Ind. opening vaccine eligibility to teachers and child care workers Monday
Day 5 of no new local Hoosier COVID-19 deaths
INDIANA (WFIE) - Gov. Eric Holcomb and state leaders gave a statewide coronavirus briefing Wednesday.
They say starting Monday, teachers and child care providers will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those eligible include:
- Teachers and staff in pre-K through high school, childcare centers, Head Start and Early Start programs.
- Licensed childcare providers, including center-based and family care providers
- Classroom aides, bus drivers, janitors and counselors
- Administration staff, cafeteria workers, and substitute teachers
Technically, teachers in Indiana were already eligible, but only through national pharmacies like Kroger, Walmart and Meijer.
Now, starting Monday, it is as simple as going to the state’s website to sign up.
At Parents Choice Child Care in Evansville, the team felt the powerful punch this pandemic has packed after losing a member of their childcare family to COVID-19.
“We need to do everything we can to keep that from happening again,” Director DeAnne Splittorff said.
Splittorf plans to get vaccinated and is encouraging other teachers to sign up, too.
“I just feel it’s the responsible thing to do,” Splittorff added. “Even if, like I said, my symptoms are mild - it could be extreme for someone else. So, it’s worth it to get the vaccine in order to keep that from happening.”
Other health conditions are also being included in the list of eligibility.
Those with conditions including sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, cancer patients, and organ transplants have already been contacted by the state.
More than a million Hoosiers have now received the vaccine.
“That gives me a lot of optimism,” says Governor Holcomb, “that the folks we were the most worried about are going to have access, or the opportunity, to get vaccinated.”
Even if you are vaccinated, the Indiana State Department of Health advises you still need to wear a mask when at church, the grocery store and other indoor places where you are around people that might not be vaccinated.
The positivity rate now stands at 3.1% statewide. For the first time since July, there are fewer than 700 Hoosiers hospitalized due to COVID-19.
“This past weekend marked a turning point for our state,” says State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, “as the number of fully vaccinated Hoosiers surpassed the number of COVID-19 cases we’ve had since March 6, 2020.”
The state is advising long-term care centers to allow visitations up to eight hours during the week.
On Wednesday, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 863 new coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths.
None of those deaths were in our local counties. This marks the fifth day in a row our eight county area has had no COVID-19 related deaths.
The total in the state is now at 669,164 confirmed cases and 12,350 deaths.
The map shows Gibson, Spencer, in Warrick Counties are now in yellow for the two metric score. All other local counties are in blue.
There is a flag on Gibson County that shows a high number of new cases are attributed to congregate settings.
For the advisory level only, just Vanderburgh, Pike, and Perry Counties are in blue. Everyone else in our area is in yellow.
The map shows 25 new cases in Vanderburgh County, one new case in Dubois County, eight new cases in Warrick County, one new case in Perry County, three new cases in Posey County, nine new cases in Gibson County, five new case in Spencer County, and zero new cases in Pike County.
This comes as the Vanderburgh County Health Department has moved to administering COVID-19 vaccines two days a week, instead of four.
“We can provide the vaccinations for the doses that we have in those two days,” says Administrator Joe Gries. “That makes us a little more efficient.”
Gries says the health department will be able to give 400 shots on Wednesdays and 200 more on Saturdays.
“We are getting rid of our 600 doses every week,” says Gries.
He says this new schedule will prevent staff burnout, while also making the most of vaccine vials.
“Not only this month and next month,” says Gries, “but well into the future. We believe we will be vaccinating people maybe throughout this whole year.”
Hoosiers ages 50 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 shot.
To schedule an appointment, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location.
Hoosiers who don’t have access to a computer or need help registering for an appointment can call 211.
Here are the coronavirus totals in our part of Indiana.
- Vanderburgh Co. - 21,384 cases, 382 deaths
- Dubois Co. - 5,951 cases, 112 deaths
- Warrick Co. - 7,468 cases, 153 deaths
- Perry Co. - 1,743 cases, 36 deaths
- Posey Co. - 2,622 cases, 32 deaths
- Gibson Co. - 4,075 cases, 85 deaths
- Spencer Co. - 2,202 cases, 30 deaths
- Pike Co. - 1,284 cases, 33 deaths
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