SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recently eased its guidelines on wearing masks outdoors. The CDC is allowing fully vaccinated Americans to go without a mask unless they are in a big crowd.
Acting Health Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department Katie Towns says she feels comfortable recommending the amendment to city council Monday night.
If approved, it will remove the requirement for those to mask when outdoors except in large crowds. Towns said the health department still recommends a mask when people are in close proximity to one another for an extended period of time or if a gathering has 500 or more people.
“Our goal is to achieve a vaccination status that allows us to remove the masking requirement and provide that protection that only the vaccine can provide,” said Katie Towns. “We continue to encourage and ask people to participate in the vaccine process so that we can move out and be safer when we do move away from masking.”
The health department recommends everyone who is not vaccinated to continue to mask to protect themselves and the community. Towns said as of April 30, 39% of people who live Greene County has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 32% are fully vaccinated.
Towns said if Springfield City Council approves the recommendation it will most likely go into effect immediately.
City council will also vote on whether or not to begin a contract with ShotSpotters. The system uses sound waves to detect gunshots and triangulates the position. The technology provides a location to officers in 30 to 45 seconds after a gun was fired so they can respond before a 911 call.
Police Chief Paul Williams said he will use money already in his department’s budget to cover the initial three-year term of the agreement, with a cost of $430,000. Some city council members worry it would only cover a certain area of Springfield. Williams said cost prohibits the system from covering the entire city, but they can go back in and expand the area if the system works.
Williams says they took more than 15,000 shots fired calls in 2020, but they were only able to detect 337 reports of actual gunfire.
Williams said the success of the program will be evaluated over the three-year term through regular reporting and analysis of the data provided.
To report a correction or typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.