First and foremost, thank you so much for your continued support of Indy Pride. As some of you know, I have been serving in the role of Interim Executive Director for several weeks and it has been quite a journey already getting up to speed on all of the things Indy Pride has been able to accomplish during such a turbulent time as we have all endured the pandemic.
Most of my early work has been related to the parade, as it is the largest event on our calendar. While the permitting and other items were in place, COVID-19 variants have dramatically changed the face of the public health concerns around gathering so many people in one place. I have consulted with state and local health officials, as well as infectious disease experts at local hospitals to determine the best way for us to proceed.
After I presented the board with the information I gathered, it was very clear that proceeding with an event on October 2nd would not be in the best interests of the community.
Last week, an outdoor parade in Milwaukee celebrating the Bucks has been linked to over 500 cases of COVID transmission. The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately impacted by immunocompromising conditions that make it even more challenging to consider placing people at risk, both participants and attendees. It is of greatest importance to both the board of directors and I to make the safest possible choices for our community during this time.
In my conversations with public health experts, it is anticipated the dramatic increases in cases will continue for quite some time and it is hard to gauge when the decline will start to occur and how quickly cases will reduce. If possible, we still hope to proceed with some type of outdoor celebration. That decision will be made once we have a clearer picture of the landscape, including the percentage of the overall vaccinated population, case positivity rates and overall number of new and breakthrough cases.
Thank you for your continued support of Indy Pride, and please feel free to reach out to me any time should you have questions or need information.