Indiana coronavirus updates: US sets shorter COVID-19 isolation rules for health care workers
The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Friday, December 24, 2021.
INDIANAPOLIS – Here are the latest updates on Friday on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on vaccines and COVID-19 testing in Indiana.
Vaccine registrations are now open for Hoosiers ages 5 and up through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated throughout the day with more news about the COVID-19 pandemic.
US lifting travel ban on 8 southern African countries put in place over omicron concerns
The United States will lift travel restrictions on eight South African countries on New Year’s Eve, the White House announced on Friday.
The restrictions, imposed last month, were intended to curb the spread of the omicron COVID variant. On the same subject : Indiana General Assembly to reconvene for one-day session after Thanksgiving.
The November 29 ban banned almost all non-US citizens who had recently been to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
White House spokesman Kevin Muñoz said on Twitter that the decision was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Muñoz said the temporary travel bans allowed scientists time to study the new variant of the virus and conclude that current vaccinations are effective in reducing its impact.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 51.81 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 6 a. To see also : Want to see some of Indiana’s best wildlife? Take this expert advice and go west..m. Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 815,400 deaths have been reported in the United States.
Worldwide, there have been more than 278.18 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with more than 5.38 million deaths and more than 8.880 million doses of vaccines administered worldwide.
For most people, coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses such as pneumonia or death.
US sets shorter COVID-19 isolation rules for health care workers
Concerned that a new wave of COVID-19 could overflow U. On the same subject : Ex-Indiana DCS case manager charged in Bartholomew Co. with misconduct, falsifying records.S. hospitals with understaffed, federal officials on Thursday loosened rules requiring health care workers to stay out of work for 10 days if they test positive.
Now, these workers will be able to return to work after seven days if the test is negative and they show no symptoms. Isolation time can be reduced if there is a severe shortage of staff, according to the new guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC officials have advised that when calculating the 10-day isolation period, the first day should be the first full day after the development of symptoms or after a positive test. If a person experiences symptoms at some point after a positive test for COVID-19, the quarantine period should be restarted, starting one day after the onset of symptoms.
Navy personnel begin integration process to help at Methodist Hospital
A 20-member U.S. Navy team began arriving in Indianapolis this week. The teams are made up of medical professionals from a variety of specialties, such as critical care and respiratory care.
Dr. Chris Weaver, chief clinical officer of IU Health, said the system is treating 551 COVID patients in all hospitals, the highest it has ever had at one time. By context, it is enough to fill only the Methodist Hospital. The system also records about six total deaths per COVID per day.
The Methodist Hospital itself is treating 137 patients for COVID-19, which is the largest in the state. Weaver noted that the stress the system is experiencing is not only due to the treatment of patients with COVID, but also to patients with other diseases, along with a shortage of workers.
Weaver said Navy personnel are especially helpful with critical care, while the National Guard, which previously deployed to 14 of the 16 hospital systems, helps primarily with non-clinical tasks.
The Navy has already begun to integrate into the hospital, but no specific date has been set for when the teams will begin treating patients. Navy personnel will assist where the Methodist sees most need, not necessarily only with patients with COVID. Although the deployment is scheduled for 90 days, the team is ready to help for as long as FEMA and the Department of Defense determine necessary.
US adds Merck pill as 2nd easy-to-use drug against COVID-19
U.S. health regulators authorized the second pill against COVID-19 on Thursday, providing another easy-to-use drug to fight the rising tide of omicron infections.
The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization comes a day after the agency removed a competing drug from Pfizer. This pill is likely to become the first choice treatment for the virus, thanks to its superior benefits and milder side effects.
As a result, the Merck Pill is expected to play a lesser role against the pandemic than was predicted just a few weeks ago. Its ability to prevent severe COVID-19 is much lower than initially advertised, and the medicine’s label will warn of serious safety issues, including the potential for birth defects.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Merck’s drug for adults with early symptoms of COVID-19 who face the highest risks of hospitalization, including the elderly and those with conditions such as obesity and heart disease. The UK first approved the pill in early November.
Known as molnupiravir, Merck will carry a warning against use during pregnancy.