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Page last updated on January 10, 2022 at 1:41 pm

Hello, it's Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, January 10th, 2022 and just giving a quick update on the pandemic. These are challenging times. Just last week, I reported the significant bump in caseloads in our county up to the mid-200s. We had been well under a hundred several weeks before that and climbing, but that was a big jump. And then this week, we're now in the mid-400s in terms of cases per hundred thousand. That's almost a tenfold increase in the last six or eight weeks in terms of the cases we're seeing.

Omicron is here. It is tearing through our community. Our hospitals are extremely overburdened. We just learned last week about the intensity of that. They have more patients on ventilators; they have more patients overall for COVID than ever in the pandemic. So this is distressing. We're losing people, still, to death, and as we're all struggling to make sure we can keep going with schools and businesses and others. So I will just continue to urge, please, please, please get vaccinated and boosted, which is very helpful against the Omicron variant and what may come next.

Please don't share air with people that are not in your own household regularly, particularly over the next three or four weeks. We think these are going to be very challenging, and we can help flatten the curve. The key goal is to help our healthcare system and all the people who work mightily there every day to help keep them from getting overwhelmed.

The hospital has more than a hundred employees who are out in isolation or quarantine, sick from COVID. They have a higher inpatient population than ever with COVID, so anything we can do to flatten that curve is critically important over the next several weeks. So please be extra careful. It is the right time, if you haven't done it, to get vaccinated and boosted, because it is critically important. If you don't have time to do that, or choose not to do it, please wear the masks, particularly good masks, N95, KN95, the double-layer masks, whenever you go in an indoor setting with other people. Thank you for being extra careful.

We will get through this, and we're doing all we can, and I know we know how to do this stuff. It's tiring, and it's frustrating, but we will get through it. We continue to see many of our employees getting diagnosed positive, and I know that's happening to many workplaces in other locales. So it's an important several weeks. I'll keep you updated, of course, and at the press conference Friday afternoon at 1:15 p.m.–you're welcome to attend as well. Stay safe, and thanks again for all you do to help keep our community safe.