On Monday, the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) released new recommendations on masks and other COVID-19 safety protocols.
VCHD says the new recommendations were released after review of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's latest Executive Order, which goes into effect on April 6.
"At this time the Executive Order recommends and encourages all people to continue to wear a mask, social distance from others outside your social bubble, wash your hands often, and when you are sick stay home," VCHD said Monday. "While this Executive Order does not mandate/require these safety protocols, the VCHD in the strongest possible language recommends that everyone continue to follow these protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible."
While individual businesses will have the final say on what protocols they require, VCHD says it won't have the authority under Gov. Holcomb's order to enforce any safety protocols.
While Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke has said that the River City will follow Gov. Holcomb's lead on face coverings and other guidance, he too has urged the public to keep wearing masks and to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"If the public understands all they have to do is continue to wear a mask and get a vaccination and our community's public health will be stronger - I think a lot of people will do it," Mayor Winnecke said.
As of March 31, all Hoosiers age 16-years-old and above became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state health department's vaccine locator map currently shows 18 vaccination sites in Vanderburgh County, but for now, anyone under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.