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Page last updated on September 6, 2021 at 4:04 pm

Hello, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, September 14th, and thanks to all of you who follow these weekly updates with public video on updating on what's going on in the community, particularly related to COVID, just trying to keep transparent about what's going on. We do have more of the virus in our community. It's clear now, the spread particularly around the university community, which is doing a ton of testing is finding some resurgence, surging of the virus, particularly as you know, in congregate living settings, Greek community, fraternities, and sororities. But also in those living off-campus who are related to those fraternities and sororities. And indeed among the community at large, we are seeing most of the testing showing higher rates related to those congregate living facilities but we also see some background levels increasing. We're very sensitive to that, paying attention, we're trying to watch what might've happened over Labor Day, where we saw some bad choices made and we will continue to crack down, keep our tighter limits here and watch out for it.

We had the first city employee in six weeks tested positive in the last few days. We're continuing to monitor all of that. It just reminds us how important masking, physical distance, all the protocols and hygiene that you ought to be doing, we all ought to be doing. Please keep it up. We're working very closely to see if we can keep this from getting worse. Indiana and Bloomington are definitely seeing some increases. So it's extra vigilance required. I also will note just like COVID, we continue to work hard to respond to other challenges in the community, from the economic challenge of the recession to racial divides and pressures and legacies and present realities that we see that cause harm to our community, in particular, our members of color living here.

And we see climate change, my gosh, looking at apocalyptic scenes out west, reminding us how important all of that is to respond to and responding to all of these is one of the roles of government. It's one of the reasons that we've fashioned the recover forward plan for this year, for next year, and for thereafter. And considering the local income tax to help be sure the city has the resources to respond to all of these challenges, which keep coming. Climate change is in an emergency, COVID has changed our lives as well, responding to the economic dislocation, racial discrimination. We need to respond to all of these as well as keeping our basic functions going, are really what are motivating the importance of making sure we have the resources to respond on all of our behalves as a government.

These are challenging times, as I said, the virus is spreading among us. We're doing all we can to stop it. Thank you for all that you're doing in that way. Please don't hesitate to reach out for more information from our office. I'll be trying to keep you updated with these videos as well as every Friday press conference. So thanks for what you're doing to take care of each other, yourself, and Bloomington. And I'll talk to you soon.