Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Director Stephanie Browning has issued Public Health Order 2020-11 and 2020-11(c). These orders go into effect at 12 a.m. on Sept. 18 and are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 6, unless otherwise extended, rescinded or modified.
All restrictions under the previous health orders remain in effect. There are modifications to the order detailed below.
- Entertainment venues, bars and restaurants serving alcohol must close by 10:30 p.m. The restrictions on stopping alcohol service at 9 p.m. is no longer in effect.
- Bars, restaurants and other food establishments that do not comply with the Orders are considered to be in violation of the food code and may require the establishment to discontinue operations and remain closed until an Operational Plan is submitted and approved by PHHS as stated in section 1.20.
- Operational Plans are now required to be submitted 14 days in advance of an event rather than the previous requirement of 30 days.
Boone County has seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases since the order went into effect on Aug. 28. The five day average of new positive cases peaked on Sept. 5 at 143.4, but later fell to 65.2 on Sept. 16. This decrease was in the three weeks following the order, suggesting that restrictions in place are lowering the opportunities for transmission of the virus.
“While this is a promising change in our data, we are cautiously optimistic,” said Browning. “We hope that extending this order can help continue slowing the spread of COVID-19 so that we are able to begin slowly loosening restrictions without seeing increased cases again.”
PHHS is working to meet all reopening criteria, including the ability to maintain active disease investigation, contact tracing and monitoring. PHHS continues to address this by hiring additional staff with CARES Act funding.
Boone County residents can take simple steps to protect themselves and the people they care about by:
- Wear a mask when you leave home.
- Keep at least 6 feet of distance from anyone you do not live with.
- Keep gatherings small and outside if possible.
- Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Contact your medical provider and seek testing if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been knowingly exposed to the virus through close contact.