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This week's COVID-19 update is provided by Director of Public Engagement Mary Catherine Carmichael:

 

Hello, and welcome to Mayor John Hamilton's weekly COVID-19 update. Obviously, I am not Mayor John Hamilton. I'm Mary Catherine Carmichael, and I'm the Director of Public Engagement for the City of Bloomington. I'm filling in for Mayor Hamilton this week. 

We've got three quick topics to touch on. The first one is the mask mandate. That remains in place. It's a little confusing. Last week, Governor Holcomb announced that the mask mandate was no longer a mandate in the State of Indiana. In other words, it would be optional. And one of the options that Governor Holcomb left open is for local municipalities and other governmental entities to keep the mask mandate in place. That is what your local government here in Monroe County has chosen to do. So in Monroe County, in the City of Bloomington, and on the campus of Indiana University, you are still required to wear a mask when in public unless eating. So please, we ask that you continue to do that.
    
And that does lead me to another topic, which is we've been contacted by local business owners. Specifically, we've heard from several operators of restaurants and nightspots who are having some difficulty with compliance, with people wearing their masks and the public pushing back when employees ask them to please keep their masks on appropriately. Let's not put those folks who are there to bring us food and beverages, let's not put them in the position of having to serve as the mask police too. 

We ask that you please cooperate. And there's signage on the doors of these businesses. They'll tell you what the rules are inside their establishment and we ask that you please follow those rules.
    
In the City of Bloomington, we have about 850 employees, and so far 77 of those have received positive COVID-19 diagnoses. Most recently we had two employees who identified as having a positive diagnosis. So they are recovering. We're happy to report that all the other employees have also recovered. So just an update on that. If you want more information about how the City of Bloomington is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, more information is always available at bloomington.in.gov. And right on the homepage, you'll see, there'll be a button that says "COVID-19." Press on that and you'll find a lot of additional information available to you.
    
Finally, I'd like to touch on what is possibly the most important topic of all, and that's vaccinations. As you know, those are now available in the State of Indiana to everyone 16 years and older. Please don't hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity. There are three different vaccinations available. They're all great. They've all been tested by millions of people across the country with great success. So please go to ourshot.in.gov, or just call 211 and you'll get the help you need to get that vaccination process started. 

It's the absolute most important thing we can do to slow down the spread of the variants and basically to just bring this to a close as quickly as we possibly can. I know we're all tired of this pandemic and this is what we can do as individuals to make this end as fast as possible.
    
So thank you for your time. I appreciate it. And Mayor John Hamilton will be back with you next week. Have a great week.

 

 

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