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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Hi, it's Mayor John Hamilton, public message for June 22nd, 2021. Update on COVID, before I get to that COVID update, of course, I want to reference the very challenging storms that hit us over the past weekend, including claiming one member of our community, a fatality, lost their life in a car being swept away by flash floodwaters. Our hearts go out to them, the family, the danger, it reminds us of these flash floods. So please keep taking care of yourself and do not go into high water and help out your neighbors when you have this happen. It was an extraordinary, intense rainstorm Friday night. 

It overwhelmed our community and 30 miles around us. We got a very intense flash flood situation. And while recovery is underway now, we know there are businesses and folks who are continuing to deal with the aftermath, the utilities project, just to let you know, downtown, we hope will help with this. It's not complete yet. When it is complete, it will be a larger caliber if you will, a higher volume culvert going underneath downtown, that will help after a couple of years.

It did not get in the way of Friday night and Saturday morning, we had people out all night working to help through that. And the system did as well as it can with the current configuration. It will be larger in the future as we've planned for that over the last several years. But again, thanks to all who helped, emergency responders, volunteers, shelter operators, et cetera. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering from that, but we'll keep working together on that. And thanks to all who did help with that.

Let me turn to COVID. We continue basically to get good news, good directions for hospitalizations and case rates and fatalities in the state and the region from COVID. Indiana continues to be a lagging state, we're in the bottom quarter or so of states in terms of vaccination percentage. 

That means we do face more risk for a resurgence this fall. We're not going to hit the goal of 70% vaccinated by at least 1 vaccination by July 4th, I don't believe. Some parts of the country are well into that, well past that, which is great for them. Thanks again to Indiana University and IU Health for your commitment and requirements for your members if you will, your students, your faculty, staff, employees to get vaccinated. That's a huge help for our community and everyone who can, please get vaccinated. It is how we stay safe. 99.6% of the people in hospitals for COVID are unvaccinated people.

Put another way, if you're vaccinated, you are not going to end up in the hospital. It's extremely unlikely that even if you do catch the disease, it is extremely unlikely that you would end up in the hospital. Whereas if you are unvaccinated, those are the folks for whom this disease still poses a very serious threat, including new variants that continue to evolve. So please get vaccinated. That's how we're going to get out of this. We do have a July 4th reverse parade coming up and you see things opening up again and plans for the fall underway, which is terrific. 

We just had a great Juneteenth celebration in Switchyard Park last weekend, but we're not out of the woods yet. And we get out of the woods when we're all vaccinated. So please talk to your healthcare provider, your family, your friends, and your experts, advisors that you listen to, to learn how safe and effective these vaccines are. And please contact us if you have any questions. We'll keep reporting on where we are as we continue our progress out of this pandemic back into more normal life. And we'll look forward to that together.