Springfield City Council Discusses Next Steps On The Road To Recovery
Nearly one year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Greene County, Springfield City Council is discussing when and how to move away from the current restrictions.
Friday, March 12, marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county, and now cases are on a downward trend.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department interim director, Katie Towns, told council Tuesday they’ve worked with local hospitals on proposed next steps. Those would be determined based on three indicators: The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases, the number of people hospitalized with the illness and the percent of residents who are fully vaccinated. These indicators will be evaluated for 28-day timeframes, or two incubation periods.
"We have reached a point where the end is in sight, where we can start to relax, but it's only a start," she said. Steps need to be taken cautiously, according to Towns, especially as COVID-19 variants continue to spread in the U.S., and demand for the vaccine is greater than supply.
The recent monitoring period began February 24. If the seven-day rolling average of cases remains under 40 new cases per day and if 50, fewer people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and at least 25 percent of the county's population is fully vaccinated, then the city could move out of the red phase and into the yellow phase. Occupancy restrictions would be removed except for mass gatherings of 500 or more people. Masks would be required.
A move into the green phase, which removes all restrictions, would require a seven-day rolling average of new cases to be under 20 per day. There would have to be fewer than 20 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 50 percent of Greene County would need to be fully vaccinated.
The current seven-day average in Greene County is 28.1 cases, and 42 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
The health department’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated so the public can track the progress being made toward the next phase.
View Tuesday's City Council discussion here.