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Rural communities in Boone County impacted by COVID-19

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Some areas in Boone County, like the city of Centralia, face unique problems in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Centralia is abiding by the county's stay-at-home order, which went into effect Wednesday morning.

Under the order, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential services like buying groceries or going to medical appointments. The director of the Columbia/Boone County Health Department said anyone who leaves their home during the order should still practice social distancing.

Centralia Mayor Chris Cox says he's seen restaurants take the biggest hit so far in his city.

The lone grocery store in Centralia has seen an uptick in customers. Cox says this also may cause problems in the city because the store only has so much shelf space and only so many employees.

Cox said he visited the store and says even though it still appears to have everything, the shelves are beginning to look a little bare.

The mayor also mentioned looking into loan programs for the small businesses within the city to potentially help them out in these uncertain times.

Cox also noted Centralia has still yet to see its first case of COVID-19. As of Wednesday night, Boone County had 24 cases.

The stay-at-home order will continue through April 24 but could be extended.

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Ben Fein

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