With the Omicron variant waning, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Katie Towns reported a 25 percent decrease in the seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. 

The average number of daily cases stands just under 133 per day, she said during a press conference. However, 13 more people have recently died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in 2022 to 74.

“We must work together to prevent deaths like these from becoming an acceptable consequence of a pandemic that we have the tools to end,” Towns said. “That’s why we are renewing our effort in our commitment to see more of our community vaccinated and (protected) from these outcomes.”

Currently, just over 53.3 percent of Greene County residents are fully vaccinated. The national average stands at 64.5 percent of the population. 

Towns said that the health department is continuing to partner with the Springfield-Greene County Library District and Springfield Public Schools District to host vaccination clinics at library branches and on school campuses. 

Upcoming vaccination sites:

Thursday, Feb. 17

Westside Health Department (660 S. Scenic Ave.), 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Bartley Decatur Community Center (918 E Calhoun St.), 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 19

Midtown Carnegie Library (397 E Central St.), 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Sacred Heart Church (1609 N. Summit Ave.), 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1

Central High School (423 E. Central), 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 3

Glendale High School (2727 S Ingram Mill Rd.), 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Events are walk-in only and free of charge. People who receive a first or second dose of the vaccine at one of these clinics are eligible for a $50 gift card.

The upcoming clinics on SPS properties were mentioned during the school board meeting Tuesday night shortly after the board voted 6-0 to end the resolution in response to the COVID-19 emergency that was passed March 24, 2020. School board president Alina Lehnert said that after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency on Dec. 31, SPS Superintendent Grenita Lathan had asked the board members to consider ending the school board’s emergency resolution. 

Lathan shared the latest numbers on COVID-19 cases across the district. 

“We’re seeing some positive trends from our COVID-19 data from Feb. 6 to Feb. 12,” she said. “We had 115 student cases and 33 staff cases. The previous week of Jan. 30 through Feb. 4, when we were closed for three days due to weather, we documented 190 student cases and 42 staff cases.”

During Wednesday’s press conference, Jean Grabeel, SPS director of health services, said that in January, when only nine days of seated classes were held due to the Omicron variant surge and weather-related closures, 2,397 cases were reported. 

“So it’s still important for us to continue to support ways to build protection against this virus,” she said. “And one of those ways is through vaccines.”
Kathleen O’Dell, community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, said that city and county libraries will be hosting 11 clinics. The first will be held Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E. Central St. To see the full list, visit the library website.

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