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Columbia bars prepare for first weekend with normal hours of operation

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Employees gather in Addison's in downtown Columbia during Restaurant Week


Boone County bars and restaurants are preparing for their first weekend of normal business hours since last spring.

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department this week released a revised county health order that relaxes some of the restrictions on businesses. The order allows bars to stay open as late as they want. The previous order had required them to close at midnight.

The order also allows for larger numbers in public and private gatherings. Gatherings are now limited to 50 people, instead of 20, as set previously. Large venues can now host up to 200 people instead of 100.

Bars and restaurants can also resume standing bar service and buffet service. Mask and social distancing requirements remain in place.

Local bars plan to continue strictly enforcing masks and social distancing for customers with the bar services reopening. An employee at On The Rocks, said the bar has socially distanced all bar seating and there is a separate area that is socially distanced for customers who want to order at the bar. Many bars downtown have socially distanced all seating within its' establishment.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the new health order extension. Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said the relaxed restrictions will allow for more events to take place in Columbia. McCormick said this is a move in the right direction as hospitalizations and COVID-19 case rates continue to decline.

Boone County reported 12 new coronavirus cases Friday. The five-day average of new daily cases was 14 on Friday; it peaked at nearly 170 in November. Eighty county residents have died because of the virus.

McCormick also suspects that the health order extension could allow for more people to get out and spend money with downtown businesses.

"That's the goal, we always encourage everyone to shop local, eat local, all those things because with more hours and larger crowds that they can start having that helps them out financially,", said McCormick.

Boone / Coronavirus / Entertainment / News / Top Stories
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Victoria Bragg

Victoria Bragg joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in October 2020.

She is a graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and is a Dallas native.


1 Comment

  1. How noble of The Columbia/Boone County Health Department to “allow” us to earn a living. As if they had any legitimate authority to deny it in the first place. Very little evidence that such is possibly justified since the end of the first two weeks to “flatten the curve”. All since then is on very shaky ground, and it gets ever more shaky as time passes. The current stats from Florida and California perfectly demonstrate there is no factual basis for restrictions, period. Florida with no restrictions has better numbers than California with an abundance of them. So much for following the science. Which begs the question, how much more of the real science is being ignored, and is there in fact any real science backing up any of this charade? Seems the “facts” keep changing, the goal posts being moved. A thing real facts simply cannot do.

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