The director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is calling the current situation with COVID-19, “the darkest day of the pandemic.”
At a press briefing Wednesday, Clay Goddard urged everyone with a positive test result to isolate at home for the recommended amount of time. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine for two weeks, according to Goddard. Even if you test negative during that time, Goddard said you need to stay home.
"If you're supposed to be in quarantine, a negative test is not a ticket out of quarantine," he said. "You need to stay isolated cause you could still come down with COVID-19 anywhere in that two week window."
Springfield mayor, Ken McClure, continues to call for a statewide mask mandate. At Wednesday's press briefing he said that action taken now will save lives and avoid more drastic measures later.
“Statewide action was necessary on August 13 when we sent a letter to the governor, and it is even more necessary today," McClure said. "Strong action taken on August 13 would have mitigated the situation in which we now find ourselves across the state.”
Governor Mike Parson has continued to refuse to issue a statewide mask mandate despite pleas to do so from healthcare professionals.
McClure said lives are being lost to the illness, and Mercy has been forced to bring in a mobile morgue. The mayor has lost three friends to COVID-19 in the last four weeks.
“To those who doubt the reality of this pandemic, this is vivid and a very stark reminder,” he said.
McClure said the simple act of wearing a mask is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19.
He urged everyone to continue taking personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And he said, currently, he doesn’t plan to issue any further restrictions on businesses.
Goddard said, even though the situation right now may seem hopeless, there are bright spots on the horizon. He’s encouraged by news of vaccine developments in the last few days.