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Columbia/Boone County reopening plan rules differ among business types


The extension of Boone County's stay-at-home order allows a slow reopening of non-essential businesses with occupancy limits while maintaining social distancing.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services director Stephanie Browning was joined by Mayor Brian Treece and Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill at a City Hall news conference Thursday to unveil the new order.

The order relies on social distancing rules that will limit the number of people inside businesses, workplaces and churches starting Monday when a statewide stay-at-home order is replaced with a state reopening order.

Businesses that are allowed to reopen such as churches, gyms, restaurants can allow dine-in services and swimming pools must follow some restrictions.

FILE: Boone County reopening order

The health department outlines occupancy limits for businesses in its reopening order:

  • for smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25% or less of the authorized occupancy.
  • for larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10% or less of the authorized occupancy.

Employees at the facilities are not included in the percentage.

FILE: FAQ on reopening order

Personal care services, such as hair and nail salons and massage services are allowed to reopen but face different restrictions.

Personal care businesses have more restrictive capacity limits because it's not possible to socially distance in these businesses. All employees and customers must wear masks or face coverings. 

These business will have to adhere to a limit of 10 people or fewer, including employees. This means if there are five employees working, only five customers are allowed in. 

Additionally, customers have to stay at least 6 feet apart when at the business, so chairs or work stations will have to be spaced appropriately.

The order still restricts some non-essential businesses from reopening.

Large venues, movie theatres, bars, bowling alleys, playgrounds, bingo halls, trampoline parks, ax throwing, mini-golf and hot tubs will continue to be closed. 

The order also restricts public and private mass gatherings of more than 10 people, which includes graduation ceremonies.

Contact sports still won't be allowed and health officials strongly recommend limited travel. 

The Columbia/Boone County health department said that social distancing should continue to be practiced at all times when around others not in the same household.

The order is more strict than a statewide order that will take effect Monday in part because occupancy limits are extended to more businesses, Treece said.

FILE: COVID-19-Response-and-Recovery-Plan

The recommendations include that those who can work from home do so and for people at high risk of complications from COVID-19 to stay at home.

The Columbia/Boone County plan for response and a road map to reopening is dependent on four phases.

The plan is broken down in phases:

  • Phase one: slow the spread
  • Phase two: reopen
  • Phase three: establish protection, then lift all restrictions
  • Phase four: rebuild readiness for the next pandemic

Treece told ABC 17 News that Columbia and Boone County are out of phase one and now in the beginning stages of phase two.

As of now there is not yet a date when this order will end, but Browning said if the curve stays flat during this reopening phase, health officials will reevaluate a plan in three to four weeks.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


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