(Photo by Mufid Majnun)

The federal government is expects the COVID-19 public health emergency to end May 11. In anticipation, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is making changes to its COVID-19 resources and services.

Once the emergency status expires, federal reimbursement for COVID-19 testing will end. Beginning Friday, May 12, the health department will no longer offer testing for the novel coronavirus. The health department’s testing map and online scheduling system will also go offline.

The COVID-19 call center operated by the health department will also close on Friday, May 12. People with questions about all COVID-19-related topics and services should visit the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s website or its special Vaccine 417 website.

Finally, due to changes in how COVID-19 data will be collected and reported, the health department will stop updating the COVID-19 dashboard. Updated case counts and other COVID-19 data will be available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data tracker.

The health department encourages people to contact their doctor or another health care provider if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and need testing. Home testing kits are also available at most pharmacies and drug stores.

Springfield-Greene County Health will continue offering COVID-19 vaccines at no cost as long as supplies are available. The health department anticipates being able to offer limited vaccination opportunities through the summer months. More information on vaccination opportunities can be found on the Vaccine 417 website.

“Members of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department would like to thank the community for its continued interest in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” a press release said. “While this marks the end of the PHE, individuals are encouraged to continue (to) watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, stay home while sick and seek testing and treatment when appropriate.”

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger is the Reader Engagement Editor for the Springfield Daily Citizen, and the voice of its daily newsletter SGF A.M. He covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger