On Friday, Vanderburgh County saw record-high numbers of new positive COVID-19 cases. Saturday then followed as another record-shattering day, with nearly 100 new positive cases of the virus being confirmed.
Sunday's report from the state health department showed another 70 new positive cases of the virus within Vanderburgh County, with Monday's report listing an additional 78.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke spoke out Monday on the surge of new positive COVID-19 cases within Vanderburgh County and the Evansville area.
According to Winnecke, the recent surge of new positive COVID-19 cases is a "wake-up call."
"It's not our intent to shut down the community," said Mayor Winnecke. "However, we are asking you to use common sense and adhere to recommendations that we are all undoubtedly tired of hearing."
Mayor Winnecke says it's not their intent to shut down the community, close down businesses, or restrict commerce, however the community is asked to contribute and do their part in keeping each other safe.
"We want people to make adjustments before we come in and say these are requirements that we're going to have to take. No one wants that to be done and we continue to look at that data and see where we can make adjustments and if it comes to that we'll certainly consider it."
Winnecke said information from the Vanderburgh County Health Department revealed two main areas that the recent surge of new positive cases are attributed to: Large gatherings at which people are not social distancing or wearing masks, and employees of long-term care facilities.
"Now is the time to think twice about attending receptions, visitations, or reunions," Mayor Winnecke stated, while also recommending switching in-person meetings to a virtual format for the "foreseeable future."
Winnecke said that the lack of COVID-19 safety regulations seen "on a regular basis" at youth sporting events also remains a cause for concern.
"We are not typically seeing mask-wearing or social distancing at these games," Winnecke said. "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," he said.
"It tells us a couple different things," says Joe Gries, Vanderburgh County Health Department. "There is possibility that there are a lot of asymptomatic individuals who are out and about and not practicing social distancing, not wearing masks, but then there's also the larger groups that are getting together, people I think are getting a little lax, on not social distancing, letting their guard down, not wearing their masks."
Mayor Winnecke's statement concluded by saying that as the new week begins, "understanding the data and relying on our medical professionals remain key factors in our decision-making process."
With over 326 new positive cases per 100,000 residents and a 7-day positivity rate of 9.44%, Vanderburgh County remains one of four Indiana counties in the state health department's COVID-19 'Orange' Status.