SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in Greene County, the Center for Disease Control has reclassified Greene County from low community impact level to medium.

While categorized as low impact, recommendations included staying up-to-date on vaccines and boosters, getting tested if showing symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19 as well as staying in well-ventilated spaces.

Now with being elevated to medium community impact level, in addition to all previous recommendations, residents of Greene County who are at high-risk for severe disease or are in frequent contact with a high-risk person are also suggested to more strongly consider masking.

Last Tuesday, we reported the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Greene County had reached nearly 90 cases, a little over 20 cases fewer than the seven-day average of cases on the same date in 2021.

But in stark contrast to June 28 of 2021 when Springfield Greene-County Health Department reported 179 were hospitalized with 60 in critical care, only 64 were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Two days later on Thursday, that number has dropped to 56 hospitalized, with four patients in critical care. SGCHD is also reporting only 4% of inpatient beds are being used by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Last year following the Fourth of July holiday, cases of COVID-19 sharply spiked up, reaching the highest number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic. Over 270 were hospitalized with 100 in critical care on Friday, July 23, 2021.

Currently, just under 53% of Greene County residents five years or older are fully vaccinated compared to the Missouri average of 60.2% fully vaccinated. Nationally, 71.1% of the population five years or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The CDC COVID-19 community level is updated each Friday. Per the CDC, community impact level is determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient bed metrics based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days.

More information on the impact of COVID-19 on Greene County can be found on the Springfield-Greene County Health Department website.