Springfield residents weigh in as CDC recommends masking indoors in high COVID-19 transmission areas

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 7:35 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The CDC is now recommending everyone to wear a mask in highly transmissible areas due to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, even if you are vaccinated.

According to the CDC, “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”

The CDC has a scale of levels of transmission ranging from low-high, and Greene County is considered to be at a high transmission rate. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports a seven-day rolling average of 181 cases.

KY3 spoke with residents of Greene County and asked their opinion on whether or not masks should be required again.

“The Delta variant for me is particularly terrifying because my mom is sick. She does not have the immunity that I have, even with her being vaccinated. With the Delta variant being so prevalent in the community, I think we need to reinstate the mandate,” said Ariel Cairns.

Cairns told KY3 not enough of the community is vaccinated in order for her to feel safe enough to not mask with the variant.

“Until we can get a better grip on how to prevent the Delta variant in our area, masking is definitely the right choice,” said Cairns.

Another Springfield resident expressed he does not want to see the mask mandate return.

“COVID is on the rise in Missouri and the logic to mask up again makes sense, but I just do not personally agree and I have a different way of seeing things,” said resident Caleb Lenz.

Local hospitals in Greene County are seeing effects from the high transmission rate first-hand. CoxHealth hit a record number of hospitalizations over the weekend, according to CEO Steve Edwards.

The community is starting to see businesses and large organizations require masks again, but the city has yet to re-enforce a mask mandate. The Springfield Public Schools District is one of the larger organizations to recently announce that they will require masks for the 2021-2022 school year.

Larger cities that have lower transmission rates than Springfield have already reinstated a mask mandate, including Kansas City and St. Louis.

With the CDC’s new recommendation in mind, public health experts continue to encourage vaccinations for those eligible who have not yet been fully vaccinated. According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, around 42% of the population in Greene County is fully vaccinated.

If you would like to get vaccinated in Greene County a list of upcoming vaccination opportunities for August are listed here.

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