Spike in Vanderburgh County's COVID-19 Cases Causes Concerns

Though restrictions on gathering sizes were eased with Indiana's entry into Stage 5 of reopening, officials in Vanderburgh County are still stressing the importance of taking precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 - especially ahead of the holiday season.

Posted: Oct 5, 2020 10:30 AM
Updated: Oct 5, 2020 11:26 AM

On Friday, both Vanderburgh County and the State of Indiana saw record-high numbers of new positive COVID-19 cases. Then on Saturday, the county shattered the record increase that was set just one day earlier, with nearly 100 new positive cases of the virus being confirmed.

Joe Gries with the Vanderburgh County Health Department says that community spread is alive and well, and that improper COVID-19 safety techniques are leading to a higher number of new positive cases of the virus.

"We know that there's community spread, and we know that people probably are getting together in large gatherings," Gries said. "They're not wearing their masks, they're not social distancing."

Currently, 4,221 total positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Vanderburgh County, with 38.2% of those total positive cases being identified within individuals age 29 and below.

Health department officials say "pandemic fatigue" is to blame for the recent spike in new positive cases, as younger people between the ages of 21 and 35 take to bars and restaurants as restrictions throughout the state have eased with Indiana's entry into Stage 5 of Gov. Holcomb's reopening plan.

"When you're together with a lot of people, there's a higher risk," Gries said. "If it's indoors at a bar or a night club, at people's houses, and you're not social distancing, you're not wearing a mask - there's a higher risk and there's going to be more spread."

With several fall holidays right around the corner, health officials both country-wide and locally are stressing the importance of following health and wellness guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a number of "lower risk" activities for families to participate in this Thanksgiving, like having a "virtual dinner", or a small dinner with only those who live in the same household as you.

Evansville's mayor also backed Halloween guidelines released by the CDC, encouraging River City residents to follow them.

With 70 new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Vanderburgh County on Sunday followed by 78 new positive cases of the virus being reported on Monday, the question stands as the whether the county's COVID-19 case trends will rise or fall.

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