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After long pandemic hiatus, Springfield reopens clinic for testing, treatment of sexually transmitted illnesses

A lab worker holds blood samples
Pixabay, used with permission
Blood samples are a routine way to laboratories to test for sexually transmitted illness.

The STI clinic is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Monday or until all testing slots have been filled. For more information, call 417-864-1684.

After pausing its services for nearly two years, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s clinic for sexually transmitted illnesses is open again for confidential testing and treatment. The health department shut down its STI clinic in 2020 to pour its resources toward combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When the pandemic hit, our systems were just overloaded trying to deal with the individual cases that were coming in of COVID," said Kendra Findlay, administrator of community health and epidemiology for the health department. And so we really had to utilize all of our staff to do case investigations or to help with contact tracing."

Testing is offered for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, mycoplasma genitalium, HIV and syphilis.

Before shutting down, Findlay said the clinic served around 550 individuals each month. During the closure, anyone who called about testing was referred to Jordan Valley Community Health Center or AIDS Project of the Ozarks.

Nicole Massey, who directs prevention and outreach at APO, said her organization saw a net increase in demand for testing of 20 percent from 2019 to 2021.

Findlay isn’t sure how much of an impact the STI Clinic’s closure had. But she said the average number of syphilis cases in Greene County jumped from 89 cases from 2018-2020 to 197 cases in 2021. Cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea remained steady.

"That could have been a remnant due to the pandemic," she said. "It's hard to say to be real honest with you, but it's certainly something that caught our attention."

Findlay urged people who think they might have an STI to get tested. When left untreated, STIs can cause serious health issues and some can even lead to death.

Testing is confidential and will not be reported to a person's health insurer. When a person goes in for testing, they are required to give blood and urine samples. Results come back within 10 days, and the patient has the option of getting their results through an app on their phone. Those who test positive are contacted by a health department nurse to discuss treatment options. An HIV positive person is referred to an organization such as APO, which offers treatment and case management.

The STI Clinic is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Monday or until all testing slots have been filled. Information is at 417-864-1684 or