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Health Department calls for postponing large events

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Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard today issued a request for organizations to postpone large events as the community braces for the impact of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a livestreamed news conference, Goddard asked for organizers of events of 250 or more people to “voluntarily postpone or suspend for the time being.”

“It’s very important that we work collectively as a community to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said of the respiratory virus. “This will take a collective effort from all citizens.”

Goddard also made a call to the faith community, but stopped short of asking churches not to convene this weekend. He said faith leaders should “think creatively” through the use of livestreaming and other services.

“We ask that they think ahead to their services next weekend,” Goddard said. “In Springfield, Missouri, the faith community is part of the fundamental fabric of our community.”

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department plans to launch a mobile testing unit for the coronavirus on Monday, Goddard said. It will not be open to the public and will require physician referrals, he said.

Officials yesterday announced the first “presumptive positive” coronavirus case in Springfield.

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