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Page last updated on September 6, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, June 1st, and I want to give an update on COVID-related activities here in the community. Before I do that, I just want to make a few comments to the horrific and frustrating and angering actions that we've seen again, where innocent unarmed African Americans lose their lives to government action or vigilante action. Most recently seen in Minneapolis, but we know tragic, terrible incidents in Georgia, in Louisville, and of course, a litany of many, many others through the years, decades, centuries. It is infuriating, frustrating, angering to see these episodes.

We, as a community, of course, stand together in sympathy and support for the victims, and also in commitment to do all we can to stop this kind of abuse of power. Our police department is extensively trained here in de-escalation and in anti-bias incidents. We depend upon our public safety officials to respond on our behalf with our values. We clearly saw examples in other places where that went terribly wrong, with terrible actions, and justice has to be done for that.

Besides the training and the commitment of community values, it's so important to have transparency so that anytime anything does happen, and anybody has questions, that the book is open, that what happened is clear, and that justice can be done. We have monthly public safety board meetings that review any such incident or any questions here. I welcome you all to participate in those if you want.

Our hearts go out to the victims. Our minds and our souls and our community must be dedicated to continuing to do the hard work to overcome the ugly legacies of racism that persist all around us. No community is immune, from this community to any other community, and I just want to note that importance.

A final note on that is also, protests, of course, are right and appropriate. Bloomington has a long and proud tradition of protesting against actions taken in error or values that aren't reflected, and that is very appropriate to do. And we, from city government, absolutely support those kinds of activities. We want to be sure they're peaceful, that they're nonviolent, that they don't threaten injury or risk to others, but we certainly welcome those who want to stand up and be heard to continue to advocate for the change that's so important. I'd be happy to talk about more of this further. I just wanted to mention that before getting into the COVID materials.

In terms of updates, locally, y'all probably know at noon on Saturday, we went into stage three, primarily, largely the statewide stage three, through a health order from the County that was issued effective noon Saturday that will run through the 15th of June. That opens up a few things, not major changes. And in fact, one of the things we did not do is go to a hundred person social gatherings, but kept it at 50, according to the County declaration. It did open up some gyms and fitness centers as under protocols that they need to make clear to the public.

Our data continued to be good in terms of the hospitalizations and incidents of the disease, but we also know the scientists tell us there are great risks ahead. You made announcements about many thousands of students likely to come back. We need to be vigilant. We all need to continue to behave well, to physically distance, to use masks anytime we're not able to physically distance with folks, to stay away if we're sick, stay home to get tested if we do have symptoms, wash hands frequently. All those things are so important. Thank you all for continuing to do them.

We will continue to be driven by the data and the science as we make decisions going forward. Even this weekend, we learned of a longterm care facility in town that has apparently dozens of cases. So we know this is dangerous and it can arise at any moment. Please continue to mark and observe those CDC guidelines. We'll be in touch again soon. Continue to take care of each other and take care of Bloomington. Thanks very much.