Clay Goddard: COVID-19 Cases In Greene County Continue To Drop, But Don't Let Your Guard Down
COVID-19 cases continue on a downward trend in Greene County. As of Monday, the county had seen a 16 percent decrease in reported cases in the last seven days. There was a total of 25,539 cases, and 4,529 were active. There had been at least 364 deaths.
There were 133 people hospitalized in Springfield with COVID-19, and 35 were in critical care. Fifty-four were Greene County residents.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, told Springfield City Council Monday night that the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases as of January 11 was 221 cases per day. As of Sunday, that was down to about 119 cases per day, the lowest it's been since early November. He said he's encouraged by the numbers, but he doesn’t want the community to get overly optimistic. He said people still need to wear face coverings, wash their hands often and social distance.
"The simple truth is we don't have enough vaccines in arms yet," he said, "and we worry about disease continuing to circulate in the community, and we also worry about the inevitable arrival of the London strain, which is about 50 percent more infectious."
He said he worries that those who are vaccinated can still carry a mildly symptomatic case of COVID-19 and can spread the illness to others.
Goddard said the number of vaccine doses arriving in the community is lower than he would like to see. The state receives an average of 76,000 doses of vaccine each week, and there are around three million Missourians who are currently eligible to receive it.
Information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Monday showed that Missouri ranks last among states for the percentage of residents who have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to an AP story. The information showed that 242,937 Missourians have received the first shot. That equates to 3,958 people per 100,000 residents.
While the CDC report shows Missouri performing poorly in vaccine distribution, Goddard told Springfield City Council the region is doing well in that area. He estimated that, outside of hospital settings, the region has received 10,725 doses of vaccine.
"I will tell you with those vaccines, we've had 70 percent of those already in arms," he said. "I already expect that after today's (Monday's) clinic, that's higher than that, so we're doing quite well here as a region coordinating and cooperating very efficiently and working together strategically."
Those who are eligible in Tier 1B are expected to get the vaccine from their healthcare providers. You can find information for CoxHealth, Mercy and Jordan Valley Community Health Center at health.springfieldmo.gov/covidvaccine.
You can sign up to receive vaccine information at health.springfieldmo.gov/finishstrong or call 874-1211.