March 11, 2021

Marion County Officials Provide COVID Update Ahead Of March Madness

Jill Sheridan WFYI

Jill Sheridan WFYI

Indianapolis city officials provided a COVID-19 update Thursday as metrics continue to improve across the county and the city prepares to host March Madness.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett offered basketball analogies as he reminded residents to stick to the fundamentals.

“Wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing your hands and now when you’re eligible taking your shot,” Hogsett said.

The city will be in the national spotlight as teams and fans start to arrive in Indianapolis next week for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. Game capacity is capped at 25 percent. Restaurants and bars have been able to increase capacity.

READ MORE: City Officials Add Security Downtown Ahead Of Basketball Tournaments

Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine said new CDC guidance allows more contact for people who have been fully vaccinated.

“This is welcome news to grandparents, oh my goodness,” Caine said, “who have missed hugging their grandchildren and families who have missed important moments in the past year.”

City leaders said they worked with the NCAA, state agencies and civic partners to prepare safety plans for players, fans and venues.

As of March 2, Marion County’s overall positivity rate was 2.9 percent. It’s averaging 100 COVID-19 cases a day and less than one death a day.  The county has a goal to vaccinate 80 percent of residents by the end of June.

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