INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine gave an update Tuesday morning on the county’s response to the pandemic.
Mayor Hogsett thanked everyone involved with hosting the NCAA Tournament, and said we can call the event “a clear success for the City of Indianapolis.”
While the state’s mask mandate is now a mask advisory, Marion County’s mask mandate will continue until the county’s public health order is lifted.
Over the coming months, Hogsett said our city and country will move closer to herd immunity. The goal now is to expand access to vaccines and make sure Hoosiers are willing to get their shot.
More mobile vaccine units are coming to Marion County, he said.
Hogsett urged organizations serving minority communities to apply for the COVID Community Recovery Grant Program by April 30. A total of $1 million will be awarded.
“More shots in the arm will get us back in business quicker than anything else,” he said.
Dr. Caine urged Hoosiers to stay vigilant on wearing a mask in public, regardless of your vaccine status. Also continue to social distance and wash hands frequently.
She encouraged everyone over 16 to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Caine said Marion County is seeing a slow increase in its COVID-19 positivity rate. Officials are also seeing an increase in newly confirmed cases and first-time hospitalizations.
Cases in K-12 schools are very low and Dr. Caine said safeguards in classrooms have done well to prevent spread. Cases among adults and college-age students are increasing.
She said health officials are racing toward herd immunity as variant strains become more widely spread. All four different variants have been found in Indiana.
Dr. Caine said her target for herd immunity is 80% of the population being vaccinated.
“We can see the finish line ahead of us, we’ve just got to run through it,” Hogsett said.
Hogsett and Caine announced the #GotMyShot social media and outreach campaign, which will help amplify voices of trusted community members and the reasons why they chose to get vaccinated, along with relevant COVID-19 information and facts. Anyone can get involved in the campaign. Facts, testimonials, and assets are available at www.GotMyShotcampaign.com.