Vanderburgh Co. in ‘red’ on COVID-19 map for the first time

Vanderburgh Co. in ‘red’ on COVID-19 map for the first time

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On the Indiana State Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard, all local Southwest Indiana counties, except Perry County, are now in the red.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said he was not surprised to see Vanderburgh County by the news.

“But, I think it’s a good reminder to everyone that the virus is active, it is prevalent in our community,” said Winnecke.

The new distinction comes with some changes. The number of people you are allowed to have at a social gathering drops from 50 down to 25. Bars and restaurants still operate under the same guidelines as before, but local officials do have the option to make adjustments to operating hours. Those conversations will soon be had.

“What we are going to examine closely over the next several days is the effect of limiting the crowd size from 50 to 25,” explained Winnecke.

“I don’t know where that will go, but I’m sure that questions will come up and conversations will be had there, yes,” said Vanderburgh County Health Dept. administrator Joe Gries.

On Tuesday, one nightclub and two bars were shut down by the health department, and although the mayor’s office was not involved in those decisions, Mayor Winnecke weighed in.

“It should be a reminder to all of us that we need to be compliant,” shared Winnecke. “Whether it be in business or our private, personal life.”

Both Mayor Winnecke and Gries are hopeful that the vaccine will help bring Vanderburgh County’s COVID-19 numbers down, but the decision-making of the community can also help in getting the county back to a healthier place.

“I mean, it’s not going to go away anytime soon, and people do have to continue to protect themselves, protect their families, protect people around them,” shared Gries.

14 News spoke with Mayor Winnecke about Vanderburgh County’s new red status.

Here is the full conversation:

Full interview: Mayor Winnecke discusses Vanderburgh County's red status

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