Area mayors encourage safety over upcoming holiday

Mount Vernon Mayor William Curtis, Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt and Princeton Mayor Greg Wright talk after a joint press conference Thursday at the Civic Center in Evansville.

PRINCETON — In Gibson County, Indiana State Health Department reported 40 new cases and one new COVID-19 related death Thursday. That brings the number of local cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,597 including 20 deaths among 8,483 people tested.

Gibson County’s seven-day positivity rate among all tests is 12.9%, and the seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals tested is 27.5%.

In this area, Knox County reports 39 new cases for 1,584 cases including 14 deaths among 8,593 people tested; Daviess County 29 new cases and one new death for a total 1,350 cases including 43 deaths among 7,561 people tested; Dubois County 42 new cases and one new death for a total 2,184 cases including 30 deaths among 11,632 people tested; Pike County nine new cases for a total 480 cases including 18 deaths among 2,866 people tested; Warrick County 37 new cases and one new death for a total 2,937 cases including 72 deaths among 19,913 people tested; Vanderburgh County 129 new cases and one new death for a total 8,761 cases including 109 deaths among 63,585 people tested; and Posey County 12 new cases for a total 1,108 cases including 13 deaths among 6,675 people tested.

In neighboring Southeastern Illinois counties, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 424 cases including eight deaths; Edwards County 185 cases including three deaths; Lawrence County 712 cases including eight deaths; Richland County 583 cases including 18 deaths; Wayne County 769 cases including 29 deaths; Hamilton County 325 cases including three deaths; White County 474 cases including eight deaths; Saline County 964 cases including 17 deaths; and Gallatin County 169 cases and two deaths.

Thanksgiving appealISDH Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box appealed to Hoosiers to exercise extra caution for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Holiday celebrations need to look different this year,” she said, suggesting the best option is to stay home this year and only celebrate with those in your household. If other gatherings are planned, hosts should “set expectations up front,” and self-screen for symptoms before attending or hosting an event, she suggested.

Box said hosts should plan try to have outdoor events, but if that’s not possible, keep extra hand sanitizer for guests, open windows to increase air flow and plan to wear masks in indoor settings when not eating.

College students home for the holidays should stay home to reduce the risk. “Students coming home should behave as if they have COVID, and plan to wear a mask, even in their own home...Don’t see Grandma or other at-risk relatives...Don’t head out to bars or hang out with friends,” she said. “You need to keep those social bubbles small.”

Box suggested students home on break could help with staffing problems schools or other institutions are grappling with due to quarantines, by signing up to substitute teach or help with contact tracing.

Area mayors had the same message Thursday afternoon, encouraging safe practices during the upcoming holiday week.

Princeton Mayor Greg Wright joined Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, Mount Vernon Mayor William Curtis, Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt, Henderson Mayor Steve Austin and Newburgh Town Manager Christy Powell at the Civic Center in Evansville for a joint press conference.

Wright thanked Winnecke for including Princeton and Gibson County in the conversation that day.

“Even though we all have different sized communities, we’re all in the fight together,” Wright said.

Wright said with Gibson County being home to a lot of manufacturing work, it does share many community members with the region.

He reminded the community to be diligent, take care of themselves and their families

“I think in another year we’ll look back and say, ‘that was tough, but I think we did a good job of fighting it,’ ” Wright said.

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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