SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield’s City Council voted to ban large public gatherings Monday morning (03/16/2020), in response to COVID-19.

“This meeting is being held on less than 24 hours notice because COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic and as of this morning three cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Greene County residents,” McClure said at the top of the meeting.

“It is therefore vital that City Council act swiftly to address COVID-19 in our community.”

Council Bill 2020-061, a special ordinance banning of any public gathering of 50 or more persons (with the exception of educational gatherings, daycare facilities, and business operations) passed without a single opposition vote.

Before the vote, council members questioned the “business operations” exemption to the rule, calling into question the need to keep movie theaters, restaurants, and bars open during this time. Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard told Council his team was working to put guidelines into place regarding this concern.

People who are caught breaking the ordinance could be punished by fines of up to $1000. Alternatively, violators could spend up to 180 days in jail.