indoors. However, Mayor Hogsett urged those who aren’t vaccinated to still wear a mask.
The news comes as Marion County leaders make big moves toward getting the county vaccinated.
Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine said the county has reached the 40 percent mark of fully vaccinated individuals. This number reflects 40 percent of the entire county, including those who aren’t eligible for the vaccine. Caine said 48 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.
Mobile vaccination clinics this week in central Indiana
Wednesday-Friday (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Ivy Tech, Anderson
815 E. 60th St., Anderson, IN 46013
Ivy Tech, Connersville
717 W. 21st St., Connersville, IN 47331
Thursday-Saturday (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Second Missionary Baptist Church
819 N. Apperson Way, Kokomo, IN 46901
Thursday-Friday (3 p.m. – 9 p.m.):
Monroe County Fair
5700 W. Airport Rd., Bloomington, IN 47403
Patients with an appointment at a state-hosted public vaccination site can get a free Uber or Lyft ride. Call 2-1-1 or (866) 211-9966 to receive a voucher to cover the cost of an Uber ride to and from your vaccination appointments. IU Health offers free Lyft rides to any vaccine site in the state. Call 1.888.IUHEALTH (888-484-3258) and choose option 9 if you need transportation to your vaccine appointment.
Marion County vaccination incentives continue through July 2
Any Marion County resident who gets vaccinated at one of the health department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics or pop-up locations through July 2 will be entered to win a selection of prizes donated by generous community partners. Daily drawings will be held for smaller items, with the winners of the larger items to be randomly selected following July 2.
- 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
More information is posted at marionhealth.org/vaccinateindy.
Those with unanswered questions or concerns about the vaccine can call the health department vaccine hotline at 317-221-2100 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit cdc.gov/coronavirus or ourshot.in.gov.
Will one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine protect me?
One dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine will provide some protection, but not nearly as much as if you had both doses. It’s why experts recommend getting fully vaccinated.
They say it’s particularly important in areas where worrisome variants like the delta are spreading. The COVID-19 vaccines being distributed were developed to target the original version of the virus.
While they seem to protect against the newer variants, there’s a concern the shots might eventually lose their effectiveness. Health officials are also worried about countries that don’t have enough supply to distribute second doses within the recommended time frame.
3 weeks before Olympic Games, Japan still unsure about spectators
Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was still uncertain whether fans can be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics because of growing concern about rising COVID-19 cases on Thursday only three weeks before the games.
Cases in Tokyo have been steadily on the rise, triggering fears the games would accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. Experts warn the highly contagious delta strain could trigger rapid resurgence of the infections that may require another state of emergency even during the games starting on July 23.
“I have made clear that having no spectators is a possibility,” Suga said as he noted Tokyo’s rising caseloads. “We will take steps as we prioritize safety and security of the people.”
Tokyo on Wednesday confirmed 673 new cases, the 12th straight day of a week-on-week increase.
Dr. Mitsuo Kaku, a medical advisor for the Tokyo metropolitan government, told a weekly meeting on Thursday that Tokyo is turning into a “critical situation” as the upsurge is triggered by the delta variant.
A two-month-long state of emergency in Tokyo and other metro areas was downgraded by Suga on June 21 to less-stringent measures that focus on shortened hours for bars and restaurants until July 11.
He said he will decide what to do with the measures next week, a decision that will affect games spectators.
Fiji’s outbreak surges as gov’t resists lockdown
Fiji reported a record 431 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday as an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant continued to grow.
Health authorities have reported nearly 5,000 cases and 22 deaths since the outbreak in the South Pacific nation began two months ago.
The government of the island nation of nearly 1 million people has resisted calls for a full lockdown as leaders try to protect an economy that last year contracted by 19% as international tourism evaporated.
Health authorities say that about 9% of people getting tested for the virus are returning positive results, a figure that has been increasing and indicates the outbreak is spreading.
Despite the growing outbreak, the government announced steps to reopen retail stores in and around the capital, Suva.
Faiyaz Koya, the minister for commerce, trade and tourism, said that without a reopening plan, some stores would need to close permanently, costing families jobs and years worth of hard-earned progress.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 33.66 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 604,700 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 182.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.94 million deaths. More than 3.1 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.
Africa’s COVID-19 envoy blasts EU, COVAX over vaccine crisis
The African Union special envoy tasked with leading efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the continent is blasting Europe as Africa struggles amid a crushing third surge of infections, saying Thursday that “not one dose, not one vial, has left a European factory for Africa.”
Strive Masiyiwa also took aim at the global effort meant to distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, accusing COVAX of withholding crucial information including that key donors hadn’t met funding pledges. He didn’t name which donors.
“The situation could be very different had we known back in December that ‘Listen, this help is not coming, do for yourselves,’” Masiyiwa told reporters, adding that “many countries were just sitting back saying, ‘the vaccines are coming.’ … We as Africans are disappointed.”
The criticism revealed African leaders’ sheer exasperation at the world’s dramatic vaccine divide, with Masiyiwa describing vaccinated, unmasked Europeans attending football matches while just 1% of Africans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
He stressed that Africa has purchased 400 million vaccine doses and can buy more, but he challenged donors: “Pay up your money … We will no longer measure pledges, we will measure vaccines arriving at our airports.”
The African continent of 1.3 billion people is now in the grip of a third surge of infections that is “extremely aggressive,” the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters. Health officials have described overflowing COVID-19 wards, dangerous oxygen shortages and a growing spread of the virus to extremely vulnerable and unequipped rural areas.
Masiyiwa said COVAX had promised to deliver 700 million vaccine doses to Africa by December. But at mid-year, Africa has received just 65 million doses overall. Less than 50 million doses via COVAX have arrived.