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2 years of COVID-19: Some of the moments that defined the pandemic in Indiana

Posted at 6:15 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 07:34:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — For the last two years, so much of our lives have been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From staying at home to help slow the spread, to wearing masks, to COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, the last two years have been a lot.

Here's a timeline looking at the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on Indiana.

  • Jan. 9, 2020: The World Health Organization and Chinese authorities identify a novel coronavirus outbreak.
  • Jan. 20, 2020: A 35-year-old man in Washington state is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States.
  • Jan. 30, 2020: WHO declares a public health emergency.
    Feb. 11, 2020: WHO the new coronavirus disease will be called COVID-19
  • March 6, 2020: The first confirmed case of COVID-19 is announced in Indiana. Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health officials declare a public health emergency.
  • March 11, 2020: WHO declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Roberta Shelton.JPG

  • March 16, 2020: Roberta Shelton, a Marion County resident, is the first Hoosier to die of COVID-19.
  • March 23, 2020: Holcomb issues a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • May 1, 2020: Officials release plan to reopen Indiana.
  • July 22, 2020: Holcomb issues mask mandate across the state.
2020 IndyCar Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, August 16, 2020 Image by Walt Kuhn

  • Aug. 23, 2020: For the first time in history, the Indianapolis 500 is held without fans.
  • Sept. 23, 2020: Indiana fully reopens and moves to stage 5 of the state’s reopening plan.
  • Dec. 9, 2020: Cases start to rise again. Holcomb announces limits on gathering sizes based on a county’s COVID-19 metrics.
First Vaccine in Indiana Reed Steffen.JPG
The first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Indiana on Monday, December 14, 2020.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb received his COVID-19 vaccine at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, March 5, 2021.

  • July 28, 2021: Holcomb urges Hoosiers to get vaccinated as cases rise due to the delta variant.
  • August 2021: Schools begin the new school year. Some schools start the school year off with a mask requirement, but none of the schools WRTV checked with required vaccination.
  • Dec. 9, 2021: Indiana National Guard comes to assist IU Health.
  • Dec. 17, 2021: IU Health said they are dealing with an “all-time high” number of COVID-19 patients.
  • Dec. 19, 2021: IDOH announces the first case of the omicron variant has been detected in an unvaccinated Hoosier.
U.S. Navy medical response team learns the ropes at Indiana hospital
INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Navy Lt. Ashlee Johnson, a registered nurse assigned to Medical Response Team-Indianapolis, and Tiffany Cox, a registered nurse at the hospital, work together at the Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dec. 22, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the whole-of-government COVID response.

  • Dec 20, 2021: U.S. Army announces a 20-person medical team from the U.S. Navy is coming to IU Health Methodist Hospital as they deal with an increase of patients.
  • Feb. 25, 2022: The CDC released new guidance easing indoor mask guidance in public places and schools based on the area’s risk level.
  • Feb. 28, 2022: Indiana reports the lowest number of new cases since July 2021.
  • March 3, 2022: Holcomb signs a bill to end the state's COVID-19 public health emergency.