Dr. Box: COVID-19 variants, positivity rate on the rise

Indiana reports 1 new COVID-19 death statewide; 54 new cases reported locally

Dr. Box: COVID-19 variants, positivity rate on the rise

INDIANA (WFIE) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb gave a coronavirus update on Wednesday afternoon.

You can watch that here.

Governor Holcomb announced 39% of Hoosiers have made an appointment, received the first dose or are fully vaccinated.

Also as of Wednesday, all Hoosiers 16 years and older are eligible to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Missed proms, virtual school, sports or events without all of your family and friends in the stands is not the high school or college experience you imagined,” says ISDH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver. “Well now, 16 and up, it is your shot.”

Governor Holcomb says 21,000 newly-eligible Hoosiers made a vaccination appointment in just the first 30 minutes Wednesday morning.

Those 16 and 17 years old can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, but state leaders say the online map can be color-coded to show where the Pfizer vaccine is available.

As of Wednesday, age is the only eligibility requirement in Indiana. State leaders dropped the “proof of residency” requirement to help vaccinate groups like college students.

For example, people in that population may physically be in Indiana, but might not be a resident of Indiana.

Indiana is also just days away from lifting the governor’s mask mandate.

Governor Holcomb made the announcement last week, saying the state’s mandate will just become an advisory, starting April 6.

Another change starting on April 6 is venue capacity decisions will be in the hands of local health officials.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Governor Holcomb was asked about comments made by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who called the move to lift Indiana mask mandate “concerning,” adding he would personally ask Governor Holcomb to reconsider.

“Governor Beshear has my cell phone number,” says Governor Holcomb, “and he clearly has the media’s number as well. He has not contacted me.”

Governor Holcomb said he has heard the comments from Governor Beshear, but that his focus remains on the numbers in the Hoosier State.

“We have vaccinated about 18,000 Kentuckians here in the state of Indiana,” says Governor Holcomb. “I understand the folks who work in Kentucky and live in Indiana, or the folks that live in Indiana and work in Kentucky, completely respect that. But I am paying attention to numbers in Indiana and what’s in the best interest for Hoosiers.”

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone can call 211.

During Wednesday’s briefing, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced the statewide positivity rate and the number of new COVID-19 variants are on the rise.

She says there are 137 cases of the UK variant and 27 of the California variant in Indiana.

On Wednesday, Indiana reported 1,127 new coronavirus cases and one new death. That death was not from our local counties.

That brings the all-time total in the state to 686,497 cases and 12,633 deaths.

The map shows 24 new cases in Vanderburgh County, 10 new cases in Warrick County, eight new cases in Gibson County, there are five new cases in both Dubois and Posey counties, and one new case in both Perry and Spencer counties.

Here are the coronavirus totals in our part of Indiana.

  • Vanderburgh Co. - 21,753 cases, 390 deaths
  • Dubois Co. - 6,031 cases, 115 deaths
  • Warrick Co. - 7,594 cases, 155 deaths
  • Perry Co. - 1,775 cases, 36 deaths
  • Posey Co. - 2,660 cases, 33 deaths
  • Gibson Co. - 4,202 cases, 87 deaths
  • Spencer Co. - 2,255 cases, 31 deaths
  • Pike Co. - 1,290 cases, 34 deaths

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