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Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton, just giving a public update on Monday, August 31st, particularly around things COVID related. Again, been a busy week. We have continued to do the regular monitoring of data. And I'm sure you've seen that the county and Indiana University together, have put some new quarantines in place on eight Greek houses where the residential living facility had indicated through the testing that IU is doing. They'd seen an increase of testing positives in eight of those facilities that have been now ordered to quarantine and stop all interactions, basically social interactions or others. IU is doing thousands of tests a week, many thousands, and trying to keep track of what is happening. We're doing the wastewater monitoring through the city of Bloomington utilities. Continue of course also other testing through the hospital system and the Optum site. But in particular, we continue to watch to look for signs of trouble.

 

We're keeping tight city limits at 15 for social gatherings, still getting some complaints, but also getting indications that people are paying attention to that, trying to stop these super spreader events. The jury is still out how this is going to work in our community. We've seen it fail in some communities. We've seen other communities where it's been working, and we're working very closely to try to do all we can to stop community spread, the overall numbers of community spread and positivity rates are still quite good here locally. And we're doing all we can to keep them that way. I think that's the basic update on COVID. Keep wearing your mask. Keep following the protocols, avoiding spreader events, being careful. You have to assume you might be, and anybody you might see is contagious, can spread the virus, because often you are without even feeling any effects. So thanks for all your work on that.

 

We're also continuing the budget work, we just finished that week, 10 days ago in the city council. We'll be doing a lot of back and forth with that to try to refine the 2021 budget, and our Recover Forward plans to help the community climb out of this economic hole. There will be discussions in the weeks ahead also about local income tax, trying to do what we can locally to make sure we have the resources we need, both to protect our basic services, as well as to lean into and recover in the right way so that we can build more economic equality, more racial justice and more responsible behavior related to the climate emergency that we face.

 

So look forward to more discussion about that in a couple of weeks ahead. And again, we're seeing how people are adapting to the closed Kirkwood and parklets in different ways, and continue to enjoy the outdoor space, which is a healthier place to be than indoors when you're with other people. We'll keep doing our job, it's a day at a time. These are really intense moments as everyone's back and the school corporations are changing. So thank you for doing all you can to keep the city safe, take care of yourself, take care of each other, and take care of our city of Bloomington. Thanks. We'll be talking to you again soon.

 

 

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