The City of Springfield is changing some of the protocols in dealing with the Covid Crisis. In his first briefing on the issue in nearly 10 weeks, Mayor Dom Sarno says schools will open full time, with students in masks and being part of pool testing. The mask requirement will be in place even in buses.
Mayor Sarno also advised city employees to get vaccinated. If they don't, he says that they will be tested frequently and he left open the possibility of forcing employees to be vaccinated.
The Mayor said it was important that people rely on media---but not social media for their information. He says he still gets emails about conspiracy theories which stun him.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Helen Caulton Harris says that the city will follow the basic lead of the CDC. She said that she is recommending that people continue to wear masks when inside even if they have been vaccinated.
She told reporters that she is finding herself reminding people of the very same thing as she did at the start of the pandemic--- to wash hands---wear and mask and watch your distance. However- there was a difference---between what she said months ago and now.
"This time, there is a way out. This time we have a vaccine."
She said this is the same discussion that people were having when she was a child and the concern was about among other things polio. But she said people listened--and "the science won out."
The Mayor says the city has spent millions of dollars on schools throughout the city to make sure they are safe--well ventilated and will keep kids both safe and healthy this school year.
Both the Mayor and the Commissioner say they do not want to scare anyone. But that the that people are in some cases scared to get the vaccine. They say that it is important for people to do their own research and make up their own mind. But they also said it was important for people to protect themselves and the community they live in.