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Springfield removes most occupancy restrictions

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The city of Springfield today moved into its next coronavirus Road to Recovery phase, with most occupancy restrictions lifted.

The Springfield City Council-approved step toward reducing COVID-19 regulations takes away a 50% occupancy requirement at businesses and other public places, with exceptions, according to a news release. Face masks are still required until thresholds for a future phase are met.

The yellow phase of the Road to Recovery plan that started today includes continued occupancy restrictions on public places that have enhanced risks of contracting the virus. The list includes movie theaters, concert venues, fitness classes, religious services, bars and brewery taprooms, conferences and arcades.

At group events of more than 500 people sitting within 6 feet of each other, occupancy is restricted to 50% of the fixed seating area or 500 people, whichever is greater, according to the release. Events with less than 500 people will be allowed with distancing recommended.

The thresholds for the yellow phase were met April 12. The Springfield-Greene Health Department set requirements 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.

“Now we set our sights on moving into the green phase, where all restrictions are lifted,” Mayor Ken McClure said in the release. “Our return to normalcy is incumbent upon individuals receiving the vaccine.”

To reach the green 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. As of Thursday morning, there were 17 new cases, 37 hospitalizations and about 26% of the eligible population was fully vaccinated, according to the Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Everyone 16 and older in Missouri became eligible for the vaccine earlier this month.

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