Springfield Mayor Ken McClure announced at a Thursday press conference the city will be easing up on restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The move follows testing of nearly 800 asymptomatic front line and essential workers in Greene and neighboring counties that showed no cases of COVID-19.
Public gatherings can now include up to 25 people.
The order allows bars, brewery taprooms, nightclubs and other entertainment venues to open. Non-contact sports and fitness classes can resume, with the requirement of social distancing measures to be maintained at all times.
All businesses can provide what is called an “enhanced risk activity.” The definition of an enhanced risk activity as something which:
enhances the risk of the spread of a communicable disease by bringing groups of people together to share the same space, indoors or outdoors, in close physical proximity for a period of time. The density of the group, combined with the duration of time spent together can increase the risk of exposure.
Only one “enhanced risk activity” can take place in a building under the lesser of two options:
• 25 total of customers and/or patrons
• The number of customers and/or patrons that can be present while strictly observing six-feet and other social distancing standards.
“It’s probably not realistic that we can completely eliminate COVID-19 from Greene County,” Springfield-Greene County Health Department head Clay Goddard said. “We may at some future date see an evidence of a resurgence of this illness, and we need to be on watch for that, but right now, we feel that this disease does not have the upper hand in our community.”
Goddard did, however, issue a warning:
“Let me remind folks out there who are at high risk and fall into the high risk category,” Goddard said, “You still need to be staying home. This virus has not changed.”
Here is an infographic from the city about the order:R2RPlan_Phase1Chart_Amended_v5_202005071303125333
At the press conference, Goddard revealed that the health department now has the ability to do confirmation testing, which will allow them to test close contacts of confirmed cases significantly faster, allowing them to quarantine any close contacts who are positive but asymptomatic.