COVID-19 testing

Omicron's mutations are concerning, but also make the variant easier to detect

10 hours ago
Provided by the University of Missouri

The first confirmed case of the omicron variant in the U.S. was identified Wednesday, a little more than a week after its initial discovery in South Africa. While the World Health Organization has already listed omicron as a variant of concern, experts are still trying to learn about the new strain.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health is sending another COVID-19 “strike team” to South Bend’s Four Winds Field this week. The department sent a first team earlier this month.


The department will provide free COVID testing and vaccination from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 through Saturday, Oct. 23.


Both rapid antigen and PCR tests will be available, as well as the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. No appointments will be necessary.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Health is sending a COVID-19 “strike team” to South Bend’s Four Winds Field this week. 

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Elkhart County Health Department opened a new COVID-19 testing center Wednesday.

Free drive-through tests are now available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Pierre Moran Park pool (119 Wolf Ave., Elkhart).


The health department says only PCR tests will be available due to a shortage of rapid antigen tests. No appointments, ID or insurance is necessary to get tested.


The health department asks that cars enter on East Hubbard Avenue from Prairie Street. 


Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana’s COVID-19 cases dip slightly following Labor Day weekend. Gov. Eric Holcomb says the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a “bridge too far.” And the Indiana Department of Health hires a company to help expand testing as demand continues to rise.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Indiana is hiring a new company to help increase COVID-19 testing across the state.


Ahead of the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 6, the Indiana Department of Health will be offering COVID-19 tests and vaccines in Goshen. 

A spokeswoman for the Elkhart County Health Department says the clinic is in response to the county’s rising positivity rate and recent move to the state’s “orange” category, which indicates high community spread of the virus.


Mareea Thomas/WNIN

A Michiana hospital system urges a local school board to revisit its decision to make masks optional. Indiana is calling up National Guard members to help local health departments with COVID-19 testing. And the Indiana Department of Health reported more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday, crossing yet another milestone in its late summer surge.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Indiana is gearing up to increase the availability of COVID-19 tests in response to significantly higher demand.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. This is the first time the state has surpassed 1,000 new cases in a day since May 14.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana health officials say they’re not planning any more statewide COVID-19 restrictions – even as they sound the alarm about a rise in cases related to the virus’s delta variant.


With fewer people needing a COVID-19 test due to the vaccine, Elkhart County is making some changes to its testing sites. 

The free testing site in the Concord Mall parking lot will permanently close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30. 

A new drive-up location will open at Elkhart Central Fire Station (500 East St. Elkhart, IN 46516) on July 6. That site will operate from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on the first and third Saturday of each month.


Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health reported 57 additional confirmed deaths over the last week. That brings the state’s total to 13,324 confirmed deaths. The state also reported more than 2,500 new cases in the last week – the fewest reported in a single week since testing became more widely available during the pandemic.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Indiana is closing its OptumServe COVID-19 testing sites at the end of June. The sites, set up early in the pandemic, have provided more than 541,000 free tests since May of last year.

(Photo: Ball State University on Facebook)

Ball State University will require students be tested for COVID-19 when they return in January for the spring semester.

Several schools like Indiana University and Purdue required students arriving on campus this past fall to be tested for coronavirus.  But Ball State was not one of them.  Instead, it allowed students to “self-certify” they had tested negative or quarantined safely before moving to Muncie.

Courtesy of the Elkhart Co. Health Dept.

Elkhart County reported a record 131 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. Those findings were reported on Thursday, Oct. 8, by the State Department of Health.


That surpasses the county’s previous daily case record of 112, reported back in June. County health officials are concerned that area hospitals could soon be overwhelmed.


When asked how quickly hospitals could reach capacity, Elkhart County Health Department spokesperson Melanie Sizemore said, soon. 

(Courtesy of the governor's office)

Nearly 100 new COVID-19 testing sites are going up around the state, run by local health departments.


The Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is offering free COVID-19 testing in Niles starting on Wed., Sept. 9. 


Purdue University announced the school is “formulating plans” to require all students to take a COVID-19 test before arriving at the West Lafayette campus for the upcoming academic year -- and for the school to cover the costs of that testing. 

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Rapid COVID-19 antibody testing will soon be available for uninsured Elkhart County residents at the Center for Healing & Hope. The clinic provides affordable medical services to people with little to no health insurance and support for undocomented immigrants.

Darian Benson, Side Effects Public Media

African-Americans across the country are dying from the new coronavirus at a much higher rate than whites. Experts have a lot of explanations, but they also say more data is needed. In Indianapolis, a new no-cost testing program hopes to increase COVID-19 testing in African-American communities.

Marion County, the county that covers metro Indianapolis, is setting up free test sites to address health disparities.  It started Thursday in Arlington Woods, a predominantly African-American neighborhood that is the county’s biggest hotspot for COVID-19 cases.