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Page last updated on November 22, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Hi, this is Mayor Hamilton. It's November 22nd, 2021, Thanksgiving week. I wish you all happy Thanksgiving as you celebrate and gather with family and those you love. I'll give a quick update on the pandemic. We're not out of the woods. We're continuing to see some backsliding in terms of deaths and case numbers and hospitalizations locally and in the state. I want maybe to focus on that most fundamental impact of deaths that we see, reminding us how important this is as we're gathering and giving thanks.

Remembering that about a year ago, we were entering a tough winter with 60, 70; it got as high as 100 deaths per day in the state of Indiana because of COVID. That was what we were heading into last winter. Of course, this was before vaccines were available.

As vaccines became available, we brought that number of 100 deaths per day in the state down so that by March and April, we were in single digit deaths per day, and stayed there for most of the summer. We got as low as four and five deaths a day. The Delta variant arrived and in August, we saw that climb again. It got as high as 40 deaths per day, over the late winter. Just in the last few weeks, months, it's gotten better and we've declined again to 20 deaths per day in the state or so now, but remember we were at below five deaths per day in the summer. So we're seeing significantly more. This is the permanent impact. This is the loss of fellow family members, friends, Hoosiers, still dying from this pandemic.

Locally in Monroe County, we've had a death a day on average, over the last 10 or 12 days. We have not had a period like that locally since January 11 months ago.

So while there are good things. We're making some progress. We're really seeing some concerns and we're losing people of different ages. So this is still serious. We're worried about the winter ahead. I wish I didn't have to say this and bring this message to you, but we are concerned. Please get vaccinated.

Thank you to all who are vaccinated. Thank you for those who've gotten the boosters. Thank you for masking and distancing. Monroe County is the only county in the state that has a mask mandate for inside because we know it helps. Our health board, our directors follow the science. I appreciate that.

We're doing the best we can to keep everybody safe. We all want to celebrate Thanksgiving. We all want to be with those we love. We want to do everything we can so that fewer people pass away from this disease. It's still happening. It's very concerning.

We can make the difference with vaccinations, with flu shots, with being careful. We'll get through it, but we need to stay steady.

I hope you have a great week for Thanksgiving. It is a time to celebrate family and loved ones and the future. We know there are a lot of circles that have lost people because of this pandemic, and we want to do everything we can to reduce that number. So there are fewer empty seats at those tables.

Thank you again for all you're doing. Please take care of each other. Please thank the healthcare workers, the essential workers who make everything continue to work. Try to take a deep breath and not get tempted to get into political fights about this. Let's just follow the science and keep each other safe.

I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. And we'll talk to you again soon.