Springfield City Council last night voted to dial back COVID-19 restrictions on April 16 – particularly on occupancy restrictions in public spaces and for events.
Council approved an ordinance extending current public health and safety recommendations set to expire April 9 until April 16. On that date, the regulations will shift into the yellow phase previously outlined by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
The Road to Recovery yellow phase requires masking and recommends physical distancing but removes most occupancy restrictions and allows mass gatherings of under 500 people, with larger gatherings allowed at a 50% capacity.
In order to enter the yellow phase, the Health Department set thresholds of less than 40 new cases per day, under 50 hospitalizations in COVID-19 isolation and a vaccination rate of 25% of the eligible population. As of Monday, the daily case count for Greene County was 18 and hospitalizations were at 25 patients. The vaccination rate was 19.25%, Health Department officials said.
“While we’ve not yet met our yellow vaccination goal of 25% fully vaccinated, there are many signs that are pointing us towards progress,” said Katie Towns, acting director of the Health Department.
Towns said over 32% of the population is partially vaccinated and awaiting second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. To continue raising the vaccine rate, the Health Department is hosting an April 8-9 mass vaccination event. All Missourians become eligible for the vaccine on April 9.
Officials are prepared to vaccinate 10,000 people at the event with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose. As of Monday, over 2,300 people had signed up for the event to be held at Missouri State University’s Hammons Student Center. Eligible individuals can sign up at Vaccine417.com.
Towns said Health Department officials feel confident enough in Springfield’s progress toward the 25% vaccination rate to recommend beginning the yellow phase on April 16.
The next step on the Road to Recovery – the green phase – will remove the ordinance as a whole, including the masking mandate. To reach that phase, the health department has outlined thresholds of less than 20 new cases per day, under 20 hospitalizations in COVID-19 isolation and a vaccination rate of 50% of the eligible population.
The Bark Yard dog park and bar concept launched; Charity Fent Cake Design LLC moved; and a pair of business owners collaborated on opening The Hidden Hut LLC.
This poll is not a scientific sampling. It offers a snapshot of what readers are thinking.
Heather Kite, owner of startup business Rooted Deep Farms, talks about tough times during the winter of 2020-2021. She says determination was a necessary component that kept her going.
Jeramey and Julia Henson, co-owners of HM Dentworks Academy, discuss the importance of family in work-life balance. They say you can’t make up for the major life events. HM Dentworks Academy is also co-owned by Chris McWhirter.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistry Pottery, talks about her struggle with PXE, or Pseudoxanthoma elasticum, a disease that affects the eyes. She says that despite her struggle, she is ultimately thankful.
Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, talks about small business start-up trends in a post-pandemic year. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, says startups that offer new services and products to help people work from home or that enhance mental health could find greater success.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen, co-owners of TCI Graphics, say the past year has been one of the toughest they have faced. Now in the company's 50th year, the couple says they learned a few things in 2020.
Charlie Rosenbury, president of Self-Interactive, calls on his experience in programming to illustrate lessons he has learned running a business and life in general. Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas is presented by Great Southern Bank.
Darline Mabins talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about growing up after a tragic accident took the lives of her mother and older brother. Mabins is now the regional branch sales manager for Arvest Bank. No Ceiling is an SBJ podcast, going in depth with local women, sharing their journey to the top of their professions.
Caleb Scott, owner, coach and player for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about the ways that the team works to support each other on and off the field. Scott says you can’t force people to become leaders, they have to come naturally.
Steve Williams, owner of Crosstown Barbecue, discusses the role relationships have played throughout the 51 years that Crosstown Barbecue has been in business. He says that while he puts effort into providing the best food he can, ultimately “people like to do business with people they like.”
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, relates his experience building relationships with clients since he became a photographer. He says building relationships with his clients and perfecting his craft are the most important things he does to spread his business.