The Springfield-Greene County Health Department on Friday informed the public that 20 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed within 24 hours.
Officials cited increased testing for what amounts to the most local cases announced in a single day. At a Friday news conference, Health Department Director Clay Goddard said 138 tests were administered May 27, marking the busiest day to date for the Health Department's mobile testing unit.
"We do believe that this influx of cases represents a second wave of illness in our community, and I won't downplay that," Goddard said in the livestreamed announcement. "But these cases have been identified early and they've been contained in their course of illness very early as well."
Goddard said the 20 new cases likely would have been confirmed over a period of weeks, had the increased testing not been conducted.
Officials said in a news release that six of the new cases are residents and employees of Wilson’s Creek Nursing and Rehab, 3403 W. Mt. Vernon.
“The patients are currently in isolation and have been since their positive test result at the facility and staff members are quarantined at home following guidance from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to reduce the risk of exposure to others,” said Michael Huffman, administrator of Wilson’s Creek Nursing and Rehab, in the release.
None of the new cases was from the 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. location of Great Clips, where two hairstylists worked with symptoms of COVID-19. Minneapolis-based Great Clips Inc. last week announced the temporary closure of its Springfield salons after company officials said they'd received threats.
During the news conference, Goddard said face masks worn by the stylists likely contributed to the virus not spreading to customers. He showed off his face mask, encouraging residents to wear them when in public places.
On Friday, the Health Department also announced new potential exposure sites at area businesses. The dates and locations were:
• May 21: Walmart Supercenter, 3520 W. Sunshine St.; Petsway, 1717 W. Kearney St.; and Price Cutter, 1831 W. Kearney St.;
• May 22: Walmart Neighborhood Market, 3536 W. Mt. Vernon St.; and
• May 24: Walmart Supercenter, 3315 S. Campbell Ave.
The Health Department's COVID-19 dashboard, last updated this morning, shows 155 confirmed cases in Greene County and 20 probable cases. There have been seven confirmed deaths and one probable death linked to the virus.
SBJ compiles news on the respiratory virus outbreak.
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