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Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon speaks during a city news conference yesterday, ahead of the commission's vote on an amended order.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon speaks during a city news conference yesterday, ahead of the commission's vote on an amended order.

County approves less strict reopening order

Posted online

The Greene County Commission voted yesterday on coronavirus recovery amendments that are less strict than the city of Springfield's version announced earlier in the day.

The commission's order – which became effective immediately – specifically differs on places of worship, as no occupancy limits are required. In the city announcement yesterday afternoon, officials said religious services fall under “enhanced risk activity” guidelines and therefore must be limited to 25 people or less or the number of customers that can fit in the space while observing social distancing guidelines.

"Greene County recognizes that all men and women have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences," the county order reads.

The county order still asks churches to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations calling on organizations to utilize drive-in or virtual services. But it’s not a requirement under the county order.

While occupancy limits are not set, the county order does make recommendations for churches to follow. Officials are being asked to screen all staff for symptoms before they come into the church; ensure social distancing; keep at least two empty seats between parties, except for members of the same household; and clean and disinfect between services.

Similar to the city's order, the county's amendments allow places such as taprooms, movie theaters and bars to reopen with occupancy restrictions. Additionally, like the city order, the county is now allowing mass gatherings of up to 25 people, an increase from 15 previously.

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