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.
Friends of Lake Monroe's Maggie Sullivan briefed Monroe County Council on the development of a watershed management plan at the council's March 23 work session.
The project is creating a plan of action for addressing water quality goals by identifying problems and solutions with the watershed, a 440-square-mile area around Lake Monroe. Built in 1964 as a reservoir, Lake Monroe is the largest lake in Indiana and the primary water source for this region.
Click here to watch the presentation on CATS.
The Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute presented a report to Monroe County Commissioners about this area's climate resilience.
The Hoosier Resilience Index is a survey to help local governments understand how prepared they are for the impacts of climate change. The main impacts are increases in extreme heat and extreme precipitation. The most vulnerable populations, including low-income and minority residents, will be the first to feel the impacts, according to researchers Andrea Webster and Zach Richardson.
Watch the presentation at the commissioners' March 24 working session here. A written report is forthcoming.
The Monroe County Board of Health has approved increasing the size limits of gatherings to 50 people, as long as the county stays in the "yellow" COVID-19 status. That status is determined by the State of Indiana's Guidelines by Color. Previously, the county limited gathering size to 25.
The local rules, approved by the Board of Health on Feb. 2, are still stricter than the state guidelines. Under state rules, counties that are in the "yellow" status can have gatherings up to 100 people.
Monroe County differs from state guidelines in several other ways as well. Click here to read the latest Monroe County health order.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy