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Indiana coronavirus COVID-19 updates for Friday, August 27, 2021

The latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Friday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana.

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.

RELATED: Here’s everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

RELATED: FDA grants full approval of Pfizer vaccine: Your questions answered

State health leaders give update

Dr. Box said COVID-19 cases are steadily rising — especially among school-aged children. She cited 98% of new cases are the delta variant, and expressed frustration with the 48% of eligible Hoosiers who refuse to get vaccinated.

Box said she joined other health care experts in other state who have referred to this time as the darkest days of the pandemic. With the rise in cases, Box said the state is in need of more testing sites.

For individuals who are immunocompromised, Dr. Weaver said booster shots are now available and encouraged. It’s preferable to get the same shot as your first two doses, but it’s OK to receive a booster shot of either Pfizer or Moderna. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should not get a booster shot at this time.

Weaver said while breakthrough cases are rising, they still only represent one-half of 1% of new cases. Since January, there have been 93 deaths among vaccinated Hoosiers. Conversely, 2,996 unvaccinated Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 in the same time frame.

ISDH daily update

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 4,893 more cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths from the virus.

There are 5,959 more Hoosiers who are fully vaccinated.

State briefing today at 1 p.m.

State health officials will host a media briefing to provide updates on COVID-19 and its impact on Indiana Friday afternoon.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box and Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver are scheduled to attend the briefing, which begins at 1 p.m. ET in the Indiana Government Center South.

You can watch the briefing streamed live here.

Center Grove schools meets with parents over mask requirements

Thursday night, the Center Grove school board met with parents to discuss masks. They are “strongly recommended” in buildings where positive cases hit one percent. And masks are required when cases reach two percent.

This week the Center Grove school district reported 97 cases of COVID-19 after almost 600 COVID-related absences last week.

“We made our decision and we are going to move on and do that for kids,” Superintendent Rich Arkanoff told 13News, “and that’s why we are all here to make sure our kids are safe, our school is safe and of course, ultimately are community is safe.”

Center Grove leaders said entire classrooms could be quarantined and moved to e-learning if there are three or more positive cases. Entire buildings may have to close if more than 20 percent of the school is out because of COVID-related absences.

Purdue reaches 80% vaccination rate

When Purdue University surveyed students, faculty and staff last year, 80% responded that they would be willing and planned to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Aug. 26, the university announced it had hit the 80% number just one week into the fall semester:

  • 80% of all students have submitted valid proof of full vaccination.
  • 87% of students living in University Residences have submitted valid proof of full vaccination.
  • 79% of students in Fraternity, Sorority, and Co-Operative Life (FSCL) have submitted valid proof of full vaccination.
  • 90% of faculty members have submitted valid proof of full vaccination.
  • 75% of staff members have submitted valid prof of full vaccination.

Those percentages translate to 43,995 students, faculty and staff vaccinated.

RELATED: Purdue University reaches 80% vaccination rate

Central Indiana mobile vaccine clinics this week

Saturday, 4-11 p.m.
Feast of Lanterns
1800 Nowland Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46201

Saturday, noon-4 p.m.
Phillips Temple Community Health and Wellness
210 E. 34th St., Indianapolis, IN 46205

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.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 38.38 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 633,560 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 214.62 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.47 million deaths. More than 5.09 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.

IU Health postponing 50% of elective surgeries among COVID-19 surge

Indiana University Health will be performing fewer elective surgeries as COVID-19 numbers surge in the state.

The hospital network announced Thursday it is temporarily suspending half of all inpatient elective surgeries systemwide, starting Monday Aug. 30. IU Health said the move is necessary to take some of the pressure off of staff and also to reserve inpatient rooms for those in more urgent need of care. 

On Thursday, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 5,027 new positive cases of coronavirus. The department reported 2,108 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. That number has been increasing rapidly over the past few weeks.

Patients who are scheduled for non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries at IU Health are being contacted by the network to reschedule their appointments about three weeks from now. 

COVID-19 surge pummels Hawaii and its native population

A public service announcement campaign reminds Hawaiians that when Hawaii was a kingdom, its rulers pushed people to get vaccinated against smallpox in the 1850s. The messaging comes as Hawaii grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases, record high hospitalizations and stagnant vaccination rates. It’s aimed at Hawaiians, the Indigenous people of Hawaii, who are being hit hard by the virus after faring well earlier in the pandemic. Some Hawaiians say distrust of government stemming from the U.S.-backed 1893 overthrow of the monarchy is a big reason why vaccination rates are lagging.