While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for June 23

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

Heart inflammation. The CDC is set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine and heart inflammation in young people.

Ahead of the meeting, a local pediatric cardiologist is offering his take on the possible risk.

Dr. Ryan Serrano  says a very small number of cases of heart inflammation have been reported ​in comparison to the number of vaccines given. He adds most of the ​cases have not been severe.

Serrano also says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk even for those with heart disease.

“We take care of really sick kids who have really severe heart disease,  and it’s easy to think, ‘Oh, I have heart disease therefore I’m more at risk to have this adverse reaction, but that’s just not the case. You’re at more risk of getting severely ill of COVID. So if you have heart disease, it’s even more of a reason to get the vaccine.”

Of the ​tens of millions of young people who have gotten the vaccines, this condition has come up in a few hundred.

While at least one death has been reported, it has not been linked to the vaccine.

50% by the 4th? Not likely. Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine set a goal of “50 by the Fourth” to vaccinate half of all county residents against the COVID-19 virus.

With less than two weeks to go, the ambitious benchmark looks unattainable.

“We’re at the 39% mark of being fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Caine during a morning briefing with reporters. “We still got two more weeks and we’re trying to knock it out of the park with our vaccinations and looking at our other metrics too, when we see our hospitalizations and ER visits almost go off the charts.”

While the vaccination rate climbed only one percent in the last week, the daily COVID-19 infection rate has dropped to 2.4%, less than half of what Dr. Caine calls her “Gold Standard”, and deaths are less than one per day, emergency department visits are 23 per day and hospital admissions are less than six per day, all statistics that show a steady downward trend.

Dr. Caine said analysts also take into account the number of Marion County residents who have recovered from COVID-19 and their natural immunity when trying to determine the level of Indianapolis’ protection from the pandemic.

End of eviction moratorium looms. With the end of the national eviction moratorium just about a week away, state officials are working to reach more people who could be at risk of losing their homes.

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority still has $300 million in federal funding available for rental and utility assistance, according to Jacob Sipe, executive director.

The end of the moratorium June 30 may cause an increase in evictions, and there’s no way of knowing how many Hoosiers could be at risk, Sipe said.

With the end of the eviction moratorium approaching, some say they’re worried about those who could be affected.

“We do a lot of work with our families at the Moorhead Community Resource Center,” said James Taylor, director of student services for Warren Township schools. “Over 35 to 40 percent of our inquiries have been about housing.”

Delta variant. White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said the US faces possible localized coronavirus surges due to the Delta variant.

“The transmissibility is unquestionably greater,” Fauci said. “It is associated with an increased disease severity as reflected by hospitalization risk.”

The Delta variant is also impacting more kids and teens. Fauci said this variant “is the greatest threat to eliminating the virus in the US.”

The good news is vaccines have shown to be effective against infections and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant.

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