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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday released new COVID-19 data on the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

The data was collected through Tuesday. The state’s dashboard is updated weekly on Wednesdays.

Indiana’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 25,274 on Tuesday from 25,241 on May 23. That’s an increase of 33.

The amount of probable deaths increased to 1,228 on Tuesday from 1,232 on May 23. That’s a a decrease of four.

The total of COVID-19 positive cases in Indiana rose to 2,080,067 on Tuesday from 2,078,280 on May 23. That’s an increase of 1,787.

The state recorded a seven-day average of 14 hospital admissions and 137 emergency room visits on Tuesday.

IDOH says 3,864,233 Hoosiers had completed the primary vaccination series through Tuesday. That’s about 55.5% of the total population.

A total of 899,762 Hoosiers had received the most recent booster shot through Tuesday and were up to date on vaccinations.

More Indiana information, including interactive graphs, can be found online.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Catalent Pharma Solutions, which grew as COVID-19 vaccine was in demand, has told employees that more layoffs are coming this week.

This week’s announcement of 150 layoffs came after 400 workers were released in December. At that time, Catalent was Bloomington’s second largest employer, with 3,100 workers after the December layoffs, according to the city’s mayor.

Employees were emailed this week about the layoffs, which will be completed by Friday. An employee of the company shared the email and asked to remain anonymous. News 8 reached out to the company Thursday afternoon but did not immediately receive a response.

The email says the 150 layoffs are primarily leadership and support jobs. In addition, Catalent is withdrawing 100 vacant jobs and reassigning employees to those roles if possible.

Anibal Carlo, vice president and general manger of the Bloomington facility, sent the email. He joined the leadership team at Bloomington in March.

“As it is well known, Catalent added people and resources at an extraordinary rate during the pandemic to ensure we could meet our customer requirements,” the email says in part. “But unfortunately, we didn’t anticipate the unprecedented complexity involving in exiting the pandemic, both operationally and financially, and the difficulty of pivoting this site to non-COVID programs. Among other problems, we created an infrastructure — people and processes — that is too costly and, therefore, unsustainable.”

The email also announced a company reorganization to begin next week.

Catalent Biologics issued a statement on Thursday afternoon: “Catalent’s Bloomington facility played a critical role in producing the vaccines and therapies that protected public health during the pandemic, and it continues to produce these medicines along with many others that patients rely on every day. As the pandemic has receded, global demand for vaccines has declined sharply, leading to a range of challenges at our facility. As a result, we have needed to make a number of personnel changes in Bloomington. These changes are unfortunate but necessary to help ensure Catalent is able to continue operating in a sustainable manner. The Bloomington facility remains a critical part of Catalent’s growth plans and its global network.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2021 approved the Bloomington Catalent facility to make the Johnson & JohnsonJanssen COVID-19 vaccine.

About a month ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it was limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to people 18 and older for whom other vaccines aren’t appropriate or accessible and those who opt for J&J because they wouldn’t otherwise get vaccinated. The change was made due to the risk of a rare and dangerous clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome after receiving the vaccine.

The Bloomington city government in early 2022 offered Catalent up to $44 million in tax credits.

Alex Crowley, director of Bloomington government’s Economic & Sustainable Development Department, told News 8 that the tax abatement is only in effect if Catalent meets two goals: $350 million in capital investment, and a net increase of 1,000 new jobs at an average wage of $32 per hour. They were given until the end of 2026 to meet both goals, Crowley says.

“So unless they meet both, they will not be eligible to receive the tax abatement,” Crowley told News 8 by email.

News 8 also reached out to the office of the Democratic mayor to find out if the city is providing any help amid the layoffs. After the layoffs in December, Mayor John Hamilton said in a statement that he’d continue working with the Bloomington Economic Development Corp., the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, and Catalent and their employees to minimize the impact on people who were laid off. 

Hamilton’s office had not replied to News 8 by Friday afternoon.

The Catalent facility is at 1300 S. Patterson Drive, which about a mile southwest of the Indiana University campus.

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 10% of people appear to suffer long COVID after an omicron infection, a lower estimate than earlier in the pandemic, according to a study of nearly 10,000 Americans that aims to help unravel the mysterious condition.

Early findings from the National Institutes of Health’s study highlight a dozen symptoms that most distinguish long COVID, the catchall term for the sometimes debilitating health problems that can last for months or years after even a mild case of COVID-19.

Millions worldwide have had long COVID, with dozens of widely varying symptoms including fatigue and brain fog. Scientists still don’t know what causes it, why it only strikes some people, how to treat it -– or even how to best diagnose it. Better defining the condition is key for research to get those answers.

“Sometimes I hear people say, ’Oh, everybody’s a little tired,'” said Dr. Leora Horwitz of NYU Langone Health, one of the study authors. “No, there’s something different about people who have long COVID and that’s important to know.”

The new research, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, includes more than 8,600 adults who had COVID-19 at different points in the pandemic, comparing them to another 1,100 who hadn’t been infected.

By some estimates, roughly 1 in 3 of COVID-19 patients have experienced long COVID. That’s similar to NIH study participants who reported getting sick before the omicron variant began spreading in the U.S. in December 2021. That’s also when the study opened, and researchers noted that people who already had long COVID symptoms might have been more likely to enroll.

But about 2,230 patients had their first coronavirus infection after the study started, allowing them to report symptoms in real time -– and only about 10% experienced long-term symptoms after six months.

Prior research has suggested the risk of long COVID has dropped since omicron appeared; its descendants still are spreading.

The bigger question is how to identify and help those who already have long COVID.

The new study zeroed in on a dozen symptoms that may help define long COVID: fatigue; brain fog; dizziness; gastrointestinal symptoms; heart palpitations; sexual problems; loss of smell or taste; thirst; chronic cough; chest pain; worsening symptoms after activity and abnormal movements.

The researchers assigned scores to the symptoms, seeking to establish a threshold that eventually could help ensure similar patients are enrolled in studies of possible long COVID treatments, as part of the NIH study or elsewhere, for apples-to-apples comparison.

Horwitz stressed that doctors shouldn’t use that list to diagnose someone with long COVID — it’s a potential research tool only. Patients may have one of those symptoms, or many -– or other symptoms not on the list — and still be suffering long-term consequences of the coronavirus.

Everyone’s doing studies of long COVID yet “we don’t even know what that means,” Horwitz said.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday released new COVID-19 data on the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

The data was collected through Tuesday. The state’s dashboard is updated weekly on Wednesdays.

Indiana’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 25,241 on Tuesday from 25,200 on May 9. That’s an increase of 41.

The amount of probable deaths increased to 1,232 on Tuesday from 1,221 on May 9. That’s an increase of 11.

The total of COVID-19 positive cases in Indiana rose to 2,078,280 on Tuesday from 2,074,634 on May 9. That’s an increase of 3,646.

The state recorded a seven-day average of 18 hospital admissions and 143 emergency room visits on Tuesday.

IDOH says 3,863,928 Hoosiers had completed the primary vaccination series through Tuesday. That’s about 55.5% of the total population.

A total of 896,789 Hoosiers had received the most recent booster shot through Tuesday.

More Indiana information, including interactive graphs, can be found online.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Franciscan Health Indianapolis unveiled a monument Tuesday to honor dedication shown by health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The monument’s sculpture of the tau cross, the symbol St. Francis of Assisi shared as he ministered to the sick, was created by artist Ryan Feeney of Indianapolis.

Feeney is known for his bronze statue of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning outside Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

“No one woke up in March of 2020 realizing their lives would be changed forever. No one thought it, but everyone lived it,”

Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission integration for Franciscan Health Central Indiana

An identical memorial will eventually be placed at the Franciscan Health Mooresville campus.

(CNN) — The national public health emergency around COVID-19 officially ends in the United States on Thursday, more than three years after it was first declared.

This comes as the World Health Organization announced last week that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a global health emergency.

What does all this mean about the threat COVID-19 poses to people? Is it right to end the worldwide and U.S. states of emergency, or is it too soon? What have been some key lessons learned during the past three years? What investments must continue to prevent and treat this coronavirus? And what should people who remain at high risk for severe COVID-19, and their family members, do?

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner. She answered questions from CNN.

CNN: What does the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency mean for people?

Dr. Leana Wen: I think it’s very important to clarify that declarations of ending the emergency around COVID-19 does not mean that COVID-19 is over. Rather, the declarations have a more bureaucratic meaning. In the United States, for example, the state of national emergency allowed hospitals to operate with greater flexibility. Some of these flexibilities will end. Others, like those allowing for more telemedicine services, will stay in some form even after the emergency declaration ends.

Just because the official declaration is ending doesn’t mean that the virus has magically disappeared. It hasn’t. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 77,000 new COVID-19 cases last week. This is likely a significant underestimate, given that many people are testing for coronavirus at home or not at all.

CNN: Do you think it was too soon to end the emergency declaration?

Wen: No, I don’t. Another important measure is that the number of Americans being hospitalized with COVID-19 is at the lowest level it has been since the beginning of the pandemic. This is because nearly everyone has some immunity to the coronavirus and because of the widespread availability of treatments.

More than 96% of Americans have either had the coronavirus, been vaccinated or both, according to CDC data. Prior exposure through recovery, vaccination or both conveys some protection against severe disease. In addition, there are treatments available for those at high risk. The antiviral medication Paxlovid, for example, reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by about 80% if it’s taken within five days of symptom onset.

Every emergency has to an end at some point. At this point, when there is widespread immunity and widely available vaccines and treatments, I think it’s reasonable for the official declaration to end. That doesn’t mean COVID-19 no longer poses a threat or that it won’t be in the future; rather, it needs to be understood as we do other serious diseases. We still must monitor for new variants and work to prevent and treat the coronavirus, with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable individuals.

CNN: Looking back, what have been some key lessons learned during the past three years?

Wen: In my view, there have been three key lessons. First, as much as science has delivered incredibly to allow us to have safe and effective vaccines in record time, these advances can only work if people use them. Even as second bivalent boosters have become available to some, it’s disheartening to see that not even half of people 65 and older have received their first bivalent booster. Much more work needs to be done to deploy vaccines and treatments to high-risk populations.

Second, we’ve seen how much public health depends on public trust. When that trust is eroded, it’s difficult to get back. I worry about what will happen if there is another infectious disease outbreak, and I worry about the erosion of trust in existing public health measures as evidenced by the drop in routine childhood immunizations for polio, measles and chickenpox.

Third, the pandemic unveiled the many problems with our health care system. The state of emergency declaration allowed for some temporary fixes, like providing free care for patients with COVID-19 and extending Medicaid coverage for low-income children and families. The end of the state of emergency means that some of these protections will come to an end and will leave millions of vulnerable people without safety net coverage.

This isn’t justification for forever extending the state of emergency, but rather it’s a reminder that the urgency to reform the health care system that existed before the pandemic still remains after the official declaration ends.

CNN: What investments must continue to be made to prevent and treat COVID-19?

Wen: We need to develop better vaccines — vaccines that can reduce not only severe disease but also infection and transmission, and vaccines that provide broad coverage against not only existing variants but ones that may develop in the future. There’s also a need for improved treatments, which continue to be needed for the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions that make them more susceptible to severe disease from COVID-19. Moreover, much more should be done to understand, prevent and treat long COVID, and there must also be continued investments in surveillance efforts to quickly detect and contain variants of concern as they emerge.

CNN: What should people who remain at high risk for severe COVID-19, and their family members, do?

Wen: People who remain at high risk for severe COVID-19 and their loved ones should use available tools to protect themselves. At the very least, keep up to date on vaccines, and speak with your health care provider about whether you are eligible for a second bivalent booster. Know which treatments you are eligible for, and have a plan to access them.

Vulnerable individuals should then decide what additional levels of protection they want. Some may still wish to mask in indoor crowded spaces, in which case they should be sure to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask in these places. Others may continue to test before indoor get-togethers or, especially as the weather is getting warmer, prefer to gather outdoors. All of these are reasonable precautions to be taking for those at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19 and for those who continue to prioritize avoiding the coronavirus.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday released new COVID-19 data on the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

The data was collected through Tuesday. The state’s dashboard is updated weekly on Wednesdays.

Indiana’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 25,200 on Tuesday from 25,174 on April 26. That’s an increase of 26.

The amount of probable deaths increased to 1,221 on Tuesday from 1,218 on April 26. That’s an increase of three.

The total of COVID-19 positive cases in Indiana rose to 2,074,634 on Tuesday from 2,072,435 on April 26. That’s an increase of 2,199.

The state recorded a seven-day average of 24 hospital admissions and 167 emergency room visits on Tuesday.

IDOH says 3,863,869 Hoosiers had completed the primary vaccination series through Tuesday. That’s about 55.5% of the total population.

A total of 889,423 Hoosiers had received the most recent booster shot through Tuesday.

More Indiana information, including interactive graphs, can be found online.

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization said Friday that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency, marking a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies and killed millions of people worldwide.

The announcement, made more than three years after WHO declared the coronavirus an international crisis, offers a coda to a pandemic that stirred fear and suspicion, hand-wringing and finger-pointing across the globe.

The U.N. health agency’s officials said that even though the emergency phase was over, the pandemic hasn’t ended, noting recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

WHO says thousands of people are still dying from the virus every week, and millions of others are suffering from debilitating, long-term effects.

“It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“That does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” he said, adding he wouldn’t hesitate to reconvene experts to assess the situation should a new variant “put our world in peril.”

Tedros said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to life before COVID-19.

He bemoaned the damage that COVID-19 had done to the global community, saying the pandemic had shattered businesses, exacerbated political divisions, led to the spread of misinformation and plunged millions into poverty.

The political fallout in some countries was swift and unforgiving. Some pundits say missteps by President Donald Trump in his administration’s response to the pandemic had a role in his losing reelection bid in 2020. The United States saw the deadliest outbreak of any country in the world — where more than 1 million people died.

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, said it was incumbent on heads of states and other leaders to negotiate a wide-ranging pandemic treaty to decide how future health threats should be faced.

Ryan said that some of the scenes witnessed during COVID-19, when people resorted to “bartering for oxygen canisters,” fought to get into emergency rooms and died in parking lots because they couldn’t get treated, must never be repeated.

When the U.N. health agency first declared the coronavirus to be an international crisis on Jan. 30, 2020, it hadn’t yet been named COVID-19 and there were no major outbreaks beyond China.

More than three years later, the virus has caused an estimated 764 million cases globally and about 5 billion people have received at least one dose of vaccine.

In the U.S., the public health emergency declaration made regarding COVID-19 is set to expire on May 11, when wide-ranging measures to support the pandemic response, including vaccine mandates, will end. Many other countries, including Germany, France and Britain, dropped most of their provisions against the pandemic last year.

When Tedros declared COVID-19 to be an emergency in 2020, he said his greatest fear was the virus’ potential to spread in countries with weak health systems.

In fact, some of the countries that suffered the worst COVID-19 death tolls were previously judged to be the best-prepared for a pandemic, including the U.S. and Britain. According to WHO data, the number of deaths reported in Africa account for just 3% of the global total.

WHO doesn’t “declare” pandemics, but first used the term to describe the outbreak in March 2020, when the virus had spread to every continent except Antarctica, long after many other scientists had said a pandemic was already underway.

WHO is the only agency mandated to coordinate the world’s response to acute health threats, but the organization faltered repeatedly as the coronavirus unfolded.

In January 2020, WHO publicly applauded China for its supposed speedy and transparent response, even though recordings of private meetings obtained by The Associated Press showed top officials were frustrated at the country’s lack of cooperation.

WHO also recommended against mask-wearing for the public for months, a mistake many health officials say cost lives.

Numerous scientists also slammed WHO’s reluctance to acknowledge that COVID-19 was frequently spread in the air and by people without symptoms, criticizing the agency’s lack of strong guidance to prevent such exposure.

Tedros was a vociferous critic of rich countries who hoarded the limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, warning that the world was on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” by failing to share shots with poor countries.

Most recently, WHO has struggled to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, a challenging scientific endeavor that has also become politically fraught.

After a weeks-long visit to China, WHO released a report in 2021 concluding that COVID-19 most likely jumped into humans from animals, dismissing the possibility that it originated in a lab as “extremely unlikely.”

But the U.N. agency backtracked the following year, saying “key pieces of data” were still missing and that it was premature to rule out that COVID-19 might have ties to a lab.

Tedros lamented that the catastrophic toll of COVID-19 could have been avoided.

“We have the tools and the technologies to prepare for pandemics better, to detect them earlier, to respond to them faster,” Tedros said, without citing missteps by WHO specifically.

“Lives were lost that should not have been. We must promise ourselves and our children and grandchildren that we will never make those mistakes again.”


Maria Cheng reported from London.

(CNN) — COVID-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2022, according to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It was the third leading cause of death in the first two years of the pandemic, but there were about half as many deaths from it in 2022 as there were the year before.

Despite the decline, about 1 out of every 13 deaths in the United States in 2022 was associated with COVID-19. The virus killed nearly 245,000 people in 2022, CDC data shows. It was an underlying cause of nearly 187,000 deaths and a contributor to about 58,000 more.

COVID-19 death rates declined for all racial and ethnic groups but remained highest among American Indian and Black people. Overall death rates were highest for these groups, too.

Unintentional injuries moved back to the third leading cause of death, as drug overdoses reached record levels.

Heart disease and cancer remained the top two leading causes of death, and rates for both increased in 2022. Nearly 700,000 people died from heart disease, and about 608,000 people died from cancer.

The pandemic may have contributed to this increase. One study, for example, found that people with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases for at least a year after recovery.

Overall, the age-adjusted death rate in the United States declined about 5% from 2021 to 2022.

The death rate for children ages 1 to 4 rose nearly 8%. The COVID-19 death rate for this group did rise in 2022, but it was not a significant contributor to the overall death rate. The report did not fully explain what drove the overall increase for children ages 1 to 4.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Widespread loneliness in the U.S. poses health risks as deadly as smoking a dozen cigarettes daily, costing the health industry billions of dollars annually, the U.S. surgeon general said Tuesday in declaring the latest public health epidemic.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, weighed in on the report from the office of Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Adams said Thursday on News 8, “The big takeaway is that, even before the pandemic, we knew that about 1 in 2 adults reported loneliness. That’s significant in and of itself. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is this isn’t just about your emotional well-being or even mental health concerns. This actually is translating into physical health problems.”

Those problems include a 29% increased risk of heart disease, a 50% increased risk of developing dementia for older adults, and a 60% increased risk of premature death.

“The report says up to half of all adults report feeling lonely. It’s hard to write a prescription to fix that,” Adams said.

What’s a solution? Reach out and call family members.

Adams said, “That connectedness actually helps you and helps them put down the phone, or at least realize how much time you’re spending on digital devices, and that’s something that Dr. Murphy highlights, things that we thought were connecting us. These social media accounts often cause us to be isolated and more withdrawn, and, from a societal point of view, he talks about making sure we’re strengthening social infrastructure, building parks, libraries, places where people can come together instead of what we have right now, people isolating at home by themselves.”

“I want to highlight to people that being lonely is not the same thing as being alone. Some people need to be alone to recharge. They’re introverts. That is OK. But when it’s getting to the point that you’re not talking to people at all, that you feel like you’re lonely, that’s when this becomes problematic.”

Keeping COVID at bay

Dr. Deborah Birx, who Adams worked with on President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 task force, says she believes the coronavirus will eventually evade Paxlovid, which he says is one of the last treatments for the ailment. Adams agreed with Birx, and added that deaths from the coronavirus could double without continued medical innovations.

Resources to keep developing treatments ahead of the coronavirus are the answer, he says.

“We need to make sure we’re innovating in a way that will allow us to continue to live with the virus but live safely and not that people are going to be harmed or die because we haven’t put in the investment and the resources to develop therapies for people who get sick or who are vulnerable.” Right. It sounds like there may be more work ahead for scientists.”

Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.