Outgoing Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Addresses Politicization of COVID-19 at Final Briefing

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KY3) – Outgoing Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard spoke about the politicization of COVID-19 in his final report.

Goddard announced in January that he would step down from the post on February 26. His last briefing took place at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Springfield.

Goddard noticed a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. He credits the community for making changes to deal with the pandemic.

“How dedicated to each other we are, how we care for each other, it can be easy to remember the frustrations and forget the overwhelming ways we bond,” Goddard said. “Let’s not forget the 414 Greene counties that lost their lives in the past 12 months to the pandemic. This is not a fluke, it is not a cold, it is a dangerous disease that has killed more than half a million Americans. “

He criticized state leaders for turning the pandemic into a political problem. He thanked Missouri Governor Parson for allowing communities to dictate policy, despite unanswered calls for a statewide masking mandate.

Goddard will become the senior director of the Missouri Health Foundation. Katie Towns becomes Acting Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

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