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Hello, it's Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, August 9, 2021. Quick update to the public about all things pandemic here in Bloomington. As expected last week, we did get the mask mandate back in place locally. It's not in place statewide yet. I think it should be but it is in place locally, thank you to our health department and county commissioners, and others who formally took that step. It is needed because if you look at the curves right now, the charts, the graphs, the data that show what's going on with caseloads, with hospitalizations, positivity rates, they are striking.
    
The Delta variant is here, it is dominant, it is infecting people, making them sick, sending them to the hospital, and indeed taking the lives of fellow Hoosiers every day so that step is really important. I'm going to ask you to focus on two things and maybe in light of the fact that now, since last Wednesday, we have thousands of kids back at school, hundreds of fourth graders, hundreds of seventh graders, hundreds of first graders all across our city who cannot get vaccinated because they're too young to be vaccinated, but they have to be in school.
    
We've learned how important it is, particularly for the younger kids, to be in school, not have another year that they lose without being able to be together for instruction, but without the vaccine, they really depend upon us to protect them. That means, one, wearing a mask is really very important. Whether you're vaccinated or not, I'm afraid to say, whether you're vaccinated or not you should be wearing a mask in public settings when you're not able to distance yourself from folks.
    
Particularly, of course, in all indoor settings, publicly accessible places, restaurants, stores, shops, schools, et cetera, please mask, that's the first thing. The second thing is, please get vaccinated, that is how we win. The rest of this is trying to protect each other from the disease. The vaccine is what can push the disease away and keep all of us safe and limited spread in our community.
    
We are having to step backward, we regret this. We knew it might happen. We hoped it wouldn't happen but it has. This variant is more dangerous, it's more easily spread so please wear your masks again in all those places when you're not six feet from other people and outdoors. Also, please, please get vaccinated. Talk to your friends, talk to your experts, your health experts. Think about these kids, for example, who need to be in school, can't get the vaccine, but we can get the vaccine to help protect them.
    
Thanks for all that you're doing in our community. Happy to answer questions if you want to contact my office and we'll keep in touch as we update the latest as this pandemic continues here in Bloomington.

 

 

 

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