FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield-Greene County leaders led Thursday’s news briefing with some cautious optimism. Springfield Mayor Ken McClure amended the City’s “Road to Recovery” order, effective immediately. The Greene County Commission is expected to vote on an amended order this afternoon.
City of Springfield amended Recovery Order
The changes increase the number of people allowed for public gatherings from 15 to 25.
The amendment also increases capacity of in-person religious services and allows “enhanced risk activities” such as the opening of bars, nightclubs, and microbrewery tap rooms and pools, and allows non-contact sports and fitness classes and other activities to resume, with the requirement of social distancing measures.
An “enhanced risk activity” is any business or non-business activity that enhances the risk of the spread of a communicable disease by bringing groups of people together to share the same space, indoors or outdoors, in close physical proximity for a period of time. The density of the group, combined with the duration of time spent together can increase the risk of exposure.
An essential business or non-essential business may provide an “enhanced risk activity,” at any one time for a particular facility (building, not room) given the lesser of:
• 25 total of customers and/or patrons
• The number of customers and/or patrons that can be present while strictly observing 6-feet and other social distancing standards.
The amendment defines “essential” an “non-essential” businesses, loosely based on guidelines from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Enacting the amendment fulfills a promise from leaders to revisit restrictions in the City and County orders in light of increasingly positive community indicators.
Recent testing of nearly 200 asymptomatic front line and essential workers in Greene County turned up zero positive cases of COVID-19. In addition, another nearly 800 test results from asymptomatic front line and essential workers in the surrounding counties of Taney and Phelps, were encouraging signs, according to Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard.
Goddard said the measures tracked on a local COVID-19 data dashboard help guide the community and local government leaders in knowing and deciding when to safely take further steps to open the local economy.
This dashboard covers five areas, including:
- detailed case information, including total and daily cases based on a person’s onset of symptoms and active, deceased and resolved cases.
- hospital capability, which is based on hospital staffing, supplies and space available to respond to COVID-19.
- public health capability, which is based on the capability to conduct epidemiological interviews and contact tracing, and risk pertaining to unmitigated community exposure for COVID-19.
- testing capability, which measures the estimated community testing capability for COVID-19. The index is based on the available testing and result turnaround time.
- regional data information, which measures the estimated public health capability and testing capability for surrounding counties.
Goddard announced that early to mid-week next week, officials will roll out a recovery plan with additional details regarding continued reopening phases throughout the summer. These phases will be considered on a bi-weekly basis in light of current dashboard indicators.
The community dashboard can be accessed at http://health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus and is updated twice a day.
“As our community continues recovery, it is important that we know how the disease is moving through our population,” Goddard says. “Having a large number of negative test results is reassuring. As we expand our capacity, including CoxHealth and Mercy doing more in-house testing, we expect to learn even more in the coming days. We will continue to update our data.”
A color-coded chart details the amendments and guidance for specific groups and types of businesses can be found at springfieldmo.gov/coronavirusresponse. For more information about COVID-19, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus, email [email protected], or call 417-874-1211.
Archived video of this announcement and past COVID-19 news is available at: https://cityview.springfieldmo.gov/.
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For more information, contact Melissa Haase, Assistant Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1003 or [email protected], Kathryn Wall, Public Health Information Administrator at 417-874-1205 or email at [email protected] or Donna Barton, Greene County Public Information Officer at 417-844-4311 or [email protected].