Brad Altevogt isn't one to run from a challenge.
The 66-year-old owner of Three Rivers Running Company on North Clinton Street started running in seventh grade and hasn't stopped, according to a biography on the store's website.
He's now among dozens of Indiana employers celebrating high COVID-19 vaccination rates for workers and encouraging others to get shots.
Three Rivers Running Company is one of about 160 businesses taking part in COVID Stops Here, a campaign from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The initiative offers businesses with at least a 70% vaccination rate special designations – platinum for 100%; gold for 90%; silver for 80% and bronze for 70%.
All of Altevogt's 17 employees are vaccinated.
“In our little corner of the world, we try to do what we can,” said Altevogt, adding he learned of the campaign from an Aug. 29 editorial in The Journal Gazette “... We're trying to keep everyone healthy and safe. Everything we do is geared toward keeping everyone healthy and safe.”
Only about 54% of Indiana residents eligible are fully vaccinated.
The number of participants in COVID Stops Here has doubled since it was announced last month and also includes Fort Wayne businesses Complete Wellness Solutions and Trentadue CPA Firm.
“We do have people who believe it is individual choice and not a business decision,” Jennifer Pferrer of the Chamber's Indiana Wellness Council wrote in an email. “With that said, I believe businesses need to do their part to encourage vaccinations especially as we monitor the impact the unvaccinated are having on our health care system.”