COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department released a health order extension that would allow for large public gatherings of 250 people with an approved operation plan.
Events held within the county that plan for more than 250 people would need to have an operational plan submitted to the health department as apart of the new health order extension.
According to the health order extension that goes into effect Wednesday at noon; "Public gatherings of more than 250 people need to submit an Operational Plan for approval but social distancing and face masks are still required. (Previously, gatherings were limited to 50 people.)"
Sara Humm, Public Information Specialist for Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, says those looking to host an event with a large gathering of over 250 people should submit an operational plan to the department's business guidance team.
“Submitting an operational plan to our business guidance team, you know they want to know how you will address things like social distancing and enforcing the masking and just those types of things as how you will enforce the health order in that event,", said Humm.
The business guidance team will advise businesses and people on how to host large events while following the current health order. In order to receive approval from the health department hosts must have a plan on how they will enforce COVID-19 safety guidelines and the current health order. Masks, social distancing, and sanitizing high point touch areas are all enforced rules that will be needed in order to get an operational plan approved.
Humm says the business guidance team will discuss and help hosts on how to plan an event safely.
“Our first thing is always education we want to make sure that people know what’s in the health order so that they can operate their business or so they can operate their event safely and under the health order," said Humm.
As COVID-19 case rates continue to decline within Boone County and more of the population is getting vaccinated; officials believe more public events will be planned for the summer.
Matt McCormick, President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, says he hopes with more restrictions being lifted that more events and conferences will return to Columbia.
“Columbia’s a place they like to hold their conferences, our hotels do a wonderful job our conventions visitor’s bureau does a wonderful job with that and the hosting so hopefully we can get that back as we continue opening everything up,", said McCormick.
As of Wednesday, Boone County has administered 76,663 vaccines. 26,285 of Boone County residents have been fully vaccinated. The state has administered 2,411,247 vaccine doses; of that 771,448 Missourians have received full vaccination.