EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) As COVID-19 cases in Vanderburgh County continue to rise, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and the Medical Advisory Group held a press conference to address concerns about the rise in positive cases. On Thursday, the county added 24 new cases.

Dr. James Porter with Deaconess held up a chart that showed that four weeks ago, about 3% of COVID-19 tests came back positive, and now it’s up to about 8% coming back positive. Health officials say that while hospitalization rates have dropped in Vanderburgh, they are worried those rates will rise as positive cases continue to go up. Health officials say most new cases are between the ages of 18 and 32.

When asked about mandating that face masks be worn in public in Evansville, Mayor Winnecke said he doesn’t want to do that, but if numbers continue to rise at this rate, he may have to. The mayor implored everybody to accept personal responsibility to wear a face mask.

Earlier this week, health officials said that during the COVID-19 case investigation process, a large majority of these new cases reported to the health department that they were not wearing a fabric facial covering/mask when in public, and they were not practicing social distancing.

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