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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:20 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, January 18th, 2021. So first to all in Bloomington, happy Martin Luther King Day. I hope you take some time today to think about that great American hero, his work on behalf of all of us for a better future, working on racial justice, working on civil justice, peace, and equity to all. We usually have a day on, not a day off. That's obviously different this year, but I hope you will spend some time today thinking about and committing to how to make our community more like the beloved community Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated and committed his life to. There is a King service tonight that we usually do at seven o'clock if you want to join that remotely. Second, an update on COVID, Indiana continues to have a real surge though we are seeing in the data, some improvements in the hospitalizations, in the death rate, in the case rate. We hope that will continue.

It will only continue if we continue to do the things we need to do of masking, physical distancing, continuing good hygiene, and getting your vaccinations. Please do when you're eligible for vaccination, if you're 70 or over in age, or if you're a first responder, direct health care worker, please do get vaccinated. That is how we will beat this pandemic. Monroe County, our Bloomington community, continues to be among the best scoring, if you will, in the state, top three counties in terms of some of those metrics that are used, but we know we have the surge here as well. So, be careful. Don't share air if you don't need to, we're going to continue to work to improve the situation. There are something in the order of seven or 800 vaccinations being delivered a day, shots into the arms, six days a week here in Bloomington.

And we hope that can even increase further, so keep an eye out for that. Please get vaccinated when you can and continue the precautions. Lastly, I thought I might just mention today, some of the work we're doing on homelessness, I know that's been an issue. It is an issue during COVID times to help our residents who don't have homes right now. The shelters have done a great job of making space available, improving the distancing. There's only been a handful of COVID positive cases in emergency shelters through this whole 10 month period, which is a testament to their real professionalism and dedication to this. We do not believe, we in the city, that it is safe to live outdoors in Indiana winters. The CDC guidelines, which we pay a great deal of attention to and support, recommend that if you can, it is better to be in an indoor space with weather like this, we know.

We have emergency shelter beds that are available every night for people who otherwise might be staying outside. It is far safer to be in those shelters. It includes hotel rooms, for those who face COVID, it includes emergency shelter beds, even overnight places. You don't need to sleep if you want to go there. So, we're going to continue to reach out to our residents who are facing these kinds of challenges. I care deeply about it and I know our community does too, to help folks get better options. We had an individual die on December 24th, Christmas Eve, from exposure in Seminary Park area, and we do not want to lose anyone else. So, we're working very hard to make sure we can help people get into safer spaces, as well as continuing to support the building of more housing. Celebrating Martin Luther King's Day, please let's all think about how we can continue to improve our community, continue to protect the health as we've talked about what we need to do, and we'll be working together as a community to get through this. Thanks very much and I'll talk to you again soon.