SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Springfield Mayor Ken McClure, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard, and Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon updated the community on where the city and county stand regarding COVID-19.
Mayor McClure’s main point of the briefing Wednesday afternoon is that he wants to keep businesses open but says a statewide masking mandate is desperately needed to make that happen.
“Action taken now will saves lives and aid in avoiding taking more drastic steps later,” says Mayor McClure.
He later renewed his call for a statewide masking mandate, the same one he asked for in August.
The mayor said the reason Springfield has not resumed stay-at-home orders or brought back previous rules is because of a difference in where the city was then and now.
“When we through those difficult times in March, April, and May, where we had to go through stay-at-home orders, occupancy restrictions, determining who was essential and who was not, there were safety nets available, granted they were not totally sufficient for everything,” said Mayor McClure.
He adds all of those safety nets, such as CARES Act money, the Paycheck Protection Program, and supplemental unemployment payments are not available now, so businesses and workers are not going to have any financial help if another shutdown were to occur.
Commissioner Dixon shared ways you could still interact with your family this holiday season without seeing them indoors and in-person. He mentioned sacrifices would have to be made to keep your family safe.
Dixon later added why Greene County does not have a masking ordinance.
“Since we are a non-charter county, we don’t do ordinances under state law unless they are authorized. We could do an order but it will effectively be no different than what we’ve done because we have zero enforcement capability,” says Dixon.
He says the best option for the county is to encourage cities in the county to enforce masking. He does encourage the state health director to enforce a masking ordinance in Missouri.
Health Director Goddard first shared COVID-19 numbers for Springfield; he stated there have been:
- 2386 cases in November
- 233 cases added Tuesday
- 205 patients hospitalized
After sharing more statewide statistics, Goddard shared a personal story about being a soon-to-be grandpa and how hard it has been on his family.
“If you’ve talked with me for maybe more than 10 minutes in the past few months, you know that I’m expecting my first grandbaby, it’s been an interesting time to have that news in your life. We can’t do things that we might normally do, there are a lot of milestones that I’m likely going to miss in my daughters pregnancy,” says Goddard.
He goes on to say it’s especially hard as a father and grandfather to not be able to feel like you’re helping out.
“Someday I’m going to get to sit with Emmy and I’m going to tell her stories about the year she was born, and I’m going to tell her about the sacrifices we made as a family to keep her mother safe,” says Goddard.
He said if his family can navigate the holidays by practicing the safety guidelines, your family can too.