COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services issued a new health order Monday that is set to go into place at noon on Thursday.
Among several changes, the health order changes gathering limits and operating hours for businesses.
All gatherings or gathering places are limited to 50 people. This includes both public and private gatherings unless otherwise specified in the new order.
This is an uptick from the 20 people allowed to gather in the previous health order.
Social distancing and face mask requirements will still be in place at all gatherings.
Large group gatherings and events held at businesses open to the public are limited to 50 percent of the occupancy limit, or 200 people. This is a change from the previous order's limit of 100 people
Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues may now operate at normal business hours under the new order. Closing times for such establishments was set for midnight in the city's previous order.
Bar service and buffet service will now be permitted as well, given social distance and mask guidelines are followed.
Spectators for indoor sporting events are limited to 50 percent of the occupancy or 100 people maximum, whichever is fewer.
For outdoor sports, the same 50 percent applies, with a 200-person maximum.
Outdoor and indoor sports were grouped together in the previous order.
"We remain hopeful that infections will continue on the decline with the modifications to the Health Order, but it’s important for our community to continue with the COVID protocols-- social distancing, masking and handwashing-- that have shown to be effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19," PHHS Director Stephanie Browning said.
In a release, the health department said COVID-19 numbers have seen a steady decrease. The five day rolling average is down 68 percent from the beginning of February.