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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:47 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, December 21st and I wanted to give you another weekly update to the public.
First, some good news. As you probably know vaccinations have begun in our community. They began with a pilot effort Friday morning, but today on Monday, I think they're expected to be about 400 people vaccinated locally with the Pfizer vaccine. That's the start of a two-shot regime that each of them will go through. And that's exciting and good things. Of course, we're focused on healthcare workers first at the hospital and other places that are on the direct frontline of caring for COVID patients, particularly and others. It will also then move to other first responders and long-term care residents, and then by January, by next month, we hope more generally beginning to reach the public. But that's really good, important news and we're celebrating that here locally.
One other quick update is the utility department, our water department, has been doing sampling for a multi-month, two or three month period, looking for coronavirus COVID-19 test data that they can find in the wastewater. That pilot scientific effort has concluded and there's a report available if you want to look at that, basically, we did find, and the state help coordinate this, we found you can find infection rising and falling in the wastewater and that's been an interesting way to confirm other data. It also may let us do some things in the future to monitor for outbreaks locations, even after vaccinations are largely underway to watch for that. So, anyway, we're really pleased with the water department being part of that study and the results are available for you in that regard.
Now, bad news, really important as well. The virus continues to spread in our community. We continue to average two deaths a day in our community that may have come down to one we're watching that, that was a new level for us we've never been there during the whole pandemic. People still are transmitting and getting sick, it's really serious. Our hospitals have more people in them for COVID than ever before right now and it's very serious. With holidays here, I will just tell you, Christmas gatherings are a key time in the Hamilton Johnson family, we love it. We can't do it this year, we just can't be getting together. And I hope you will very seriously manage your risks and not be gathering with folks. It's really hard. We hate it. We lost my mother-in-law, Dawn's mom year, who was the centerpiece of those celebrations over the last years, it's going to be hard not to be together at all. It's just what we need to do.
Being very careful these next two or three months before the vaccination really can spread to help us protect each other, it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. So just don't share air with other people who aren't in your household if you can help it. Find other ways to celebrate, protect all of us and each other through this period. I know we're near the end, it's been a long 9, 10-month stretch. It's hard. People are suffering all over our community, but just hang in there, continue to do the right thing, and avoid spreader events this holiday season.
So as we're closing out this year, and I hope to talk to you next week one more time and the end of the year, it's been a challenge, but stay the course. We will continue to do that. We're continuing to try to protect our employees and keep giving you the service that you need and expect.
If you have any questions, get on our website or call our office to be connected. And thanks so much to the community that we are in our state, the top tier of counties in terms of the indicators and that's because of the good, hard work of all of you. So I hope you will all have good holidays this week, whatever you celebrate, however you're able to celebrate, do it safely, count your blessings, and let's keep working together to make sure we have a bright 2021 for our community.

You can reach the Mayor's Office at or 812-349-3406.

Learn more about COVID-19 in Bloomington at