April 1, 2024

Here’s where to get free eclipse glasses in Marion County

People are seen as they watch a total solar eclipse through protective glasses in Madras, Oregon on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. - NASA / Aubrey Gemignani

People are seen as they watch a total solar eclipse through protective glasses in Madras, Oregon on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

NASA / Aubrey Gemignani

Indianapolis is in the path of totality, which means that people here will be able to see the moon totally blocking the sun for nearly 3 minutes and 46 seconds at around 3:06 p.m.

The last time Indianapolis witnessed a total solar eclipse was more than 800 years ago.

With the excitement and anticipation that surround the event, also come some risks and precautions that people need to take to protect their health, said Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department, in a press release.

“Protecting our vision is paramount, along with the ability of first responders to safely navigate roads that are expected to have a significantly increased amount of traffic that could affect normal travel times,” Caine said.

Medical professionals say people must wear special eclipse-viewing glasses or use safe solar viewers –– which are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses –– during the event in order to prevent eye damage.

Normal sunglasses won’t protect the eyes. Looking through a telescope or a camera viewfinder without proper filters could also cause harm.

The MCPHD will host multiple events to distribute free eclipse-viewing glasses and provide information about how to stay safe:

Lafayette Square Mall
3919 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Washington Square Mall
10202 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis
Thursday, April 4, 2024
2-6 p.m.

The MCPHD will also host an open house, “Prioritizing the Totality of Your Health,” to offer a variety of public health services, including free eclipse-viewing glasses, sports physicals and lead screenings:

Marion County Public Health Department
3838 N. Rural Street, Indianapolis
Saturday, April 6, 2024
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

On April 6, WIC services will be provided by appointment only. There will also be food demonstrations, tutorials on the safe disposal of electronics and information about career opportunities at the Marion County Public Health Department.

The MCPHD will be closed on Monday, April 8, including all clinics and public walk-in services.

Contact WFYI’s health reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org.


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