Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports decline in new COVID-19 cases

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 9:28 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The number of new, COVID-19 cases continues to fall in Greene County. The health department reports cases are down 15% over the past week.

“While we share a lot of encouraging news today, we can’t act like it’s January 2020,” Goddard said in a news conference Wednesday.

While Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard said it is encouraging that COVID-19 case numbers are dropping, he said it’s important to note that this pandemic is far from over. There are still a lot of unknowns, and the road to vaccinations has just begun.

More than 25,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Greene County since the start of this pandemic. Goddard said cases have started to let up recently.

”Our cases numbers have been moving in the right direction month,” Goddard said. “We hit our highest rolling seven-day average in January, I think it was on January 10, of 253 cases. As of yesterday’s count we are at a daily rolling average of 108.”

Goddard said respiratory viruses come in cycles, so it’s too early to let our guard down. His biggest worry right now is new virus strains.

”The London strain is 50% more infectious than the common strain that has been circulating in the United States,” Goddard said. “That could really change things very quickly.”

Mercy Hospitals Springfield President and COO Brent Hubbard said they have about half of the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 than they did earlier this month.

”That also correlates with the number of patients that are testing positive in our community for patients that we are testing for COVID-19, so we are averaging anywhere from 60 to 70 positive cases per day in our community, or at least what we’re testing,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said about a month ago Mercy had around 140 patients test positive for the virus each day. The fewer number of cases has allowed them to take on patients they couldn’t in the past.

”Now we’re able to accept patients, whether it be in our area or from out of state,” Hubbard said. “We continue to serve many patients, and our overall volume has not decreased in the hospital, if anything it’s increased.”

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards told KY3 last week the hospital system has also seen a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations, allowing them to accept a patient from Louisiana.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are about 80 fewer patients hospitalized with the coronavirus than this time last month. Both Goddard and Hubbard said the vaccine will be key in getting back to life as normal.

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