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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Local Health Officials Advise Postponement Of Events With More Than 250 People

Michele Skalicky

Springfield area churches are being asked to find alternate ways to connect with their members instead of meeting in person.  And the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is also asking those hosting events with more than 250 people to postpone them.  That does not include schools or workplaces.

Health department director, Clay Goddard, said they have to work under the assumption that there's some undetected spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, in the community.   "That drives home the importance of cancelling things like these large events and taking precautions if you fall into that high risk group," he said.  "That doesn't mean we're going to live in fear, but we're going to take smart, intelligent steps to help bend that curve down."

This comes after a Springfield resident in their 20s was diagnosed with COVID-19 Thursday after returning from Austria.  The patient is in isolation, and Goddard said they're asking anyone who had contact with that person to self-quarantine for 14 days from exposure.

Those at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19 are anyone 60 and over and those with chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease and diabetes.

Goddard also announced Friday that a mobile testing unit will be launched Monday.  It will be restricted to those who have been referred by a physician due to having symptoms and being in a high risk group.

Goddard urged those who are high risk for complications from COVID-19 to avoid large groups and wash their hands frequently.  He said everyone should practice good hygiene and stay home when they're sick.

Anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19 should call the Springfield-Greene County Health Department's hotline at (417) 874-1211.  Those with symptoms should contact their physician or consider using virtual care.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.