Evansville's Mayor Increases Restrictions on Gathering Sizes

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke on Friday announced new restrictions on gathering sizes in the River City following his recent meeting with state and local health officials.

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 9:50 AM
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 2:39 PM

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke on Friday announced new restrictions on gathering sizes at events in Evansville.

"Currently, the state's Back on Track plan requires that any event with over 500 people must be approved by the local health department," Winnecke said on Friday. "Today, I'm announcing a more restrictive measure for the City of Evansville."

Winnecke said that as of Oct. 19, organizers of events in Evansville where there's expected to be over 125 people in attendance must submit a plan to the Vanderburgh County Health Department 10 days prior to the event.

Mayor Winnecke said that the reason for reducing the limitation to 125 was "for contact tracing purposes."

"This is a manageable figure that works for trace investigators and is supported by the county health department," Winnecke explained. "Now is the time to ask yourself if you really need to attend that party, reception, visitation, reunion, or sporting event."

Winnecke also said that the Vanderburgh County Health Department may approve, deny, or make changes to plans submitted by event organizers.

Mayor Winnecke said that the newly-issued executive order will only last for seven days due to state statute and local ordinance, but that it would "likely" be extended.

"By state statute and local ordinance, Mayoral Executive Orders can only be in effect for periods of seven days," said Mayor Winnecke. "I think it's likely to assume that we will extend it beyond seven days at the appropriate time."

Evansville's mayor made the decision following his meeting on Thursday with state and local health officials, where current COVID-19 trends, problem areas, and needs of the medical community in the Vanderburgh County and Evansville areas were discussed.

Winnecke later made a separate statement in an attempt to clarify the new restrictions created by the new executive order, saying, "it is not intended to restrict educational instruction or worship services. However, extra-curricular events, socials, dinners, etc. need to have plans approved by the Vanderburgh County Health Department if gathering is in excess of 125."

Over the last week, multiple residents of Vanderburgh County have died from COVID-19 with hundreds of new positive cases of the virus also being identified. The county is also one of several in the state's COVID-19 'Orange' risk level, due to its high positivity rate and number of new positive cases weekly per 100,000 residents.

Mayor Winnecke had previously alluded to the possibility of new COVID-19 restrictions being imposed within the River City, calling the area's recent surge in new positive COVID-19 cases "a wake-up call."

You can view the new Executive Order issued by Mayor Winnecke below.

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It was another chilly start across the Tri-State; while we only dipped as low as 43° in Evansville, many others across the Tri-State fell into the upper 30s earlier this morning. The cool air didn't linger long however, temperatures quickly reached back into the mid 70s across the region this afternoon - higher pressure camped out over the southeastern quarter of the country will continue to keep the skies above the Tri-State clear while gradually driving temperatures higher over the next few days. Despite our anticipated southerly winds this evening, you may still want to grab a jacket before your head out to dinner; after seeing a temperature near 64° around dinnertime, we'll fall off toward the mid to upper 50s by 10 o'clock. Overnight lows will again dwindle into the mid to low 40s for the majority of the Ohio Valley early Tuesday morning.
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