Community Spread Increases Over Fivefold; Springfield Holds “Road to Recovery” at Phase 3

The City of Springfield will continue Phase 3 of their “Road to Recovery” plan through July 15 after a rise in community spread cases.

Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard opened the press conference by addressing the situation in the city and county, noting that with an increase in cases he’s seen an increase in “community spread”, or cases where the health department was unable to determine the source of the infection.

“Our rush to return to normalcy is making us sick,” Goddard said. “It’s not only make us sick, it’s making our neighbors sick, our families sick, and possibly even strangers.”

Goddard then released the rate of community spread within the county.

“I want you to understand that this is not just supposition,” Goddard said. “We’ve looked at the data. Three and a half percent of cases in the month of May were community spread. In the month of June, that was up to 18 percent. That’s a marked increase, and it tells me there has been a change in our community.”

Goddard also noted a “major vulnerability” in the community were people who knew they were sick, yet they those to go out to public locations.

“Stay home if you’re sick,” Goddard repeatedly said during the press conference.

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure then announced the city will be continuing the Phase 3 portion of the “Road to Recovery” until at least July 15.

“We know that this virus is still circulating in our community, and in the communities around us,” McClure said. “Due to the metrics tracked on the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard, and I highly recommend that as a resource for anyone… the information we have received from our healthcare partners and public health agencies, as well as what we’ve seen taking place in neighboring counties, we have elected to continue with Phase 3 in our Road to Recovery Plan through the current order’s expiration date of July 15.”

McClure also referenced the data that Goddard presented regarding the growth of community spread, and noted that speeding up the process for the sake of a return to normalcy could end up causing significant problems for the community.

“We must continue to take thoughtful steps in our measured phase approach to reopening our community,” McClure said. “Reopening too quickly will not serve us well, as we have seen in other cities and states. We do not want to go backward.”

Here is the current Phase 3 plan for the City of Springfield:

R2RPlan_Phase3_Extended_202007020944385389

Mayor McClure was asked during the press conference about the possibility of an ordinance for the city similar to Kansas City or St. Louis with regards to requiring masking. He said that an ordinance is currently in the works and could be put in front of the council as a one-reading emergency bill.

McClure told OI he does not have the power under city code to require masking on his own even under emergency powers issued to him under the COVID-19 ordinance. Any action on an official masking requirements must be done by a full vote of city council.

Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon told OI at the press conference that the county will not consider a measure for a masking requirement, noting that the Commission has already encouraged residents to use masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

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