The Springfield City Council voted unanimously Monday night to remove a requirement for outdoor masking in most situations.
The Council approved a one-reading emergency bill that followed CDC recommendations regarding fully vaccinated people and activities that were safe for them to participate in. The agency said that due to the decreased risk of outdoor transmission, it was safe for vaccinated people to be maskless at public events, and even for unvaccinated people to not use masks when at outdoor events with members of one’s household or are around fully vaccinated people.
The Springfield Greene County Health Department sent a memo to Mayor Ken McClure on April 28 stating that the move “presents limited risk for increased disease transmission.”
“Throughout our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department (SGCHD) has adapted our approaches to stay current with recommendations and guidance made by public health experts as well as our local experience,” the memo states. “With each change, the goal to reduce the burden of disease on the community while placing the least number of limitations, has persisted. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its recommendations for masking when outdoors.”
Statistics show that only 3.6% of Greene County cases could possibly be connected to outdoor exposure.
“Our department is encouraged by being able to make this recommendation, but it also underscores the importance of vaccination. Vaccination is the long-term solution to fully recovering from COVID-19, both for individuals and the community. It is the replacement to community mitigation strategies because it reduces the likelihood of acquiring the virus, reduces the severity of COVID-19 for those that do become infected, and reduces the spread and overall impact of the virus throughout the community. We all have to continue to do our part to finish strong,” the memo states.