SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — COVID-19 is spreading through community exposures at a substantially higher rate, according to Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard.
According to Goddard, during the month of May, community-spread cases made up about 3.5% of all cases. In June, 18% of cases were cause by community-spread.
“We’re seeing more and more of our cases returned to group events, be that something like a little league game, a church service, or a family gathering. A trend that we’re seeing among our cases is that they aren’t doing this safely. It’s leaving them more at risk for picking up this virus in group settings,” Goddard said.
So as the Fourth of July approaches, Goddard says he’s researching a potential masking ordinance in Springfield. He’s asking people to practice physical distancing, wash their hands, and wear a mask.
“I recognize that that’s not always easy, and sometimes I feel like I’m being overly conscious or I’m being the arbiter of fun and good times, and I don’t relish that role. But please remember, we owe this caution to one another,” Goddard said.
But Goddard says for those who are ready to return to normal remember this:
“If you’re there psychologically, you’re going to have to reset and realize that we all have a responsibility in the community to fight this. It’s not the health department that does it, it’s not the health systems that do it, it’s us collectively in the community,” Goddard said.
Goddard and Springfield Mayor Ken McClure also announced Thursday that phase three of the area’s “Road to Recovery” plan will continue through July 15th, meaning occupancy at most businesses in Springfield will remain at 50%.
McClure also said, the City of Springfield will reevaluate whether it should move on to the next phase on that date.
“We know that this virus is still circulating in our community, and in the communities around us. Due to the metrics tracked on the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard, the information we have received from our health care partners and partner public health agencies, as well as what is taking place in neighboring counties, we have elected to continue with Phase 3 in our Road to Recovery Plan through the current order’s expiration date of July 15,” McClure said.
Phase 3 of the order increased the number of people allowed in enclosed public areas.
watch the full announcement below: