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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, July 19th, 2021. Just a quick update to the public on matters COVID-related. It's pretty striking that we continue to have to wrestle with COVID in the state. There is some very significant backsliding. If you look at the average daily case numbers, they've actually, in the State of Indiana, doubled in the last two-plus weeks from something around 200 to more than 400 cases per day in the state. That's a big change in the wrong direction.

Similarly, if you look at the case incidents, how many positive cases from the tests that are done, that number has tripled in that same period, from about 2% to 6%. These are concerning numbers. The death rates and the hospitalization rates are not going up as fast yet, but those are kind of lagging indicators. So it's really concerning. I'm sure you see the same news I do about this concern in the country. It's true in our state, locally as well.

It's very frustrating because there is an answer to this. Vaccination rates are how we beat this disease. Virtually no one is going to the hospital or dying if you've been vaccinated. It is a pandemic that is resurging among unvaccinated people. Thank you to all of you who are vaccinated. That's what's protecting us, as much as we are being protected now. And please, for those who are not vaccinated, talk to friends who've been vaccinated, talk to your healthcare advisers, your doctors, your nurses, whoever you go to for healthcare, and ask them about it. Talk to relatives who've been vaccinated, or talk to people who've got sick lately, because this is what can help us avoid a resurgence.

Here we are in July of 2021, 16 months after this thing started, we now have the way to stop the pandemic: it's the vaccine. That's what it's going to take. I'm sorry that it's become more fraught with other issues, but it's a public health issue. We solve it with public health. With these very safe, very effective vaccines. We've all had it in my family. We're very pleased to have gotten it, and it's helping us.

One example in city employment today, I believe we'll be releasing the mask rules that are going to keep emphasizing how important it is for people to remain masked at work when engaging with the public unless they're vaccinated. If you're fully vaccinated, it's going to be up to supervisors. But if you're fully vaccinated, we can relax those rules because you're protected and you're very unlikely to transmit it.

There are a lot of good things happening. We want schools to open, you of course coming back, but it's going to take more vaccinations. They've really slowed down. If we can't speed them up, we're really worried that we'll have the kind of resurgence that some of the worst parts of the country have seen. We're already starting to see those numbers rocket back up two and three times what they were two or three weeks ago, and that's very concerning. 

Thanks. Keep getting vaccinated, keep protecting each other with masking where appropriate, and we'll give you another update as soon as we can.