Springfield Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard spoke to Council and said that over the holiday weekend, 478 new cases were added to the total, bringing the county’s total to 4,226. 2,046 are currently active.
Goddard reported two deaths, bringing the total for Greene County to 39. One associated with long term care.
“Long term care is sadly where most of our deaths have occured,” Goddard said.
In addition to the totals provided to Council, the health department reports that 94 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 complications, 15 in the ICU, and 12 on ventilators.
Goddard references the White House Coronavirus Task Force report from June 30. He said it notes 62% of Missouri counties have community spread of the disease. The report urges after noting is this is “not only an urban issue” and that “common sense” issues need to be used to stop spread.
It recommends community level intervention for red zone counties. Greene County is a red zone county. Goddard said that many suggestions are already in place, including masking, limits on restaurants, banning counter service.
“But this is not county wide, and it’s not regional,” Goddard said.
Goddard said that at this point he cannot point at bars as major drivers of disease. He said staff is preparing recommendations if the situation changes.
“If we move to a carryout model again, where does that leave our businesses like taprooms?” Goddard said. “If we limit bars, does that move more college students to house parties?”
Goddard said those were examples to show Council how they are working through the issue.
“We see a need for a statewide or at the very least regional responses,” Goddard said.
“COVID-19 is real, it’s here, and we can’t wish it away,” Goddard said.
Councilman Matt Simpson brought out some of the claims of anti-mask advocates, including how they say masks do not have an impact.
Goddard responded that it’s only six months into the pandemic and they provided 19 studies that show masking ordinances decrease disease transmission. He reminded people that while some people want to focus on masks, it’s only one part of the response.