Springfield Mayor Ken McClure yesterday evening announced that public gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited until April 1 as a step to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The ban includes the closure of businesses that offer entertainment, recreation or are a bar or food establishment, with exceptions for delivery, pickup and drive-thru services. The ban does not affect day care facilities, educational institutions and other daily business operations, McClure said.
The mayor’s announcement was an amendment to an emergency ordinance passed by Springfield City Council on Monday that banned groups of 50 or more people. The penalty for violating the ordinance is up to a $1,000 fine or up to 180 days in jail upon conviction.
“I’m proud of our business community and the food service industry, as many establishments have already moved to provide carry-out and curbside service options and thinking outside the box on how we can continue to serve the people of our community,” McClure said during a livestreamed news conference Tuesday evening with Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon and Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard.
The Greene County Commission also held an emergency session yesterday to amend its state of emergency declaration to echo the city’s most current ban.
At the news conference, Goddard announced a fourth COVID-19 case in Greene County, adding that the Health Department has expanded its testing capabilities. It had tested 84 people since Monday. He said all of the individuals who were tested had been asked to self-isolate for two weeks.
“Today’s decision was a tough one, but decisive action is needed,” Goddard said of the ban. “This further supports the need for swift and decisive action.”
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