COLUMBIA, MO (STL.News) Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) has issued Order No. 2020-05. This order includes a framework for most businesses in Boone County to reopen with limitations on occupancy. This order will be effective at 12 a.m. on Monday, May 4, 2020, and represents a careful, gradual and phased approach to reopening Columbia and Boone County.
“It is important that we maintain low-levels of transmission as we have learned that the public health and socioeconomic impacts of the virus are significant and disproportionately impact the vulnerable. For that to happen, we all have to continue modifying our behaviors and every resident has a key role in facilitating this. Thanks to the community’s hard work and sacrifice, COVID-19 cases in Boone County have begun to level off and local health care systems have been able to maintain capacity without resorting to crisis levels of care,” Browning said.
- Individuals at high risk should continue to stay at home and not interact with others except for vital activities.
- Those working from home should remain working from home to the greatest extent possible.
- Most businesses will be able to reopen with capacity limits and maintain social distancing requirements.
- For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25% or less of the authorized occupancy.
- For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10% or less of the authorized occupancy.
- Facilities that offer personal care services, such as hair and nail salons, massage services and others, will have more restrictive capacity limits, as it is not possible to social distance during those services. Refer to the order for more information.
- Large venues, movie theaters, bars, playgrounds, hot tubs and spray grounds will continue to be closed. Contact sports will also be prohibited during this time.
- Mass gatherings of more than 10 people are not permitted. Social distancing should continue to be practiced at all times when around others not in the same household.
The contact investigation team at PHHS is working closely with local health care systems and testing laboratories to track new cases of the virus. Should there be any indication that the progress that has been made thus far is jeopardized, the PHHS director may reinstate restrictions based on the epidemiological conditions at that time.
Businesses should refer to the business guidance document provided by PHHS for more information on how to safely operate during this time. If you are a business with questions about operating requirements, please email businessguidance@CoMo.gov. In addition to business guidance, PHHS will be launching an online, voluntary training for businesses to certify that they are using best safety practices during COVID-19. More information will be available soon.
We encourage everyone to review the Order in its entirety. Additional information can be found in our FAQ document or by emailing coronavirus@CoMo.gov for general questions.