EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Governor Eric Holcomb visited Southwestern Indiana Friday for the first time since the pandemic began.

Members of the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce participated in a Q&A with Chamber President Tara Barney.

Holcomb praised the work of the chamber and of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke for their efforts during the pandemic.

“We proved here in Evansville, Indiana that you can have a lunch and do it responsibly. It’s going to be different, it might not be a thousand people in one room, so be it,” Holcomb said.

To avoid exceeding the social gathering limit of 250 people, the lunch was split into multiple rooms at the events plaza.

The primary concern for the governor moving forward isn’t regulating restrictions on certain regions of Indiana, but certain age ranges.

Holcomb says the overwhelming majority of recent cases have come from Hoosiers under the age of 29.

“A lot of those have to go with people not following those regulations, local and state guidance. That’s where you see the cases start to spike as they continue to be passed on and on and on,” Holcomb said.

Indiana announced 700 new cases on Friday alone. Despite the statistics, Holcomb still says the strong relationship between Southwest Indiana officials and state officials is keeping people safe during the pandemic.

“We have enormous respect for those rooted in our local communities, so we’ll continue to work with them and if we get to the point where another decision needs to be made, we’ll work with locals to arrive at that decision together,” Holcomb said.

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(This story was originally published on July 10, 2020)