‘The legend lives on’: Gov. Holcomb, ISDH announce COVID-awareness Super Bowl ad

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INDIANAPOLIS––“The legend lives on. He touched so many people and will continue to do so.”

Governor Eric Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box were joined by Kathy Loggan, widow of North Central Athletic Director Paul Loggan, who died of COVID-19 complications in April of 2020.

Thousands of people across the country, including Governor Holcomb, showed their respect for the beloved leader of the Panthers’ athletics department following his death. Loggan was diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending a basketball sectional last March, and died on Easter Sunday.

ISDH said at least four other people who attended the game also died of the disease.

“Paul Loggan was a beloved figure in Indiana football, and his loss left a huge void for his family and the entire sports community,” said Holcomb said.

Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing was emotional as Holcomb announced a new commercial from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) that will run during Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Holcomb and Dr. Box ran a special preview of the commercial which featured Loggan’s son Will who said the vaccine will save people. In the new tv spot, Will talks about his father’s legacy and his family’s experience.

The commercial will air in six broadcast markets around the state during the game with a projected audience of 1.7 million Hoosiers, according to ISDH.

Kathy Loggan said Paul would be proud of their children and that he would have approved of getting the message out to the community about the importance of the vaccine and taking precautions.

“We can honor his legacy by using all the tools we have to stop the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and getting vaccinated when it’s our time to do so,” Holcomb added.

According to Holcomb, the commercial will run Sunday, February 7 around 6:30 p.m. and will make “a long lasting difference.” 

Dr. Box began her update by saying it is gratifying to see so much public interest in the vaccine, and it’s a reminder that just two months ago there was no vaccine.

Unfortunately, millions of Hoosiers are at high-risk with health issues such as diabetes and heart conditions. She said as long as vaccine supplies remain limited, Indiana will continue to prioritise vaccine doses to those people.

Dr. Box mentioned the positive trends shown in the state’s county metrics map which was updated Wednesday. It shows 29 in Yellow, 59 in Orange and 4 in Red.

She said, “These changes do not mean we are out of the woods. We will not achieve herd immunity for many months.”

Masks and antigen tests will be heading to Indiana schools starting next week with detailed guidance coming, said Dr. Box.

Effective Monday, changes will be coming to how “close contact” is defined in Indiana school classrooms. She announced there will no longer be quarantine or contact tracing requirements if a student or teacher remains three feet apart and all parties are masked.

Dr. Box said this does not apply to lunch, band, choir or in a setting where a mask is not required. She added that this specific guidance will be shared with schools this week.

“We are still losing too many Hoosiers to this disease,” Dr. Box said when speaking about death rates in the state. She announced that a year-end ISDH data audit showed 1,205 additional COVID-19 deaths for 2020 and 302 additional COVID-19 deaths for 2021 will be added to Thursday’s dashboard.

This adjustment also includes 90 COVID-19 deaths that will be added to the long-term care dashboard. These deaths had already been recorded in total COVID-19 deaths, but is just now being correctly assigned as long-term care facility deaths.

Dr. Box reiterated the CDC’s recommendations about continuing mitigation procedures even after Hoosiers have been vaccinated.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) said as of Wednesday, 611,429 Hoosiers have received a first dose of vaccine and 166,131 are fully vaccinated.

On Monday, vaccine appointments were opened up to Indiana residents ages 65-69.

As of late Tuesday morning, the ISDH said nearly 129,000 Hoosiers in this age group had scheduled an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. That is about 36% of people in that age group, according to 2019 Census data.

A spokesperson for ISDH said the schedule is built into March right now, but many Hoosiers have obtained same-day appointments depending on their location.

To find testing sites around the state, visit Coronavirus.In.Gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

Hoosiers aged 70 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit OurShot.In.Gov or call 211 to schedule the required appointment.

As of Wednesday, 611,429 Hoosiers have received a first dose of vaccine, and 166,131 are fully vaccinated.

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