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The original item was published from 12/22/2020 1:03:41 PM to 11/25/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: December 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] SGCHD urges community to avoid risky holiday activities

Celebrate Safely Holidays

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department encourages our community to consider how holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends and family healthy. 

Our Risk Assessment Quiz, which can be found at, is designed to help you consider the level of risk of activities and make a more informed decision about how you can reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.  

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household pose the lowest risk for disease spread. Lower risk activities include:  

  • Having a small dinner with people who live in your household. 
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing traditional recipes with friends and family. 
  • Holiday shopping online rather than in person. 
  • Exchanging gifts in person with members of your direct household. 
  • Opening presents virtually with other family members or friends. 
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home. 
  • Attending church services virtually.  
  • Coordinating a virtual visit with Santa for young children. 
  • Using non-contact forms of greeting instead of handshakes and hugs. 
  • Participating in drive-through holiday displays with members of your household, where you can remain in your vehicle and enjoy the magic of the season from a distance. 

Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health department strongly discourages hosting or attending in-person celebrations with people outside your household. If you choose to gather in-person with family and friends, it’s paramount that you wear a mask whenever you’re not eating or drinking, maintain a six-foot distance, wash your hands often and stay home if you feel sick.  

Nearly 20,000 total cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Greene County residents. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of 260 individuals who have lost their lives from this virus so far this year 

We encourage our community to honor those lost by taking these extra precautions to protect those we love this holiday season. 

We are in an especially difficult phase of our recovery, when it feels all the more difficult to stay the course,” said Director of Health Clay Goddard. “ But unfortunately, right now, when people gather together, people get sick. And when people get sick, our hospitals see more patients--then, tragically, more deaths result. We are close to the finish line, but this winter holiday is a big part of how we finish strong.  

The health department’s Winter Holiday Guidance at provides valuable information on ways to best protect yourself and your family. 

Santa Claus himself recorded a message for children on how they can keep themselves and others healthy this holiday season. You can view his inspiring message here: 

Families wanting more information on how they can celebrate safely are welcome to contact the Health Department to ask questions via our coronavirus hotline at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected]


Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected].

Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at [email protected].

Springfield-Greene County Health Department
“Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.” | |

227 E. Chestnut Expressway

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