Springfield-Greene County Health Department reflects on past year

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– This week marks the first anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Greene County.

“Personally, I am really looking forward to the day that we put out a press release that we have no new deaths to report from COVID-19,” said Kathryn Wall with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Wall says the year 2020 had its fair share of ups and downs.

“I felt like there were some moments where we felt like our community was right alongside us,” said Wall. “And there were some really low moments when we lost people. The thing about a novel virus is you only know so much and you keep learning and you keep growing and you keep informing our community.”

At the end of March in 2020, Greene County had its first COVID-19 death and the city of Springfield issued a stay-at-home order. A few months later a masking ordinance was approved.

“Socially, it’s had a big impact on people,” said Aaron Dowsett, a local resident.

Gabby and Mia Politte are both freshman and say it’s harder to meet knew people because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Getting to finally hug people, like, our grandparents,” said Politte. “Family gatherings. We used to have family gatherings like every month. All the time. Now we haven’t had one since before COVID.”

Fast forward a year later, the CoxSouth COVID-19 unit is closed and more people are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Though things are starting to look up, Wall says the fight isn’t over yet.

“We’re not done yet,” said Wall. “Just because things are starting to look up doesn’t mean we can act like we’ve finished this marathon. “

As of March 5, 2021, there have been over 27,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Greene County.

You can visit the Health Department’s COVID-19 living memorial by clicking here.

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