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Hello, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Thursday, December 3rd and I wanted to share this update with all my fellow Bloomington residents and City of Bloomington employees, fellow employees, update on what's going on in our community, particularly related to the pandemic. So, we are in the midst, as you know I am sure, of a real rise, a surge, in cases. That's true in the country, it's true in our state and it is also true in our community. We continue to have tighter restrictions here and controls that we've had for several months, and that has helped us, but we are part of this surge.

 

We're seeing significantly increased hospitalizations here locally, significant death rise locally, as well as major increases in both of those, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in the state and around the country. Our state is among the highest hospitalizations per capita in the country now. So this is a really serious time. It's a reminder of how important continuing to comply with the mask requirements, the physical distancing, and the other hygiene requirements, not going to work if you're sick. In fact, I want to let you know, we take the mask so seriously, this is a new mask that we're going to be sharing with every city employee.

 

You should be expecting to receive this at your workplace, in the mail, either way, very shortly, just as a reminder of how important masks are. We encourage everybody to wear masks when you're not physically distanced, outdoors, or in your own household to protect each other. These next two or three months are critically important to help protect our healthcare workers, our neighbors, our family members, our friends from the spread of this disease. Now the good news is we do expect vaccinations to arrive soon. This is pending final approval at the federal level. Assuming that does happen, we may get vaccines, we expect to get them as early as the middle of December and to begin the vaccinations, which will begin the process to hopefully end this pandemic.

 

Those vaccinations will begin with healthcare workers who have been on the front lines and need this protection, as well as long-term care residents, facility residents who are at high risk, they will then move to other folks who are helping serve us, who are in high-risk places, high-risk categories, in workplaces where they need them, including some of our city employees. And it will take weeks and months to do the two-stage vaccinations, separated by three or four weeks that it will require. But that should begin in mid-December, assuming a couple of things happen with those approvals and that will be a very welcome development.

 

But in the meantime, we are going to face some real challenges. So do wear these masks. They're critically important. They've helped us protect lives and I encourage you to do so. We will get through this together. 2021 should be the year that we're able to turn the tide. I hope in the first half of 2021, but the next couple of months are going to be harder as we see more disease, it's increasing. So continue being vigilant and careful and protecting each other.

 

We so appreciate all the people who are helping protect us, from direct healthcare workers to sanitation workers and bus drivers and water system operators and police officers, fire department employees, and others. We so appreciate all that you're doing and encourage you to keep doing so. Be safe, take care of each other, and take care of our community. Thank you so much. I'll be in touch again soon.

 

 

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