Mayor Winnecke urges Hoosiers to stay vigilant and think twice about attending any gatherings

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Mayor Lloyd Winnecke Flu Shot

The current trend of COVID-19 cases in our region should be a reminder to reaffirm our commitment to social distancing (both indoors and outdoors), practicing good hygiene, wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and staying home when you don’t feel well.

There is no doubt that the recent days of high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases is a wake-up call. From all indicators, there is significant spread of COVID-19 in our region. Let me repeat, our region in southwest Indiana is moving in the wrong direction.

Here’s what we know from our county health department:

Our recent surge can be attributed to two main areas: large gatherings at which people are not social distancing or wearing masks, and employees of long-term care facilities.

Our health care providers say that it’s clear that you put yourself at a higher risk of contracting the virus by attending events with lots of people, many, or some of whom, are not wearing masks and not social distancing.

Now is the time to think twice about attending receptions, visitations or reunions.

My annual report to the business community, an event held by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, was originally scheduled for October 15th. We are postponing that event to a later, more appropriate date to eliminate a potential community risk.

If you have in-person meetings, I highly encourage you to consider making them virtual events for the foreseeable future.

Long term care facilities: the Vanderburgh County Health Department, and our local hospitals, continue to talk with leaders of long-term care centers about how to make their facilities safer for residents, their families, staff and the broader community.

If you have a friend or loved one in a long-term care facility, please adhere to the rules set forth by that facility.

We also remain concerned about what we’re seeing on a regular basis at youth sporting events. We are not typically seeing mask wearing or social distancing at these games. While specific positive COVID cases can’t be attributed directly to these kinds of events yet, it seems inevitable given the prevalence of the virus in our community. We are asking family and friends to wear masks and socially distance…even if you are outside.

It’s important to note that our hospitals are already near capacity with COVID patients, with the flu season just beginning. We can all help relieve the stress of our hospitals by getting a flu shot, wearing a mask, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene, stay home if you don’t feel well and avoid large crowds when possible.

It is not our intent to shut down the community. However, we are asking you to use common sense and adhere to the recommendations that we are all undoubtedly tired of hearing. I get it. I’m suffering from COVID fatigue like everyone else. But this is our new reality until COVID-19 is defeated.

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