Springfield-Greene County Health Department director Clay Goddard is still in favor of mandatory masking of county residents despite a record 95 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 82 more cases on Wednesday.
Goddard joined with Springfield Mayor Ken McClure Thursday to discuss the county’s current COVID-19 situation.
“I would hate to see what the numbers would be without the mask mandate,” Goddard said.
He noted that the spike in cases could be linked to the rise of “institutional” cases, such as the outbreak at the Greene County Jail, and that the rate among the general population has not seen a dramatic spike.
“I can tell you our disease rate is lower than a lot of surrounding counties,” Goddard said.
Goddard added he would like to see a statewide mask mandate.
He also noted the biggest rise in cases of the disease are people between the ages of 20 and 29, making up 30% of the county’s new COVID-19 cases. He said that the issue with this age group isn’t that most of them are getting seriously ill, but are taking the virus home to their parents and grandparents.
He called for residents to be more vigilant in protecting themselves from COVID-19.
“I think many of us are letting our guard down around people we know or feel close to…we have to continue to be vigilant, because this is one of our biggest vulnerabilities.”
Goddard also repeated his mantra that “density and intensity” is the biggest key to the spread of the virus. The longer you are in a condensed space with others, the higher the risk of viral transmission.