The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 14, 2021 1:00 am

Timeline September 2020 to January 2021

Sept. 2: (W) WHO publishes guidance on the role of corticosteroids in treating COVID-19.

Sept. 4: (W) The first peer-reviewed results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine are published in the medical journal The Lancet. The results “have a good safety profile” and the vaccine induced antibody responses in all participants, The Lancet says. Sept. 4: (FW) Information released from a new dashboard shows Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne have 19 current COVID-19 cases reported by students. The 19 current cases include 11 new positive cases among students. A total of 22 student cases had been reported since July 26 and 145 students have been quarantined since then, according to the dashboard PFW developed.

Sept. 9: (US) According to Bob Woodward's new book “Rage,” President Donald Trump admits that he repeatedly downplayed the dangers of the virus even though he was briefed even before the U.S.'s first confirmed case.

Sept. 11: (W) WHO highlights the value of antigen based rapid diagnostic tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in areas where community transmission is widespread and where nucleic acid amplification-based diagnostic testing is either unavailable or where test results are significantly delayed. Sept. 15: (W) At the unprecedented virtual high-level session of the 75th UN General Assembly, WHO covers topics such as mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on future generations, stopping the spread of harmful misinformation and better emergency preparedness. Sept. 21: (NI) Unemployment in the Fort Wayne metro area dropped to 6.4% last month, down from 8.2% in July. A year ago in August, the area's jobless rate was just 3.1%, according to figures from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Sept. 22: (W) WHO issues the first Emergency Use Listing for a quality antigen based rapid diagnostic test for detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Sept. 22: (NI) The 34 new cases of COVID-19 reported brings Allen County's total past the 6,000 mark. The county's total is now 6,029 cases, the local health department says.

Sept. 23: (W) WHO issues a joint statement with UN partners and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies calling for action on managing the COVID-19 “infodemic” of an overabundance of information, both online and offline. Sept. 24: (IN) Gov. Eric Holcomb advances the state to Stage 5 but extends the mask mandate again.

Sept. 28: (W) WHO and partners make 120 million affordable, quality COVID-19 rapid tests available for low- and middle-income countries.

Sept. 29: (AC) Officials with the Allen County Health Department say they hope to make the procedure at two new COVID-19 testing sites – one on Ruston Pass and another on Lake Avenue – as seamless as possible. The locations will open within the week under a state plan to expand testing statewide and will be available to Hoosiers and their children, regardless of symptoms.

Sept. 30: (IN) Holcomb extends the temporary licensing of health care workers who do not currently hold an active license.

Oct. 1: (NI) More than 70 northeast Indiana schools, including 37 in Allen County, have had at least one student, teacher or staff member test positive for COVID-19 since the academic year began, according to the new state school dashboard. In Allen County, the dashboard launched Sept. 30 shows cases at 28 Fort Wayne Community schools, two East Allen County schools, one Northwest Allen County school and six non-public schools. The dashboard indicates the coronavirus has infected 1,676 students, 335 teachers and 343 staff members at 742 schools statewide. The actual number of COVID-19 cases affecting schools is likely higher given 1,448 schools haven't reported to the dashboard.

Oct. 2: (US) Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19. He spends three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center receiving treatment before returning to the White House.

Oct. 9: (FW) The ECHL announces some teams will begin play Dec. 11, but the Komets say they're going to wait at least until January.

Oct. 10: (IN) A day after Indiana set an undesirable record for new COVID-19 cases, it happens again. The state reports 1,945 new cases of the virus, eclipsing the previous one-day record of 1,832 set Oct. 9.

Oct. 15: (W) WHO announced conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for COVID-19. Interim results from the Solidarity Trial indicated that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients. Oct. 15: (IN) Holcomb receives a negative result after being tested for COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution after tests State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced a positive test the day before.

Oct. 22: (AC) Allen County sets another grim record – 152 more residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a new daily high, local health officials say. Indiana also breaks records with 2,880 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 155,246 following corrections to the previous day's dashboard, state health officials say. Indiana's death toll increased by 42 for a total of 3,831. Allen County has 8,169 total cases and 224 deaths. The county's previous daily COVID-19 record was set Oct. 16 with 138 new cases.

Oct. 29: (IN) Indiana and Allen County set daily highs for newly reported cases of COVID-19. The 3,649 new infections reported by the Indiana State Department of Health marks the first time Indiana has recorded more than 3,000 positive cases of the virus in one day. Allen County reports a record 243 new cases, nearly 100 more than the record of 149 reported Oct. 27. In just the last five days, the county reported 586 new cases, or about 7% of all cases reported during the pandemic. As a result, Fort Wayne Community Schools announces spectators will not be allowed at district events – athletic and non-athletic – effective immediately.

Nov. 5: (NI) Allen County Courthouse officials consider holding some trials off-site. It would be a rare move to help clear a backlog of cases created by the postponement of 2020 trials due to the pandemic and to ensure adequate space.

Nov. 5: (IN) Indiana continues to set unwanted records. For the second straight day, the state saw a record number of new COVID-19 cases. The 4,462 new ones the state's public health department reported easily dwarf the previous record of 3,756 set a day earlier. It was also the first time Indiana reported more than 4,000 coronavirus cases in a single day.

Nov. 6: (IN) The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Indiana reaches 2,001 – the first time crossing the 2,000 threshold since the pandemic began, according to state data.

Nov. 9: (NI) Surging COVID-19 infection rates force some northeast Indiana schools to shift to virtual learning, beginning this week. And the sickest patients send Indiana's coronavirus hospitalization rates to the highest levels since the pandemic began, state officials say. Central Noble Schools close schools to in-person learning for the week; Southwest Allen County Schools officials halt middle and high school in-person instruction and plan to return Nov. 30, but intend to keep elementary schools open.

Nov. 10: (W) WHO launched the “We Are #InThisTogether” campaign to promote collaboration and adherence to five key measures to counter COVID-19: cleaning hands, wearing masks, coughing and sneezing safely, keeping distant and opening windows. Nov. 10: (IN) Skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 prompt the Indiana Hospital Association to call for Hoosiers to band together – while remaining 6 feet apart. The association, raising concerns about the increase in coronavirus cases and the toll on health care workers treating patients, encourages mask wearing and social distancing.

Nov. 10: (FW) Fireworks show that normally takes place July 4th is held, on the eve of Veterans Day, at the Indiana Michigan Power Center. The venue makes the display visible in numerous areas away from the downtown core.

Nov. 13: (IN) Holcomb issues new guidelines for targeted restrictions based on a county's COVID-19 case metrics. The Indiana Department of Health establishes a color-coded county map that measures weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the seven-day positivity rate for all tests completed. Each county is assigned a color, with its assigned restrictions, based on the average of scores for the two metrics.

Nov. 16: (IN) Indiana K-12 schools report a 38% increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week, and LaGrange County leads the state in positivity, according to updated state numbers. More than 3,300 new COVID-19 cases hit Indiana schools – bringing the total to 11,873. Of that, 8,217 are students and the rest are teachers and staff.

Nov. 16: (FW) Parkview Health announces it will be among the first five hospitals in Indiana to receive and store doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer. Pfizer was expected to submit for emergency use authorization by this week, Indiana public health officials said. The state was asked to identify five pilot sites that could store doses at super-cold temperatures between minus 60 and minus 80 degrees Celsius.

Nov. 18: (NI) Fort Wayne Community Schools announces temporary shift to fully remote lessons for high schools as the coronavirus is taking its toll on staff with quarantine-related absences.

Nov. 20: (W) WHO publishes a guideline on therapeutics and COVID-19, with new information for clinicians including a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, regardless of disease severity.

Nov. 23: (NI) Allen County's two primary health care providers announce new hospital visitor restrictions because of the area's increase in cases of COVID-19. Restrictions took effect immediately. Lutheran Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center and other Parkview-affiliated hospitals now generally are allowing only one visitor per patient. Those younger than 18 are not permitted to visit.

Nov. 24: (AC) Southwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Phil Downs sends letter to families extending until Jan. 5 remote learning for secondary students learning virtually since Nov. 11. The district's six elementary schools remain open with no proposed changes for grades K-5 or special needs students.

Nov. 26: (IN) Almost half of Indiana's confirmed coronavirus cases – 154,517 – have been tallied in the last 30 days, despite positive test results dating back eight months, according to data from the Indiana Department of Health. An additional 6,434 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing Indiana's total to 318,894 since the pandemic began in March. One-fourth of the state's total coronavirus deaths were in the last 30 days, from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25.

Dec. 5: (US) Vaccine advisers to the FDA vote to recommend the agency grant emergency use authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine.

Dec. 5: (FW) Fort Wayne-based Polar Leasing, which distributes walk-in refrigeration and freezer rentals from more than 75 locations nationwide, says it can provide some of the extreme-cold storage units required for coronavirus vaccines. Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network say they will only encourage employees working directly with patients to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Dec. 7: (FW) The Komets determine they need at least until February to play.

Dec. 14: (US) Officials announce the first doses of the FDA-authorized Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Dec. 13: (NI) Another triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases Sunday brings Allen County's total past 24,000. The Allen County Department of Health reports an additional 251 residents have tested positive, bringing the sum to 24,018.

Dec. 18: (US) The FDA authorizes a second coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna for emergency use.

Dec. 18: (NI) Lutheran Health Network begins administering its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to front-line health care workers. The shots for those who might be exposed to infected people or contaminated material were given at the network's three hospitals – Lutheran in southwest Fort Wayne, Kosciusko Community Hospital in Warsaw and Dupont Hospital on Fort Wayne's north side.

Dec. 21: (NI) A parade of fire trucks and ambulances line up outside Fort Wayne's Lutheran Hospital just after sunset with their sirens wailing as a visual and audible salute to the health care workers inside. First responders from across the county were invited to participate in the gathering to boost the hospital employees' spirits as they continue to treat COVID-19 patients.

Dec. 28: (IN) CVS Health begins offering COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities in Indiana. CVS says nearly 1,000 skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities selected the company to administer vaccinations to their residents.

Jan. 1, 2021: (NI) Data show one northeast Indiana school ends 2020 with the unenviable distinction of leading the state in student COVID-19 cases. With 149 cases, Warsaw Community High School has more than double the number of students infected with the coronavirus than Carroll High School, the Allen County leader of student cases. Carroll, of Northwest Allen County Schools, reported 63 student cases to the state's school virus dashboard, which is updated Mondays. The dashboard reflects information as of the previous Friday, and it suppresses totals of five and fewer.

Jan. 5: (FW) Despite 12 teams opting out of season – including rivals Toledo, Kalamazoo and Cincinnati – the Komets announce there will be a 69th season of play at Memorial Coliseum and it will start Feb. 12 with a truncated 50-game season, 22 less than 13 teams already skating.

Jan. 8: (US) The G League announces it will have a 15-game season, with only 18 teams, that will be played in a bubble in Orlando, Florida, and include the Mad Ants.

Jan. 8: (AC) Allen County health officials announce COVID-19 vaccines will be given next week at Memorial Coliseum to eligible individuals. The Moderna vaccine will be available to people age 80 and older and licensed and unlicensed health care workers and first responders who have face-to-face interactions with patients or infectious material or work in a public-facing position that requires in-person contact.

Jan. 12: (IN) Holcomb announces he will proceed with key state investment projects initially put on hold due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

Jan. 12: (AC) Allen County Department of Health plans to administer 800 shots a week, mostly to those age 80 and older when it opens its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Fort Wayne's Memorial Coliseum.

Jan. 14: (W) The WHO team investigating the origins of the outbreak in Wuhan arrive in China.

Jan. 14: (IN) More than 250,000 Indiana residents age 70 and older have now scheduled appointments to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including more than 125,000 people age 70 to 79 who scheduled vaccines Jan. 13, the first day of that age group's eligibility, the Indiana State Department of Health said.

Jan. 20: (US) Newly elected President Joe Biden halts the United States' withdrawal from WHO. Death toll surpasses the number of U.S. military personnel who died in World War II.

Jan. 21: (IN) One in 43 Hoosiers who contract COVID-19 and are over age 65 and not living in a nursing home will die from the disease, experts affiliated with a statewide study said during a webinar. The “Contributions of the Indiana Prevalence Study to the Worldwide Fight against COVID-19” was billed as a groundbreaking study that tracked a large random sample of Hoosiers beginning early the pandemic.

Jan. 28: (IN) Holcomb adjusts the targeted restrictions for counties that have high levels of COVID-19 and extends the public health emergency an additional 30 days.


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