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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Hello, it's Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, August 2nd. Just giving a quick public update on matters COVID here in Bloomington.

We continue to get bad news and stress from the latest information, both locally and in the state, not unlike the country. Much of the country, we're seeing significant rises continuing in cases, in hospitalizations, and positive tests from a doubling to a tripling of most of those, both in the county and in the state in the last month. So, we know the Delta variant is here. This is much more transmissible. It's dangerous. We have deaths increasing a little bit. Not nearly that multiple, thankfully. But, people going to the hospital, people getting sick, and the vast majority of those who are getting sick are unvaccinated people. So, I'm going to continue to stress the importance of vaccinations that are safe, that are effective, that help protect us. If nothing else, think about a five-year-old in our community, a young person who's headed to kindergarten soon perhaps, or first grade. They cannot get the vaccine because they're not approved for people of that age.

The virus can indeed make them sick, even dangerously sick. We may even have long-term effects for them their whole lives that we don't know about. And the best way we can protect them is for all of us who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated so we slow the spread down and stop the disease from reaching so many other people. 

We will be seeing, I believe, a mask mandate return. The county health department has recommended that, and it will go in front of the Board of County Commissioners this Wednesday. That's a new state law that they have to approve. We expect them to approve it, and I appreciate them doing so. It will require in public settings, indoor restaurants, bars, stores, et cetera in the county to have the mask requirement again, which will also protect all of us against this spreading of the virus, especially the Delta variant.

So, I'm sorry we have to step backward this way. But, as we indicated, we're going to keep following the science. And the Center for Disease Control and our local health officials urge that this be done, so we hope it will be done. And I urge you to follow the rules. It will help us. It's depressing and sad and stressful, I know, to think about taking this step backward, but it's what we need to do to keep protecting our people. And thank you for your cooperation on it. We'll keep you posted. Again, we'll have regular updates in the media. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office.