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As the toll of COVID-19 continues to loom over our community, our health care system, our state and our nation, community leaders urge everyone to take steps to protect against the virus this Thanksgiving.
The City of Springfield, Greene County and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department held a joint media briefing on Wednesday to update the community on the current response to COVID-19 and to urge caution ahead of the holiday next week.
“It is clear that we have reached our greatest crisis moment in Springfield’s response to this deadly virus,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. “Like many cities across the country, we are forced to remain hypervigilant to ensure that our health care systems do not get completely overwhelmed.
Our friends and family are getting sick. Our friends and family are dying. I want the families of the 188 people we have lost to COVID-19 to know that my thoughts, and the thoughts of all of those in our city, are with you as you face this holiday season without them."
Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon reminded listeners of the hardships we have faced in the past and how we have risen to meet the challenge.
“I come before you today and I ask you to remember, that in the times of trouble, we are often called upon to sacrifice in the ways that we did not imagine we would. I hope that we can all find ways to remain present in the lives of those that we love,” Dixon said.
Guidance aimed at helping families navigate new Thanksgiving traditions in a time of COVID-19 can be found at http://health.springfieldmo.gov/celebratesafely
The guidance includes a list of lower risk alternatives to traditions like travel, large indoor gatherings and other activities. There are also additional resources like food preparation guidance, tips for coping with COVID-19 stress this holiday season, a guide to having tough conversations around the pandemic and a risk assessment tool to help families evaluate their holiday plans.
Health Department Director Clay Goddard shared stark statistics about COVID-19 in Greene County currently.
“I know that can make things sounds a little hopeless, but there are bright spots, I do want people to recognize that. The news of two vaccines with better than 90% efficacy is so encouraging. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” Goddard said.
“But we’re still in the tunnel. We have a little bit further to go, we’re in the finishing stretch. But we have no choice but to get through this last stretch together.”
A recording of the news briefing, as well as archived recordings of all past COVID-19 briefings, can be found at cityview.springfieldmo.gov
Families wanting more information on how they can celebrate safely are welcome to contact the Health Department to ask questions via our coronavirus hotline at (417) 874-1211 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at email@example.com.
Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department“Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.” health.springfieldmo.gov | facebook.com/SGCHD | twitter.com/SGCHD
417-864-1658227 E. Chestnut Expressway