COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The City of Columbia will host a community briefing to give an update on the current COVID-19 numbers and future plans of the Boone County health order.
Scott Clardy, assistant director of the Columbia/Boone County Health Department, said when making updates to the health order, the city is focused on three main aspects.
“What we are focusing on moving forward are number of new cases that we see on a daily basis, hospitalizations, and the percentage of the population that is vaccinated,” said Clardy.
As of Friday, Boone County had 86 active cases and 1 hospitalization. Clardy said although we are still getting new cases every day, it has leveled out to a number last seen in July.
According to the state dashboard, 44% of Boone County residents have initiated the vaccination process, this number is higher than any other county in the state. Clardy said the health department will continue its outreach for vaccination clinics to reach everyone.
Clardy did not give specifics on what updates will come Monday. He said the health department has to continue to monitor numbers closely over the weekend, and if there is another increase the changes could be put on pause.
Billy Giordano, owner of Room 38 Bar and Lounge, said occupancy has been the biggest challenge for them during the pandemic.
“The social distancing between tables, if we are comfortable enough to get rid of that, I think that opens up a lot more covers for everyone to seat,” said Giordano.
Giordano said this is the busiest time of year for restaurants with graduations and parent’s weekend approaching so being able to seat more people would be a huge help for them.
Giordano says other cities have opened up further and not seen huge changes in their case numbers. Kansas City and St. Louis both updated their health orders this week similar to what they were almost one year ago.
The CDC changed its guidance to say that masks outdoors are no longer required for fully vaccinated people in small groups. Columbia resident, Patty Eastin, said downtown Columbia has been busy this weekend and she feels as though crowded blocks should still have masks being worn.
The current health order has been in place since March 22 and was extended until May 12.
The event is open to the public, but seats are limited as social distancing guidelines are in place.
The briefing will be live-streamed for everyone on the city’s website. It will begin five minutes before 3 p.m. and broadcast live on Spectrum 992, Mediacom 80 and CenturyLink 96.
Check back for more on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News 9 and 10 p.m.
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