COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia city leader said Friday that she doesn't think a recent large jump in COVID-19 cases will result in more limits on business and movement, but officials are ready to respond in 24 hours if it does.
Columbia Councilwoman Betsy Peters said Friday that although she doesn't think they'll need to, the city can be ready to put tighter COVID-19 restrictions back in place quickly.
Boone County saw its biggest single-day increase in cases Thursday, adding 18 new cases. The county reported 34 new cases between Tuesday and Thursday.
Despite the increase, only one Boone County resident is hospitalized with COVID-19. County hospitals are treating another five residents of other counties for COVID-19. Only 11 of the county's 250 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began have required hospitalization.
Peters said the spike isn't ideal, but as long as the hospitals aren't overwhelmed the county is well prepared to handle the increase in cases.
Peters, who is also a physician, said she thinks the spike is coming from multiple areas. She said part of the increase is because more people are getting tested, but the spike can also be attributed to the county's relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.
Boone County's stay-at-home order was replaced last month with a reopening order that allowed most businesses to open. Another order will go into effect Tuesday that will loosen restrictions further.
Peters said city leaders were expecting an increase after restrictions were loosened, and have been preparing for several scenarios.
Boone County residents are being reminded to continue to practice social distancing, and Peters is still advising those at risk of COVID-19's most serious complications to stay home if they can.
Peters also said businesses should be following health department guidelines and strictly enforce capacity limits.
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