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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, June 7th, 2021. Just giving a quick update to the public about all things COVID in Bloomington. Thanks again for your attention. We missed last week due to the Memorial Day holiday. I hope you had a good weekend, and I hope you were able to observe and think about and thank all those who serve our country and have given the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day.
In terms of COVID, the biggest news in the last couple of weeks is that IU Health joined Indiana University in announcing their plan to mandate, require, the vaccinations of all of their employees. Just as Indiana University has done so for all students, faculty, and staff, IU Health, one of our largest employers, has also decided to require vaccinations of all of its staff, indeed, of anybody serving the patients there.
These are really important steps. I want to thank Dennis Murphy, head of IU Health, and Brian Shockney, the regional president here, and all of their colleagues for this step. Like IU's choice and decision, it's going to make our community a lot safer, and we appreciate their steps on that in the face of some pushback. But I know they're focused on the health of their community and our wider community as well, so that's a really good thing.
Hospitalizations for COVID are down. They're not as low as they were in March, so we're not back to that level yet, but they're getting there, which is a good thing. Let me make a couple of points about vaccinations. That is what will get us out of the pandemic. It is what is getting us out. It's what's helping the numbers come down, and it's what will get us out. So please get yourself vaccinated if you haven't, and thank you to all of you who have. It is a good feeling to know that you have that kind of protection from the disease.
There are still a lot of people hospitalized in the State of Indiana, and here's a very important fact, essentially, all of them, over 99% of those in the hospital today for COVID-19, are unvaccinated people. The vaccinated population, which is about half of our local population, is not having to go to the hospital, even if they do happen to get infected or exposed to the infection. Virtually everyone in the hospital with serious disease and death from COVID now is an unvaccinated person.
So we know a little over half of us locally are vaccinated, which means about half of us are not vaccinated locally. That's a lot of people who are still subject to that danger. We also know, just for information, that almost 40% of the cases locally that are tested, positive cases, are a variant. Most of those are the UK variant. It's more transmissible. It's very concerning, these variants spreading, so it's another reason to push that vaccination forward.
So we're not out of the woods. We're very pleased to see the kind of decisions that IU Health and IU have made. We're going to continue to work in city government and with our partners to keep everybody safe, so that this fall, we hope we can have a safe reopening of schools and such.
That's the update for today. I'll keep you posted. Again, there are walk-in clinics available, more than a dozen in the county, in the city and county, where you can get your vaccine. Please do so. Thank you if you have, and if you haven't, please talk to your friends, your family, your healthcare provider because this is how you will keep yourself out of the hospital, your family safe, and be able to move forward into the future that we want. Thanks a lot.