Indiana COVID-19 Update: IN reports 555 new coronavirus cases, 20 deaths

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana public health officials announced 555 new COVID-19 cases and 20 additional deaths on Monday.

Overall, 12,162 Indiana residents have died from COVID-19 and 662,213 have contracted it since the start of the pandemic.

Health officials say the latest recorded seven-day positive COVID-19 test rate in the state is 3.8%. Health officials say there have been more than 8 million tests administered.

1M-plus Hoosiers get at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine

State health officials say more than 1 million Indiana residents have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than half of those individuals are now fully vaccinated.

The Indiana Department of Health said Monday that since late December, a total of 1,000,321 Hoosiers had received at least one vaccine dose, and 569,465 of them are fully vaccinated.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box is encouraging any eligible Hoosier to sign up now to get their first shot.

Indiana residents age 60 and older, health care workers and first responders are among those currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Indianapolis to relax COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday

Indianapolis will relax coronavirus restrictions on the city’s bars and restaurants starting next week ahead of the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA men’s basketball tournaments.

The changes announced Thursday will allow bars to operate at 50% capacity instead of 25% starting Monday, while restaurants will see their indoor restaurant capacity increase from 50% to 75%.

Bars, restaurants and music venues will also be able to close two hours later, at 2 a.m., instead of at midnight, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced.

Hogsett said the capacity and time changes were prompted by drops in the city’s COVID-19 cases and its coronavirus positivity rate, and not due to the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA men’s basketball tournaments.

“I want to make it clear though that these decisions were in no way driven by March Madness,” Hogsett said.

The NCAA said last week that games would have audiences of up to 25% capacity for the men’s tournament, which begins in mid-March. The 68-team tournament will be played entirely in Indiana because of the pandemic, with most games in Indianapolis.

Marion County has seen its positivity rate drop from 16.4% in December to 3.8% most recently, said Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department. That’s below the 5% threshold health officials consider the level at which communities can safely reopen, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Coronavirus case counts have dropped from the high hundreds in December to an average of 109 per day, she said.

WLS-TV contributed to this report

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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