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Hoosiers grappling with omicron surge through testing and vaccinations

Experts urge everyone to take it seriously
COVID-19 testing site in Fishers
Posted at 11:39 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 06:22:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — On Monday, there were 686 scheduled appointments at the Fishers Health Department COVID-19 testing site according to Public Health Director Monica Heltz.

RESOURCE | Schedule COVID-19 test in Fishers

It was a steady flow for hours as cars wrapped around the street and divided into two lines once they drove into the parking lot.

Many of the people were getting tested after spending the holidays with family members. Others were getting tested just to be sure they were in the clear.

Nick Vetor fell into the latter camp.

RELATED | 'A huge problem': IU Health doctor describes fear of what omicron could mean for Indiana hospitals

"I didn't go anywhere. Just coming back to check to make sure things are good," Vetor said while waiting in the line.

He didn't mind the wait because it let him know those in the community are being responsible.

"People are doing the right thing and making sure they find out whether they're positive or negative and doing their part," he said.

Along with an increased demand for testing, vaccines are still readily available.

Michelle Gates has gotten all three of her shots. She was at the Martindale-Brightwood Library Branch on Monday, a COVID-19 vaccine site open several times during the week.

"This is in a community where people can just go in their neighborhood. It's easy access to them and it's free," she said.

Working in a salon and being a dialysis patient, being fully protected is something for which Gates is thankful.

"You're hearing more and more people that you know that are dying from it," she said.

Indianapolis Public Library's Martindale-Brightwood Branch was chosen as a vaccine site because of the low vaccination rate in the community it serves.

Jena Mattix, the branch manager, says the partnership with the health department makes sense.

"Part of the mission of the IndyPL is to improve the health and wellness of our communities. Our partnership with the Marion County Health Department has been a great way to try and achieve this goal for the neighborhood," Mattix said.

Mattix estimates between 30-60 people get vaccinated each day the vaccine site is open. The College Avenue Branch also has a vaccine clinic on site.

RELATED | When you can get vaccinated at Indy Public Libraries

Whether it's testing or getting vaccinated, Gates, like Vetor, believes everybody has to do their part to get us out of this pandemic.

"Everybody wants to get back to normalcy," Gates said. "And to me, getting back to normalcy is that if everybody's doing their part, it makes it quicker to get to that point."