COVID-19 increases causing concern across Vanderburgh County


VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT)- Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is considering more restrictions after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Vanderburgh county. The EVSC is also weighing its options going forward. The county is now classified as orange, with a positivity rate of 5.03% in the last seven days.

The mayor explained he wants to see how the next few days go. He says he’s been in contact with community leaders all day about things they could do. But a major guiding factor is not clear yet.

“The numbers that sticks out to me is 86. Certainly, that is our high watermark,” Lloyd Winnecke says.

This has caused concern across the community. Especially because a key piece of information is not clear yet.

“One thing we want and we’re having trouble finding is really good data as to what is causing the surge,” Winnecke explains.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says there have been some conversations about new restrictions but without having a full picture they may not be effective. But he knows some things are true.

“I think you’re seeing some COVID wariness. People are tired of it. I get it. I’m tired of it, I’m totally tired of it but we have to realize it is with us and it’s going to be with us for a while longer,” Winnecke says. “To be really clear we want schools to be open, we want businesses to be open, and we want to be able to treat anyone who sick or ill.”

The switch to an orange classification also has the attention of EVSC officials. They say they need the community to continue to take personal responsibility and do things like wearing masks and handwashing.

“As the number in the counties are up it certainly does make one wonder if eventually, those numbers will move into the schools,” Jason Woebkenberg explains.

The state’s dashboard for COVID cases in schools went live this week. Some EVSC schools have seen cases but Jason Woebkenberg says they are contact tracing and not seeing spread in the schools, “we’ve actually had communication this week with families telling them to always be prepared.”

In case the decision is made to go virtual.

Winnecke referred back to a work he says was used frequently at the beginning of the pandemic.
Flexibility. He says we need to be flexible because we’re at a point where– we can’t continue on this path.

He also says while it’s unfortunate to hear anyone has the virus, maybe learning the President and the First Lady of the United States are positive will be an eye-opening moment for some.

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(This story was originally published on October 2, 2020)

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