“Next big milestone”: Health Dept. talks about reaching green phase

COVID Vaccine Updates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is more than halfway towards its goal of getting half of all Greene County residents fully vaccinated by the end of May.

Cara Erwin with the Health Department says this could mean a recommendation to the Springfield City Council to end the mask mandate.

“It’s important that people who are eligible and are able to be vaccinated do it as soon as possible because the quicker that we can people get vaccinated the quicker that we can get back to doing those things that we all love to do,” Erwin said. “With summer upon us, we all are very excited to start seeing family and friends again and to do without the worry and concern about spreading this very serious disease.”

But two other things would have to happen too, including hospitalizations and case numbers dropping below the red, yellow and green phases listed in the Road to Recovery plan.

Springfield is in the yellow phase and getting to green would mean having under 20 cases and hospitalizations per day, along with 50 percent of the population becoming vaccinated.

Right now, more than 30% of the 16-plus community is completely vaccinated, and almost 40 percent have received one dose.

Those who are partially vaccinated are included in the overall fully vaccinated group — and vice versa.

Erwin says this is a step in the right direction.

“If we don’t reach it by Memorial Day, if it’s the next week, then we have to make adjustments,” Erwin said. “The end game right now is to get to that 70 percent vaccination rate so that we can reach herd immunity. 50 percent is that next big milestone and if we can do that by Memorial Day we know that we’re right on track.”

Erwin says this isn’t just about vaccination numbers, it’s about practices like masking especially when you aren’t vaccinated and watching your distance.

Erwin says if you or someone you know wants to get vaccinated, the Health Department can get you an appointment as early as today.

Just call 417-874-1211.

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