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Hello, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, March 22nd. Welcome to spring, here in 2021, just a quick update to the public, all things COVID in Bloomington. Signals are still good, overall direction. We have plateaued a little bit in terms of case numbers, but hospitalizations, and deaths, and overall numbers continue to move in the right direction. We are carefully watching to see if this is a pause that could indicate a re-rise, of course, which would be of great concern. Or if it's just a pause as we keep getting better. We are going to continue to do what we think works well here in the community to protect all of us. It includes maintaining the guidelines, and the protocols, and the restrictions that we have because they are working, but we're not done working yet in terms of gathering sizes, and all those kinds of things.
    
We are taking steps, just for a few examples, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which we have a little bit of locally is being used to get to home-bound people, so they can get a one-and-done shot to be vaccinated. Dozens of folks have been visited in their homes, similarly to homeless shelters, some of the emergency shelters, we're also getting into to give one shot protection to people with those vaccines. We are also opening up, again, for outdoor dining as the weather improves. Kirkwood will be closed, two and a half blocks of it for this spring through June, working with those restaurants to open-air the possibilities, which is safer for everybody. So, we're going to keep trying to do that. We continue, we're now approaching a hundred of our city employees who've sought reimbursement for the vaccination, the hundred dollars that we're offering every employee who gets fully vaccinated.
    
We've had zero cases this month in March so far, which is great. We're happy to see that. And, we're going to continue to impose those protocols and protections. We don't think it's time to open up yet. I mean, you've maybe seen what's happened in Indianapolis with the big crowds or Miami, which has faced huge issues with that. We do not want to see a super spreader event here. So, we're going to continue to enforce our 15- person social gathering in the city. If you see gatherings that are too large, please let us know. You can report those through the non-emergency number to the police or online. We're working with Indiana University very closely, make sure we try to reduce the risk of those super spreader events. And then, getting vaccines. I got my first shot last Wednesday. I feel great. It was a wonderful feeling.
    
I'll be back in about two and a half weeks to get my next final shot. And, I use... Opening up Assembly Hall by the end of this month to be a vaccination center. That's the key, more of us getting vaccines. So when it's your turn, please get the vaccine, whichever kind is available, that's how we're going to end this pandemic. So again, good signals overall. However, like I said last week, we were reminded by the Director of the Center for Disease Control Prevention, Dr. Walensky, we have to be humble in dealing with this virus. So, keep doing what you're doing. We're going to keep watching it very closely, and thanks so much because you're helping Monroe County and Bloomington weather the storm better. I'll talk to you again next week.
 

 

 

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