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Hello, it's Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, March 1st. I just wanted to share a public update on what's going on in Bloomington, in particular related to the pandemic. We're into the, I guess, 13th month. We started March in 2020 as we were looking at this pandemic, and we're now into March 2021. The numbers still continue very well locally. I'll give you a couple of samples of that. The death rate across the state has really come down about 90% from its peak in mid-December to now from over a hundred to around 10 or a little less than 10 deaths per day. 

That's a dramatic improvement based upon probably both vaccines and the individual behaviors that we're all doing. So, that's really important. I will note the United States has the most deaths of any country in the world, and we have suffered because of our approaches. I think you would say in ways that other parts of the world have not. So that death rate is incredibly important. We are over half a million, as you all know, I'm sure, Americans lost overall.
    
It's really good that that's come down, and we're going to keep working on that. Another data point, Indiana University, with its tens of thousands of tests a week, the second week in a row of a 0.2% infection positivity rate in those tests, two out of a thousand people, that's encouraging from the Indiana University community. Those are good signs. However, one, we know America, the United States overall, Indiana, we've suffered a lot under this pandemic disproportionately to the rest of the world. So, it reminds us where we can't thump our chest about this, but keep doing what we're doing.
    
Second, professionals do remind us the pandemic strains, new strains, variations are very likely going to be here, so we need to keep being very careful. What we're doing is working. We need to keep doing it. That's my view. I'll hope that we continue to hue to that, not loosen up too fast. Stay the course for the next few weeks, not get another surge that we cause. That's what I'll be encouraging both through the public health locally, and I hope all of you will continue to be very careful. We're getting through this. The vaccinations matter. I've signed up for my vaccination. I now qualify. And then March 17th, I'll get my first shot, and I encourage all of you who qualify to get your vaccine.
    
The last point I'll just make. I encourage you to check out the State of the City address from last Thursday, the 25th. That's on the city website. You can watch that. It's an update on all things in Bloomington, from city government, city hall seat. I hope you will check that out and offer your comments, questions, suggestions. Keep doing what you're doing. We're moving in the right direction. It is not time to relax and slow down what we're doing. It is time to keep doing what we're doing. Thank you so much for doing that. We do see positive signs, like IU's plan for a fall in-person semester. But we also know we're not there yet, and time will tell. Thanks so much, and I'll be in touch again soon.

 

 

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