Springfield City Council to Vote Monday on Lifting Occupancy Limits April 16

The Springfield City Council will be considering a one-reading, Emergency bill to move the city from the red phase to the yellow phase of their plan to “step out” of the COVID-19 related restrictions.

During a study session Thursday in the Council chambers, acting Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Katie Towns said the city was already below 2 of the 3 goals to move to the yellow phase: the 7-day rolling average of cases is under 40 and hospitalizations are under 50 in the last 28 days.

The only outlier is the percentage of the community who has been vaccinated, where the city must be at 25 percent. Towns estimated the city would reach that level on April 16.

Towns repeatedly urged citizens to take part in vaccination clinics around the area because of the imminent arrival of variants of the virus.

“All Missourians will be eligible for vaccine on April 9th, and we need everyone to take part in vaccination events,” Towns said. “We are hopeful and strongly believe that we will reach or be very close to reaching our vaccination goal of 25 percent on April 16th.”

Towns also repeatedly said residents cannot become complacent.

“As we continue to build herd immunity, it will be vital to use all the prevention measures we’ve used all along,” Towns said. “Until more individuals are vaccinated, we cannot let our guard down. That includes against wearing our mask, keeping our distance, and washing our hands.”

If the Council votes to make the move on April 16, occupancy restrictions would be lifted in almost all situations. Gatherings of 500 or more would still be restricted to 50% capacity.

Masking would still be required.

The Council’s decision to vote Monday on the new plan is because the current ordinance would expire on April 9, a week ahead of the health department’s preferred date to move to the new tier.