City of Beloit Declares COVID-19 Memorial Day
When the Beloit city council met on Monday, January 4th, 2021, they made the decision to honor all who lost their lives to COVID-19 with a city-wide memorial day. The date they settled on was March 1st. This date was selected due to it marking a year since life as we knew it changed for the worst, since the dastardly virus swept the nation. This celebration was not declared as a one-time memorial, but rather as an annual calendar event.
The proclamation of the COVID-19 memorial day states that, “…the City Council of the City of Beloit supports the designation of the first Monday in March as “COVID-19 Memorial Day”, in remembrance of those who have lost their lives and in honor of those who continue to suffer from the impact of this virus, and to commemorate them in an appropriate manner each year on that day.” It is assumed that even as the tide of COVID-19 comes to a standstill, live events to celebrate this new day will not commence. In-person events that memorialize those who lost their lives due to a deadly pandemic seem insensitive and inappropriate considering the strict quarantine mandates that have been put in place to combat COVID-19.
According to the Beloit Daily News, the city has a mortality rate of 1.39%, which the news source refers to as being “the highest of monitored municipalities in the county.” There has been no evidence as to why this fact might be. However, it is important to understand that Beloit reached its peak in coronavirus during November of 2020; cases have subsequently been falling not only in Beloit, but Rock County. Vaccine distribution among those in Rock County is fairly efficient — those aged 65 and up account for 53.1% of all first doses of the vaccine, says the Beloit Daily News.
The Beloit city council was also debating whether or not to pounce on a state grant application that would assist health professionals and providers in raising vaccine awareness in the city. Said grant would provide $100,000 worth of funding for an informational campaign that would educate citizens of Beloit on the importance of the vaccine as well as cover costs of vaccine distribution. The council was set to meet on February 28th to come to an agreement regarding the state grant.
The council approved the grant, marking the city of Beloit as a COVID-19 vaccine provider. The primary group that this campaign is set to target is ‘underserved’ communities (low income communities). Many low income communities are composed of large numbers of minority individuals of whom the COVID-19 virus is disproportionately infecting and, subsequently, killing. The city’s effort to raise vaccine awareness is going to be carried out in partnership with the Beloit Area Community Health Center and Community Action. At this time, vaccine distribution and campaign strategies have yet to be laid out.