Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard implored residents to follow the stay-at-home order after announcing two more COVID-19 deaths.
Speaking during a livestreamed news conference on Tuesday, Goddard said two men – one in his 90s and another in his 80s – have now brought the local death toll to six.
"This update shows the danger to our community, especially to those most at risk," Goddard said. "These folks are depending on the rest of us to do our part."
The man in his 90s was a positive coronavirus case from the Morningside of Springfield East assisted living center. Goddard said nine cases have been reported from the center, including a staff member. The second death announced yesterday was a man who was immunocompromised and had been in contact with an international traveler.
Goddard said more than 50 cases of the coronavirus have now been recorded in Greene County. Of those, eight people have recovered. He added 300 people are currently under quarantine by the Health Department.
During the news conference, Goddard echoed calls for residents to stay home as much as possible, per the city-county order announced last week.
"The virus is fueled by people being physically close to one another," he said. "It relies on sick people intermingling with healthy people. If we can stop as much as possible that intermingling, except for those that are essential to keep this city up and running, then that virus runs out of fuel."
Goddard also introduced Dynamic DNA Laboratories LLC founder and CEO Austin O’Reilly, who spoke about a testing partnership announced earlier yesterday. Dynamic DNA has signed on to immediately conduct 4,000 tests, with another 4,000 testing kits on order.
"This is right in our wheelhouse to help," O'Reilly said at the news conference. "We'll be able to offer results in as little as one day.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.