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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:13 pm

Hello again, it's mayor John Hamilton giving a public report on Monday, February 8th. Thanks for paying attention as we catch up on what's going on with the pandemic in Bloomington. We continue to get three signals on three major indices in good directions for both our community and our state in terms of caseload, terms of hospitalizations, and in terms of average deaths. Those are all going down. That's really good news continuing to see that, and we appreciate all the good work that's making that happen. Vaccinations continue to rise. We have hit over 20,000 now that have been delivered, doses delivered in our community. And that number will continue to rise as IU Health is doing most of those so far as well as County Health Department. And now pharmacies will be beginning to make that available depending upon who's allowed when and where and when they get the vaccine, as well as Indiana University, which is ready to distribute shots in the arms as soon as they get vaccines too.

So all that's good. We continue to be really vigilant however monitoring what's going on. We continue to worry that there are mutations, there are new strains that we know are in Indiana. They could well be in Bloomington. They could well increase the infectiousness with thousands of students back. So we're all needing to be very careful. I have not relaxed the restrictions specific to Bloomington of 15 person social gatherings. I didn't agree with it, but I understand the County Health Department decided to go from 25 to 50 for allowed sizes of gatherings. I think that's a little soon, but we'll let the health department decide that. Do remember in any event, those gatherings still need to be physically distanced, masked appropriately to protect against that. And we're going to keep monitoring as I know the health experts will, what we see in the data.

I'll give you one little data point that's been kind of instructive. We heard this last Friday, the things that we're doing to protect against infection we believe are what is helping our county, our community be among the best in Indiana in terms of records and what we see, protections. The IU Health system reported that as of this time last year, they had 261 flu cases that they had reported. This year, that number is seven. That's a 95 plus percent reduction in flu cases. Now, I'm not an expert. There may be other reasons for this, but almost certainly a significant component of that is the way we're not mixing air and sharing with each other. And so seeing that dramatic reduction in flu cases reminds us this stuff helps, the masking, the distancing, the not sharing air. This really helps not transmit that disease as well as the coronavirus.

So thanks for what you're doing. Keep that up. And we'll stay in touch. Again, Friday afternoon news conferences are always available, but the news is good, but we are not out of the woods. So keep doing what you're doing with those protections. And I'll keep reporting to you.