The Indiana General Assembly is set to meet in a special session on Monday, Nov. 29 to consider a bill that would restrict businesses' ability to require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees. It would also require businesses to administer weekly testing for all unvaccinated employees. Click here to view the draft legislation.
The legislation is in response to a federal mandate that would require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines for all employees. To give feedback to state legislators representing parts of Monroe County, find their contact information in the Chamber's Elected Officials Directory.
At their Oct. 21 meeting, the Monroe County Board of Health voted to extend the county's mask mandate. The current mandate ends on Oct. 31.
If approved by the Monroe County Commissioners at their Oct. 27 meeting, the mandate will extend until the county's COVID-19 case numbers drop to fewer than 50 cases per week per 100,000 residents. Right now, the county is at about 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
More information is available at the Monroe County Health Department COVID-19 website.
At its Sept. 22 meeting, the Monroe County Board of Health unanimously voted to extend the county's mask mandate until Oct. 31. The county Board of Commissioners is expected to authorize the health order at its Sept. 29 meeting.
A provision in the health order would end the mandate earlier if Monroe County’s community spread decreases. Watched the Sept. 22 Board of Health meeting here.
Monroe County Health Department will open a testing site next week for drive-thru testing of COVID-19. The site will be open weekly from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 500 Profile Parkway, on property owned by Cook Medical.
Penny Caudill, Monroe County's health administrator, made the announcement at the Sept. 17 Chamber Health & Business Conference.
More information is available on the Monroe County Health Department website here.
Businesses with more than 100 employees will soon be mandated to have all employees vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19. Businesses that don’t comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
The mandate is part of President Joe Biden's six-part "Path Out of the Pandemic" that was announced on Sept. 9. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue an emergency temporary standard soon with details of the plan.
On Sept. 16, attorneys general from 24 states, including Indiana, sent a letter to President Biden opposing the private sector mandate. Read their letter here.
Michelle Gilchrist has been named as the new president and chief executive officer for the Bloomington Health Foundation.
For the past five years, she served as CEO for the National Foundation for Transplants, which generates fundraising support for people in need of organ transplants. Prior to that she served as major gifts officer and then senior director of major gifts at the University of Tennessee Science Center. She has also served in leadership roles at Community Health Charities in North Central Texas and United Way of the Mid-South in Memphis.
Read more about Michelle Gilchrist here. We welcome her to the Bloomington/Monroe County community!
Monroe County Commissioners approved a new mask mandate for indoor public places throughout the county, in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases, positivity rate, the Delta variant, and new CDC guidance.
The mandate takes effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5 and applies to indoor public places, including restaurants and retail stores. Read the full order here.
Businesses will be required to post signs regarding this mandate. Signs are available at the Chamber office (421 W. 6th St, southeast corner of 6th and Rogers), at Monroe County offices on the square, and Downtown Bloomington Inc.
Indiana University has also reimplemented a mask mandate on all campuses for all students, staff, faculty and visitors effective Thursday, Aug. 5.
The City of Bloomington Utilities Department has released its annual drinking water quality report. As part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency requires community water systems to deliver this report to their customers each year.
The report provides information about local drinking water quality, data from tests conducted the previous year, and contact information for any questions or concerns. Listed in the 2021 report are the 12 contaminants detected in Bloomington's drinking water during 2020, such as disinfectant byproducts (DBPs), lead, and copper. All are within allowable levels, according to the CBU.
Read the full report here.
Aligning Monroe County with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent guidance, the county's health officer has rescinded the previous health order as of Monday, May 17. The City of Bloomington also rescinded its health order, effective May 17.
This means that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask or stay socially distant from others in most instances, whether inside or out.
Masks may still be advised for people with certain health conditions, such as being immunocompromised, so those with concerns should check with their doctor. The CDC says that people who are not vaccinated should still wear a face covering and remain socially distant from others, except where required by federal, state or local rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Businesses and organizations can continue to require face coverings and physical distancing if they choose.
The Monroe County Board of Health will meet on Wednesday, May 19 to assess data and consider further updates or changes. That meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
For more information, visit the City of Bloomington's COVID-19 site at https://bloomington.in.gov/covid-19, or the Monroe County Health Department COVID-19 site here.
The Monroe County Health Department is distributing signs reminding the public that a mask mandate is still in effect at least through May 28.
Face coverings are required in public, as is maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. Private gatherings are limited to 50 people in Monroe County outside of Bloomington, and limited to 15 people in the City of Bloomington.
The current public health order, which took effect on April 7, remains in place until May 28. Confusion has arisen because some other parts of the state have lifted these regulations.
Monroe County officials hope that businesses and other organizations will place the signs prominently. Click here and here to download the signs. The signs are also available in Spanish here and here.