Vaccine Central

Marion County officials to ramp up availability of testing, vaccination sites

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A surge in COVID-19 cases is causing Marion County to increase the availability of mobile testing and vaccination sites.

“We are going to open up a new site for testing sometime next week. We are looking at another location where we do the drive-thrus, but we will reconsider doing testing downtown,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department.

The county opened a pop-up testing and vaccination site Monday on Washington Street during the College Football Playoff. The clinic was open to everyone, even out-of-town visitors, but the health department said it administered only 19 doses of the vaccine and gave 41 tests over 5½ hours.

Among those stopping by were U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who reiterated the Biden administration’s commitment to keep schools open during the COVID-19 surge.

“We have better tools now to keep our kids safe. We reopened schools before we had the vaccines. We were able to it safely, follow common-sense mitigation strategies; when indoors wear masks,” Cardona said.

Although the county strongly recommends people wear masks, officials have decided against imposing another mask mandate.

“We try to look at the positivity rate. We try to look at the hospital capacity. We try to also look at the number of people vaccinated in our community,” the county health director said.

Caine adds that more than 55% of Marion County residents have received at least once dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Statewide, 3.5 million Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated, excluding boosters.