SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Leaders with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and area schools and universities provided a COVID-19 case and vaccination update Wednesday afternoon.
Leaders from SPS, Drury University, Evangel University, Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, and the Health Department were all present to speak on vaccination rates at their schools.
The schools pushed again that masking and vaccinations are the best options right now.
“Without those things, I think we would still be in a much different place. More likened to where we were last year,” said Springfield-Greene County Health Director Katie Towns.
Several students had vaccine opportunities before the school year started.
David Hall with Missouri State said that the university is near 60% fully vaccinated. Mark Miller with OTC shared more than 50 people, students and faculty, have gotten their first vaccine. Drury University President Tim Cloyd reported that over two-thirds of the Drury community have been vaccinated with 84% of faculty, 65% staff, and 70% of all of our students. Evangel University Vice President of University Advancement at Dr. Michael Kolstad shared 91% of faculty and 68% of staff are vaccinated, which accounts for a total of 78% of employees.
Towns also shared there has been a decrease in the number of new cases among all ages.
“Because we have a masking requirement. That’s when we can utilize a modified quarantine. If they’ve had close contact within a classroom, six feet or less, they’re masked, then they would still be considered a close contact and they would be on modified quarantine and they can still attend school,” said Dr. Jean Grabeel with Springfield Public Schools.
Leaders are still wanting to increase vaccination rates so schools and activities can return to normal.
“Children under 12 years of age are not yet eligible for vaccine. Those of us that are eligible can help protect them and help preserve memories and milestones for all of the students,” said Towns.