The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has told the Springfield City Council they would support the repeal of the city’s COVID restrictions near the end of the month.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department Acting Director Katie Towns told the Council that keeping the masking in place until May 27 would keep the masking in place through the end of the school year for Springfield Public Schools.
The health department also is recommending the immediate removal of all restrictions on outdoor activities.
“[COVID-19] is moving from a pandemic to endemic, meaning it will be a regular part of our lives,” Towns said. “Much of our staff is shifting back to their regular duties.”
Towns said that local health officials have seen spikes in cases but that they have been handled quickly and within current structures.
“We have seen short-lived increases…likely due to the variants,” Towns said. “The fact the peaks have been small and short lived, gives us confidence to deal with them.”
Even though the repeal of the ordinance would be done by Council, individual businesses and organizations could continue to require masking.
“This is a momentous day,” Mayor Ken McClure said about the placement of the repeal ordinance on Monday night’s Council meeting agenda.
Members of the Council praised the decisions made by the Health Department and others during the pandemic as focusing on the science.
“Our paths were guided by science, and we follow science,” McGull said. “We took judicious measures that needed to be taken…as elected officials, our job is to follow science and do what’s in the best interest of our city, not be lead by prevailing winds.”
The Springfield City Charter states that public health measures like the repeal will qualify as emergency bills that can be heard and passed in one meeting..
Here is today’s health department presentation to Council:SGCHD-Presentation-May-13