The Centers for Disease Control has lowered its risk assessment for COVID in Greene County. (Source: CDC website)

With COVID-19 cases decreasing sharply in Greene County since January’s Omicron surge, the county now stands at a medium impact level for illness, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. At that level, community-wide masking is not a recommended virus prevention strategy. 

“People may choose to mask at any time,” according to the CDC. “People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.”

The community impact measurement is based on three factors: the total number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days; the percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients; and the number of COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people over the last seven days. CDC data from Feb. 24 shows just under 155 cases per 100,000 people in Greene County, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Coupled with data showing 12 percent of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and 18.7 new COVID-19 case hospital admissions per 100,000 people, Greene County qualifies for a medium-level designation, according to a health department news release

In medium impact areas, masking is not a recommended prevention strategy, according to the release. 

Masking in health-care facilities remains recommended, and the health department states that masks remain an added precaution, particularly for people who are in contact with people who are immunocompromised. Maintaining improved ventilation in indoor spaces is recommended.

The CDC recommends that people in medium impact areas get vaccinated and boosted, and follow testing, quarantining and isolation recommendations if you are exposed to COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms. To see a full list of recommendations, visit the CDC site.

The health department recently provided the Daily Citizen with statistics about the vaccination status of the 721 people who had died of COVID-19 in Greene County from the start of the pandemic to Feb. 25. Of the 721 deaths, 647 had been unvaccinated, including 300 who died before the vaccine became available in early 2021. Only four people who had been fully vaccinated and boosted have died from contracting COVID-19, according to the health department. 


Cory Matteson

Cory Matteson moved to Springfield in 2022 to join the team of Daily Citizen journalists and staff eager to launch a local news nonprofit. He returned to the Show-Me State nearly two decades after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to arriving in Springfield, he worked as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star and Casper Star-Tribune. More by Cory Matteson