Mayor Winnecke signs executive order to limit people at public gatherings

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) Due to the recent surge in COVID cases, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke signed an executive order restricting social gatherings from 500 people to 125. The executive order goes into effect on Monday, Oct. 19.

Winnecke says the move will allow for easier contact tracing and a faster response from health officials to inform individuals of their potential exposure and need to quarantine and monitor for symptoms.

Health officials are concerned people are letting their guard down and not following guidelines when attending personal events, such as a wedding or family or friend gathering. In a statement, Deaconess officials said:

Deaconess is supportive of the recommendations made this morning by Mayor Winnecke and the Vanderburgh County Health Department, which are consistent with suggestions offered by Dr. Box to area officials yesterday.  The rates of infection and hospitalization for COVID-19 are very concerning, and the data available on the ISDH website speaks for itself.  It would be irresponsible not to act now to reduce the rising rate of COVID-19 in our community, particularly as we head into flu season and cooler months where more people will be indoors together.

Deaconess officials are also urging people to get the flu shot to help reduce deaths and overall illness in the community, as well as lower the demand on testing supplies and other resources.

On Friday, Vanderburgh County reported 126 new cases, the highest one day total since the pandemic began. The county also reported 4 more deaths from coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 41.

Vanderburgh County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave is “calling on local hospitals to provide public, daily, and informative updates about the progress of the pandemic in plain English.” She says medical advisers have not given the commission any standards or evidence-based recommendations.

The Commissioners continue to monitor this situation closely. We will act on the best scientific evidence available to us consistent with our legal authorities and our need to protect the public health. At this moment, it is imperative that individuals and groups take every step they can to help bring down the spread of the virus as we move into the winter months.

Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave

Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer also announced Friday that over 30,000 masks had been received for both the city and area organizations. Throughout the pandemic, mask wearing and hand hygiene has made a large impact in reducing the spread of the virus.

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(This story was originally published on October 9, 2020)

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