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Indiana Health Officials provide updates on COVID-19 vaccine and changes within Hoosier schools

Governor Holcomb and Dr. Kristina Box give a COVID-19 vaccine update.

Posted: Feb 3, 2021 6:37 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb held his weekly COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday afternoon. Within it, Indiana’s State Health Commissioner detailed some changes involving schools in the Hoosier State.

Dr. Kristina Box stressed the point that we are not yet out of the woods. She detailed a care package heading to Indiana schools.

One million KN95 masks will be going to schools for staff and students as well as an additional 600,000 masks for K-6 students. Those shipments will start next week.

The state will also be providing BinaxNOW antigen test cards. These are nasal swab rapid tests to help schools test symptomatic students and teachers. That way, if a student or teacher is positive, the school will know immediately and can more quickly isolate them.

Finally, Dr. Box says they are making changes to the definition of “close contact” for classroom exposures only. Data from schools in the state indicate that only 3-5% of infections occur in the classroom.

Effective this coming Monday, quarantines or contact tracing will no longer be required if students remain three feet apart and are wearing masks. Students are teachers can also return to school after only a 10-day quarantine if they never develop symptoms, or after a seven-day quarantine depending on when they test negative and which test they receive.

“We hope that these steps will help to decrease the disruption that COVID-19 continues to cause in our educational system and lead to quicker isolation of individuals which will reduce the spread of the virus,” Dr. Box said.

Dr. Box says just two months ago, we were without a vaccine. Now, the interest in the vaccine by Hoosiers is almost overwhelming. She went through exactly where Indiana is with COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Click Here to watch the full press briefing.

Over 611,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday. That’s an increase of 134,000 from last week. Of those individuals, more than 166,000 Hoosiers have received both doses of the vaccine and are fully vaccinated.

Since the state expanded vaccine eligibility to Hoosiers between 65 and 69 years of age on Monday, officials say more than 144,000 people in that age group have made appointments to be vaccinated.

To date, more than 875,000 unique Hoosiers ages 65 and older along with health care workers and first responders have been vaccinated or have an appointment.

Nearly 43,000 residents of long-term care facilities have received their vaccine along with 17,000 staff in these facilities.

“Even as more Hoosiers receive their vaccine, we are still very limited in the number of Hoosiers we can vaccinate due to national supplies,” Dr. Box concluded, “We will not achieve herd immunity for many months, and the new variants of the virus that are emerging will require us to remain vigilant about masking, social distancing, staying home if you’re ill, and getting tested.”

As long as vaccine supply remains limited, Dr. Box says the state will continue prioritizing those most at risk to die from COVID-19. State health officials are looking at who to prioritize next when all Hoosiers 60 and older who want a vaccine can get one. The state will continue using data to drive that decision moving forward.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1309459

Reported Deaths: 24018
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5245929847
DuPage869211254
Will72209968
Lake64862965
Kane55955753
Winnebago31341460
Madison29912515
St. Clair27220504
McHenry27207278
Peoria21504284
Champaign19902139
Sangamon17870230
McLean17096171
Tazewell16095259
Rock Island14319305
Kankakee13576199
Kendall1241790
LaSalle11835232
Macon10284190
DeKalb9390118
Vermilion9101127
Adams8231117
Williamson7229126
Whiteside6913164
Boone642971
Ogle579978
Clinton570890
Grundy562971
Coles554894
Knox5344137
Jackson486763
Henry474863
Effingham468471
Livingston461883
Macoupin460681
Stephenson454280
Woodford443063
Marion4415115
Franklin433770
Monroe431790
Jefferson4167119
Randolph409684
Lee400151
Morgan377679
Logan365456
Fulton364850
Montgomery364773
Bureau355181
Christian352772
Fayette314054
Perry313059
Iroquois291064
Jersey263549
McDonough261144
Douglas255335
Saline251453
Lawrence239525
Shelby225037
Union223040
Crawford209325
Bond198924
Cass194824
Pike177451
Jo Daviess176824
Clark176732
Warren173946
Wayne173452
Hancock173030
Richland172140
Carroll171736
Ford170746
Edgar166939
White166526
Washington162825
Moultrie157526
Clay147343
Mason142842
Greene142433
Piatt141914
Johnson139814
De Witt139723
Mercer136933
Wabash134112
Massac131439
Cumberland128319
Menard118812
Jasper114317
Marshall99817
Hamilton82415
Schuyler7095
Brown6916
Pulaski6807
Stark61223
Edwards55812
Henderson52114
Calhoun5122
Scott4691
Alexander46211
Gallatin4534
Putnam4483
Hardin37012
Pope3073
Out of IL70
Unassigned02296

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 710607

Reported Deaths: 13248
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion968581722
Lake51908949
Allen39337672
Hamilton34643406
St. Joseph34306543
Elkhart27477432
Vanderburgh22099394
Tippecanoe21927213
Porter17987301
Johnson17571374
Hendricks16854310
Clark12715190
Madison12367337
Vigo12240244
Monroe11510166
LaPorte11204204
Delaware10382184
Howard9698211
Kosciusko9165114
Hancock8014139
Bartholomew7913155
Warrick7702155
Floyd7568176
Wayne6917198
Grant6855171
Boone6568100
Morgan6414138
Dubois6091117
Marshall5801109
Dearborn571276
Cass5698104
Henry5588101
Noble543683
Jackson494172
Shelby481395
Lawrence4349118
Gibson429589
Harrison429171
Clinton420953
Montgomery418986
DeKalb413284
Whitley382239
Huntington379780
Miami373365
Knox367189
Steuben367157
Putnam353460
Jasper352546
Wabash348178
Adams338253
Ripley335469
Jefferson318080
White308854
Daviess289999
Wells286881
Decatur279592
Fayette277362
Greene271085
Posey269533
Scott261553
Clay255445
LaGrange255470
Randolph236080
Washington231631
Spencer228131
Jennings225448
Fountain209345
Sullivan208042
Starke206252
Owen192756
Fulton192140
Jay186429
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178353
Rush170824
Vermillion166343
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford133931
Pike130734
Pulaski114345
Newton104234
Brown100740
Crawford97914
Benton97413
Martin83115
Warren80215
Switzerland7698
Union70110
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408