Following White House recommendations and consultation with other local and state officials, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure issued an order amending which public gatherings are prohibited under an ordinance passed March 16. The mayor’s order prohibits public gatherings of 10 or more persons except for educational institutions, daycare facilities, and daily business operations in the corporate limits of the City of Springfield until April 1. The Greene County Commission adopted similar legislation today.
Daily business operations shall not include the following, which shall be closed to the public during the time this order is effective:
- businesses offering entertainment, amusement, and recreation
- bars, taverns, or food establishments offering drinking or dining-in, except for lawful delivery, pickup, and drive-thru services that may be offered by said businesses, bars, taverns, or food establishments.
Unless the order is extended, the limit for group gatherings will go back to 49 through April 15.
The ordinance passed Monday authorizes the mayor to issue an order amending which public gatherings are prohibited to protect public health; establishes a penalty for violating the prohibition; and declares an emergency pursuant to City Charter Section 2.12. The ordinance is in effect for 30 days and will be extended if the proclamation of civil emergency is renewed.
The purpose of the mayor’s order and the ordinance is to minimize community spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The mayor has the authority to amend which public gatherings are prohibited, either in number or in type, if in his judgment the prohibition should be amended to protect public health.
Existing officers that regularly enforce code regulations regarding public assembly, including police and fire officers and health inspectors, have the ability to enforce this ordinance. Penalties are up to $1,000 and/or 180 days in jail.