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Boone County COVID-19 health order changed after meeting with businesses

Chiefs fan at bar
A man wearing a Chiefs jersey enters a Columbia bar.


The new Boone County health order went into effect Friday, allowing restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues to stay open until 10:30 p.m.

In the previous order, businesses that served alcohol had to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and close by 10 p.m.

Assistant manager at International Tap House, Michael Honaker, said 10:30 close time isn’t ideal, but he thinks the extension will have an impact on the business.

“Some of these nights we are looking at our personal numbers that could be 20% to 25% of our daily business just that one hour, which thats huge,” Honaker said.

He said that tap house has had to make some adjustments due to the new health order.

"We’ve had to shift a few things around to accommodate our staff,” Honaker said.

Honaker said the previous order had a dramatic effect on their business because before the pandemic they were open until 1 p.m.

“3 hours doesn’t seem like a lot but that’s the peak 3 hours that businesses are thriving," Honaker said. "So yea it was a dramatic difference.”

All other restrictions from the previous order are still in effect. 

Health department Assistant Director Scott Clardy said the new order was made because of decreasing case numbers in Boone County. 

The announcement of the new order also came just a day after representatives of Columbia’s bars and restaurants and the city of Columbia held a closed meeting. 

According to a Columbia Chamber of Commerce, newsletter, bar and restaurant representatives expressed their concerns about the previous health order to city officials. 

Nickie Davis, executive director for the Downtown Community Improvement District, attended the meeting and said that Boone County Health Director Stephanie Browning took issues expressed in the meeting to heart.

“Bars had expressed to her that this is their industry,” Davis said. “This is what they do, they know how to get people out of their establishment in a timely manner.”

Davis said it was a great meeting but that many bars and restaurants in Columbia are still struggling economically thanks for COVID-19-related restritions. She said this is the owners' livelihoods and it is hard for them to operate at 20% capacity and with 6-foot social distancing. 

“I am grateful we did actually have that meeting,” Davis said. 

Another meeting between bars, restaurants and the city of Columbia is scheduled in early October to discuss a new health order. 

Riane Cleveland


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