The Kohr Administration Center at IU Health’s hospital, at 1st and South Rogers streets, was given historic designation by Bloomington’s city council on Wednesday night.
The vote about the Kohr building by the nine-member city council was unanimous.
Also unanimous was the council’s decision at the same meeting to deny historic designation to the building on South Walnut Street that was most recently home to the Player’s Pub.
The thumbs-up from the city council on the Kohr building means it will join the parking garage as one of the buildings on the hospital site that IU Health will not demolish before it hands over the facility to the city of Bloomington in a $6.5 million real estate deal.
According to the NYT report, the discovery in December that a sixth dose could be extracted from the 5-dose vials will now lead to less vaccine shipped by Pfizer.
According to the report: “Pfizer plans to count the surprise sixth dose toward its previous commitment of 200 million doses of Covid vaccine by the end of July and therefore will be providing fewer vials than once expected for the United States.”
The main barrier to COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Monroe County, as well as other parts of the state and country, continues to be the availability of the vaccine.
As many 1,000 additional doses of vaccine a day could be distributed by Indiana University, according to IU’s assistant vice president for strategic partnerships Kirk White. He was speaking at Friday’s weekly news conference of local leaders on COVID-19 response.
Whenever the state is able to allocate vaccine to the university as a distribution site, White said, “I’m pretty comfortable that we could do between 500 and 1000 vaccinations that day, if we had the supply.”
For now, the only vaccination clinics in the county are being operated by IU Health and Monroe County’s health department. The vaccine is free, but appointments are required for both clinics. For now it’s only frontline healthcare workers and those over 70 years old who are eligible.
Brian Shockney, who’s president of IU Health’s south central region, which includes Bloomington and Monroe County, said on Friday: “My personal and professional plea to each of you is to get the vaccine when your opportunity comes.”
Registration for vaccination appointments, which are currently limited to frontline healthcare workers and those older than 70, can be done online, or by calling 211.
Shockney followed up a few minutes later with a challenge: “I put a challenge out: Let’s be the first county to achieve herd immunity.” In ballpark numbers that would translate into 70 percent of Monroe County’s population of about 148,000, or 103,600 people.
The new site, with a capacity of around 200 tests a day, will fill the gap that’s left when the current OptumServe site at the National Guard Armory is decommissioned. According to the press release, since the OptumServe site was set up in May, through a contract with Indiana Department of Health, more than around 21,000 tests have been done at the site.
The new site is supposed to operate through June 2021.
At IU Health’s hospital in Bloomington, the area’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases has pushed administrators to find ways to make space for new patients.
A month ago in Monroe County, the seven-day average of confirmed new positive COVID-19 cases had settled around 2. That has increased to around 17 at the end of July. Not every positive case requires hospitalization. But those increased numbers have pushed IU Health’s Bloomington facility towards its capacity.
On Friday, MaryAnn Valenta, IU Health’s regional director for strategic integration, said the hospital is responding to the recent surge by reducing the number of elective procedures and transferring patients to other hospitals inside and outside the region. Where they’re transferred is based on “the location that makes the most sense to each patient based on bed capacity.”
At its regular meeting on Monday, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) agreed to an amendment of the project description for the redevelopment of the hospital property at 2nd and Rogers streets, owned by Indiana University Health.