Monroe County, Bloomington officials say: Get COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn

In the state of Indiana and Monroe County, the COVID-19 pandemic numbers continue to slide down the other side of the peaks that were climbed starting in mid- to late-October of 2020.

The most recent rolling 7-day daily averages for Indiana deaths (19), hospitalizations (1,274), confirmed positive cases(1,621) are the lowest the state has seen since mid-October. The same is true for confirmed positive cases in Monroe County (31).

Dispensing every drop of vaccine that they are allocated has become the main focus for local health officials. That’s the basic picture that emerged from Friday’s weekly news conference held by local officials on pandemic response.

Right now the main barrier to vaccinating more people is the amount of vaccine available. IU Health is currently allocated about 4,000 doses a week, and Monroe County’s clinic is getting around 800 doses a week. The current pace of full vaccinations—two doses are required—would put Monroe County at the 70-percent herd-immunity threshold around mid-November.

That’s assuming demand remains higher than the supply of vaccine. Otherwise put, that’s assuming that enough people are willing to be vaccinated. Continue reading “Monroe County, Bloomington officials say: Get COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn”

Bloomington parks board votes 1–3 on policy change: Daytime camping still allowed

A proposed policy change that would have prohibited camping or otherwise inhabiting Bloomington’s parks at any time, not just overnight, got just one vote of support at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of park commissioners.

Dissenting on the vote was Les Coyne, who was congratulated at the start of the meeting on concluding his 44 years of service as a park commissioner.

The other three commissioners voted against the change to policy, despite a press release issued by the mayor’s office a couple of hours before the meeting started, in support of the policy change.

The press release said, “The recommendation to amend the special use permit policy is being made in response to an increasing presence of tents and other makeshift structures in several city park properties overnight.” Continue reading “Bloomington parks board votes 1–3 on policy change: Daytime camping still allowed”

Little 500 notebook: Cutters are the only team

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The Cutters Little 500 bicycle team gather, in a socially distant way, at Bill Armstrong Stadium to hang out for a bit on Saturday, April 25, when the 70th running of the race had been scheduled. It was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

The 70th edition of the Little 500 would have be run today at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. But it was cancelled over a month ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like so many other events across the country.

The storied bicycle race this year would have featured an attempt by one team to win the 50-mile race for its third year in a row, and a total of 15 times.

That team is the Cutters, led by seniors Noble Guyon, William Huibregtse, and Patrick Coulter.

“It’s the only team,” Robert Harman laughed, standing on one end of the track on Saturday, as he uncrossed the arms of a sweatshirt draped over his shoulders to reveal a “Cutters” T-shirt. Continue reading “Little 500 notebook: Cutters are the only team”

COVID-19 responses by Bloomington, Monroe County include altered 911 dispatch protocols, emergency funding

On Wednesday, the city of Bloomington and Monroe County continued their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 viral pandemic.

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On Wednesday, Monroe County and the city of Bloomington updated their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Monroe County, but testing has been limited.

Based on 193 tests in the state of Indiana, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 39 on Wednesday, roughly double the number on March 15, three days earlier.

Highlights from a press release issued by the city of Bloomington early Wednesday afternoon included the creation of a city working group called the Continuity of City Government (COCG) team. It will be led by the city’s deputy mayor Mick Renneisen, and human resources director Caroline Shaw, according to the news release.

Monroe County’s board of commissioners met Wednesday morning and authorized $50,000 worth of emergency COVID-19 relief and made a request for $200,000 more.

The basic message of the city’s press release is that services will be maintained, and city hall will remain open. The city’s press release confirms that earlier-reported consideration by city of Bloomington utilities has resulted in the suspension of water shutoffs. Continue reading “COVID-19 responses by Bloomington, Monroe County include altered 911 dispatch protocols, emergency funding”