Springfield-Greene County Health Department

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Fewer people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine in southwest Missouri.  And area public health departments hope to increase the number of people who are getting their shots through a new initiative.

Cara Erwin, spokesperson for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said they’re working with other health departments in the 417 region on the initiative, called Vaccine Champions.

Michele Skalicky

  

As outgoing Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, spoke Friday at a mass vaccination clinic in Springfield, he said it felt like he’d come full circle, "because this is what healing looks like."

He said numbers are moving in the right direction.  COVID-19 case numbers and hospital admittance numbers are declining and more and more people are getting vaccines.

Last week there was only one case of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility resident.  That compares to 132 in the first week of January, according to Goddard.

SGCHD, provided

It's been quite a year, and I'm sure that the prospect of leading during a pandemic was probably always in the back of your mind when you became director of the Springfield Greene County Health Department back in 2017. But did you ever think that day would actually come?

CDC

Update:  The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has released more information about the latest deaths of Greene County residents from COVID-19.  They were a man in his 40s, a man and woman in their 60s, four woman and three men in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s and two women in their 90s.

Original story:  Seventeen more Greene County lives have been lost to COVID-19.  That's the highest one-day total to date.

City of Springfield

The director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Clay Goddard, said Thursday the county is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.  At least 42 cases are associated with the Greene County Jail and long-term care facilities. 

As of Thursday morning, there were 1813 total cases of COVID-19 in Greene County, and 802 of those were active.  Sixteen people have died of the illness.  Sixty-six people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 14 of them are in the ICU.

But Goddard said that doesn’t mean the mask ordinance in Springfield isn’t working. 

Innerbody.com

A report that looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies Springfield among the top 100 US cities with the highest sexually transmitted disease rates per capita. 

A research team at Innerbody.com ranked Springfield 58th in the country with 980 STD cases per 100,000 people.

Lidor / Flickr

Mercy is reaching out to patients who have been seen at its outpatient cancer center, 2055 S. Fremont in Springfield, in the last three weeks.  That’s after two cases of Legionnaires’ Disease since late April were reported among people who had visited the center.

The Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services, Mercy and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department are working together on the investigation of the cases.

Exceptional Warriors

“PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, that’s basically the wound of Iraq and Afghanistan.  The signature wound, if you will, is the TBI," said Anthony Norris, a graduate of Nixa High School.

On this edition of "Let’s Talk About It! Normalizing Mental Health Conversations," from the ongoing KSMU series Making a Difference, we hear about the mental health journey Norris finds himself on.

In 2006 during his senior year at Drury University, Norris chose to delay graduation and pharmacy school, to join the U.S. Army. 

Last week, 744 lab-confirmed cases were reported in Greene County.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department officials say it’s not too late to get a flu shot.  The department has flu vaccine available for children and uninsured and underinsured adults.

And for those who aren’t feeling well, health department officials say to contact your primary care physician.  Telemedicine is an option for care so you don’t have to leave your house and potentially spread the illness.  There are also convenient care, urgent care and retail clinic options.

William Brawley / Flickr

Flu season is well underway in the U.S.  There have been 136 cases of influenza reported to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department so far this season, which started earlier than normal in mid-October.  As of December 29, 2018, there had been 4,122 confirmed cases of influenza in Missouri and two flu-related deaths.

The leaves are changing and the temperature is dropping — two telltale signs that flu season is upon us.

Uninsured adults can get a free flu vaccine at several upcoming clinics, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The next ones will take place on Sunday, October 21.  The flu clinic at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 1609 N. Summit Avenue, will run from 1 to 3 PM.

And the flu clinic at South Fremont Freewill Baptist and Korean Church, at 4547 S. Fremont Avenue, will run from 2:30 to 3:30 that same Sunday.

Missouri Department of Conservation

A 12-year study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that bug-borne diseases more than tripled across the U.S. from 2004 to 2016.  During that time, nine new bug-borne diseases were introduced.

Health Department
KSMU

Galloway Creek, along a popular Greenway trail near Springfield, has tested high for levels of E.coli.   

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks team up each summer to monitor rivers and creeks for the presence of coliform bacteria, or E. coli.

Swallowing water contaminated with E. coli can cause diarrhea.

An Mai / Flickr

The number of flu cases in Greene County continues to climb.  According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, there were 364 lab-confirmed reports of flu the week of December 31.

Much of the time, the flu requires only a visit or a virtual visit to a primary care doctor or other clinic.  Telemedicine is an option that allows a patient to stay home and be seen by a doctor via an electronic device such as a cell phone or laptop.  Other options include a visit to a primary care doctor, urgent care, a convenient care clinic or a retail clinic.

mbarrison / Flickr

During a luncheon Tuesday, Springfield City Council heard from Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, about universal licensure where all dogs would be required to be licensed.

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