A new COVID-19 patient that worked at a local business has forced 65 people into quarantine according to the head of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Director Clay Goddard announced at a press conference Friday that a new patient went to work while they were sick. Thirteen of the 65 co-workers of the confirmed case are now showing symptoms and have been referred for testing.
“This very well could be our next round of positive cases,” Goddard said. He told employers they need to be putting safety measures in place not just for customers but also for employees; employers should also check employees for fever and prohibit sick workers from coming into work.
Goddard would not name the business impacted or the industry where the business provided services. He reiterated that the Health Department’s policy regarding releasing information to the public depends on threat to the public; leaving the impression there was no public threat.
Goddard did say, however, that the public is not in the clear.
“In the last two days, we have seen an increase of seven cases in Greene County,” Goddard said. “This morning I saw headlines about the biggest jump of cases in Missouri in one day. That’s not surprising. And it doesn’t mean our stay at home orders are not working. This is the natural ebb and flow of disease.”
“This is not over,” Goddard said. “We have not solved COVID-19. It’s not cured. There’s still an illness with no treatment, no vaccine, and we don’t have immunity to. It’s going to continue to stalk us and we need to remain to be vigilant.”
Goddard expressed a desire to get past the outbreak.
“We want to turn to recovery,” Goddard said. “We want to get moving again. I want my wife and my kids to go back to work. I want them to be safe when they do.”
The city and county are likely going to extend their orders next week to match the recent change to the statewide stay at home orders, extending the lockdown into May.
The current totals for Greene County as of Friday April 17:
- 88 cases
- 7 currently hospitalized
- 35 active cases
- 45 recovered
- 1,696 tested at mobile test unit
- 8 deaths