Local Health Official Reminds Area Residents That COVID-19 Is Still Here | KBIA

Local Health Official Reminds Area Residents That COVID-19 Is Still Here

May 14, 2020
Originally published on May 18, 2020 7:40 am

The latest numbers show 104 cases of COVID-19 in Greene County.  Numbers had stayed fairly steady until a handful of new cases was announced Friday, and one more was confirmed Wednesday morning.

The head of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department told Springfield City Council this week he’s hopeful numbers will stay low.  But Clay Goddard reminds county residents that COVID-19 isn’t gone from the community, and he said it’s not going away anytime soon.

Goddard said the community will continue to pursue a new normal for awhile “as we maintain our vigilance against this disease.”

Recent testing of asymptomatic essential workers has found no positive cases so far, although they’re still waiting on 50 of the 200 tests to come back. 

Goddard said they’re reaching out to marginalized groups to make sure everyone who needs a test for COVID-19 can get one.  Anyone who needs access to testing should contact the health department at 417-874-1211 or email coronavirus@springfieldmo.gov.

Testing will be key in the community’s response to and recovery from COVID-19, he said.

He told city council that area hospitals have begun testing many of the patients who go in for elective surgeries. 

And the Springfield-Greene County Health Department Wednesday began in-house COVID-19 testing through a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.  Goddard saidthat will allow the health department to test close contacts of confirmed cases whether they’re showing symptoms or not.

The health department is working on a guidance document to help the community make decisions about recovery in the next few months.  Council members are scheduled to meet Friday, May 15, in a study session to review the document. 

They’re watching closely as more businesses and organizations reopen and the county moves away from restrictions, according to Goddard.  He told council he believes “there probably will be some consequence” of the reopening. 

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