The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has announced an eighth death from COVID-19 in the county.
Meanwhile, the health department's director, Clay Goddard, said the community needs to do better at working to prevent the spread of the illness, although he believes the stay at home order is working.
The person who died was a man in his 70s who was immunocompromised. He was not a resident of the assisted living facility, Morningside East, which had several cases and five deaths from the novel coronavirus.
Goddard said there may have been some people who were exposed to COVID-19 after two people who were diagnosed with the illness visited area businesses.
One of the confirmed cases went to the HyVee on W. Battlefield in Springfield on March 27 around 3 p.m. and to Verizon on E. Independence in Republic on Monday, March 30, around 1 p.m.
Another person who tested positive for COVID-19 went to the Dollar General on Highway 125 in Rogersville on Sunday, March 29, around 8 a.m., the Kum and Go on Highway 125 before 9 a.m. and the Aldi on E. Sunshine in Springfield around 11 a.m.
Goddard said the risk for those who visited the stores at those times is “very low.” But anyone who was at one of those locations on those dates should monitor for symptoms. There is no need to self-quarantine or isolate unless symptoms develop, according to the health department.
But Goddard said this serves as a reminder that everyone still needs to be practicing social distancing and staying home as much as possible.
According to Goddard, they’re seeing higher numbers of people in recreational areas, and traffic counts are up, and that concerns him. He said having people in close proximity is the fuel the coronavirus needs to spread.
As hard as it will be to not spend Easter with loved ones this weekend, Goddard said families should not be getting together to celebrate. "We have to stay the course," he said.
View the April 9 press briefing here.