Mayor Winnecke’s executive order is now in effect

New order requires gatherings with over 125 people to be approved by health department

Mayor Winnecke’s executive order is now in effect

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s new executive order is now in effect on Monday.

This order requires any gathering of more than 125 people to get pre-approval from the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

Event organizers will have to submit a written plan to the health department at least 10 days before the event.

Officials say the plan must lay out the necessary steps that will be taken to protect citizens against the spread of COVID-19.

The executive order will be in effect for seven days. However, Mayor Winnecke can renew the order if he wants to.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department says 31 events have been submitted so far. Of the 31 events submitted,13 have been approved,17 are pending and one has been denied.

“It was because of the number of people and the size of the venue, and we just didn’t feel like there was going to be enough room to social distance in the venue," said Health Dept. Administrator Joe Gries. "So we said ‘If you can start to limit those numbers and bring it down, we could possibly approve it,’ but it was just too many people in a closed-in area.”

Gries says they’ve even received events submitted from outside the city limits that are not affected by the executive order. However, events of more than 125 people outside city limits are not required to be submitted for approval.

“It helps us, first of all, know what’s going on out there, what large events may be occurring. But also then we can ask questions, we can ask for additional information. We can make recommendations to them so that they can ensure that their event is as safe as possible and ask risk-free as possible for their attendees," said Gries.

Each approved event will receive a document of approval that they will be required to show if asked by a law enforcement officer.

The Evansville Mayor’s office says that if law enforcement are called on an event that does not have approval, they will be asked to disperse. But if that does not happen, a fine of $2500 for a misdemeanor charge could result.

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