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Page last updated on November 9, 2021 at 10:25 am

Hi, this is Mayor Hamilton giving the COVID update, pandemic, where we are for November 9th. Hope everybody is doing okay. Look, the numbers are still concerning us. We are at a way better spot than we were six or eight weeks ago. We've gotten much lower levels overall in the county, in the city, in the state, in the country frankly, than we were eight weeks ago, but we're not out of the woods. 

In fact, there has been a little backsliding and a little negative movement in the numbers. You may have noted even in Monroe County, our numbers, we got below 100 cases per 100,000. We've now bounced back up above them, so we're seeing some movement in the wrong direction. Not a major movement, but enough to know that this is not a steady, clear path forward. So our mask mandate continues. We implore folks to do the best thing to protect ourselves and our community is to get the vaccine. Of course, young people, even aged five to 11 are now approved for that. 

Our school system's doing a great job protecting folks, but this virus is still here. It is still spreading. It is still taking lives. It is still sending people to the hospital, so please continue to be wary and be careful as you go forward. And please get a vaccination, including a flu shot is also really important this winter to help folks out. I've gotten my flu shot and my booster. Please do what you can to protect each other. 

I'll note that as I reported last week, you may follow the news that the federal government, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, has released its regulations as of last Friday, requiring large employers, that includes the city as an employer, to require vaccinations or weekly testing and even more strong masking protocols. 

That's in a bit of a legal flurry right now, but that's the federal law. The regulations go into effect as of January 4th, so we do plan to have that...more and more of our people we hope will get vaccinated. We're at about 70% of our workforce now, and those who don't get vaccinated, may well have the requirements of masking and weekly testing. This is a virus that's been with us. It's still with us.

It's going to stay with us for some time. We're managing it better than we were eight weeks ago, certainly than last winter, but the vaccine's what's going to help. So we're going to keep working on it. We're going to keep protecting everybody as best we can. We'll keep watching the science and listening to the experts and taking the steps that we feel help plus here locally as well, so thanks for all that you're doing. Keep taking care of yourself with vaccinations and good protocols, and I'll keep you updated on the status.