The city of Springfield on Monday is moving the community into the third phase of the Road to Recovery plan.
Speaking at a livestreamed news conference, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said Phase III of the COVID-19 reopening plan starts Monday. The next phase includes increased occupancy allowances for most businesses. The formula will be the square footage of the building, divided by 30 and multiplied by 50%. In Phase II, it's a 25% multiplier. The full order is available on the city's website.
"Not all businesses or religious congregations are ready for that step," McClure said. "I understand that and continue to encourage individual and organizational responsibility when making plans to open or to open further.
"Every person and every organization is different, and the risks are different, too."
City Manager Jason Gage said the new measure loosens requirements for businesses that cannot reasonably meet occupancy limitations in Phase III. Those businesses must require all people inside to wear masks and to stay at least 3 feet apart, rather than 6 feet.
The third phase of the Road to Recovery plan lasts through July 15. A review of the order is expected prior to July 5, officials said.
Ahead of the announcement of Phase III, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard warned of a new possible COVID-19 exposure involving an employee at McDonald’s, 2811 N. Kansas Expressway.
The employee worked while sick – but wearing a mask and gloves – on the following dates: May 29-30, June 2-3, June 5-6 and June 9, Goddard said.
"Anyone who was at this particular location on those dates is at low risk ... but should monitor for symptoms," he said.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.