Springfield Council Eliminates Most Occupancy Restrictions April 16

The Springfield City Council made it official Monday night, voting 8-0 to remove COVID-19 occupancy restrictions in most cases starting April 16.

The “Yellow” phase of the Road to Recovery Plan would allow the return of buffet dining, allow events of 500 people or less to resume, and remove occupancy restrictions. However, counter seating would still be restricted, and events of 500 or more would still only be permitted 50 percent occupancy.

“Although we’ve made progress on many fronts, the number of people getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been slower than we anticipated,” Acting Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Katie Towns told City Council. “Our return to normalcy is incumbent upon individuals receiving vaccine.”

The vaccination rate for Greene County as of Monday was 19.25%, with the yellow phase requirement being 25%. However, because the other two requirements of being below 40 new cases of COVID-19 per day and less than 50 individuals hospitalized in COVID isolation were met, the Council made the move effective April 16.

Towns touted the upcoming registration event at Missouri State that will use the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a way to boost county vaccination numbers.

“I’m very pleased that we have a tremendous opportunity with the mega vaccine event April 8 and 9 at Hammons Student Center on the Missouri State University campus. We hope to vaccinate 10,000 people during this two-day event,” Towns said.

In addition to the mass vaccination event, a mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit called Greene County CARES will be taking vaccine to harder-to-reach parts of the county when vaccine is available. The program is a partnership of Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Greene County Medical Society, City of Springfield, and the United Way of the Ozarks’ Give 5 program.

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