Stricter Measures Expected Tuesday After First COVID-19 Death In Greene County

Mar 23, 2020

Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard Speaks at a Press Briefing
Credit Facebook

The City of Springfield and Greene County are working on stricter measures to control COVID-19.  Those are expected to be announced Tuesday, according to local government officials.   This comes after the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced the county’s first death from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Health department director, Clay Goddard, said one of four Springfield assisted living facility residents who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away Monday.  The person was a woman in her 80s who lived at Morningside of Springfield Assisted Living.

“This is a sobering reminder of what we are fighting here,” he said.  “And I mean we.  It will take each and every one of us fighting against this illness.”

Goddard said everyone needs to make sacrifices in the short term to flatten the curve.

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said they’re working around the clock to put measures in place “to assure citizens’ safety.” 

He said city and county leaders met Sunday and Monday to put together a plan.  “We want to be sure this is done as thoroughly as we can, taking in as many scenarios as possible,” said McClure.

Presiding Greene County Commissioner Bob Dixon said they’re asking that everyone in the region continue to come together to take preventative actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“In the strongest terms possible,” he said, “we urge everyone to continue to adhere to the social distancing and crowd limitations.”

Dixon said they are working very closely with the City of Springfield and other leaders “to protect life on a mass scale.”  He urged people to act with the entire community in mind.

There are nearly 400 tests being processed by private laboratories, according to Goddard.  When results come in “it will give us a better sense of where we’re at,” he said.  But Greene County should expect more cases, according to Goddard. 

He said they’re working to track the source of the infection at the nursing home.  Those four cases are believed to be the first community spread of the illness.

There have been 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greene County.

Springfield public relations director, Cora Scott, said Goddard "has encouraged a statewide mandate."

Governor Mike Parson, when asked if he would issue a statewide shelter in place mandate, said he wouldn't be doing that at this time.  "Businesses would close.  People would lose their jobs," he said.