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Boone County pauses reopening amid virus spike

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Boone County pauses reopening amid virus spike

Hide caption Downtown Kansas City stands against the sky at sunset Wednesday. Kansas City extended its mask order as Columbia paused reopening plans in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. [Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press] The rapidly rising number of confirmed new coronavirus cases has prompted facial-covering requirements in several areas of Missouri, including the state’s largest city. It has also paused reopening plans in Boone County.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services announced Friday that the health order outlining Phase 2 of the county’s reopening plan will be extended through Aug. 10 unless otherwise extended or rescinded.

Phase 2 was originally set to expire July 20. It loosened restrictions put in place earlier in the spring, but still includes several restrictions: Restaurants and bars may not offer standing bar, counter or buffet service, large venues must submit operational plans to PHSS for reopening and, if approved, may serve a maximum of 100 people while maintaining social distancing.

Similar occupancy limitations are in place for sporting events. Additionally, personal care facilities like salons may only operate at 50 percent capacity or a total of 50 people, whichever is fewer.

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Mass gatherings of 100 or more are not permitted under Phase 2.

“Based on the numbers we have seen in the last couple of weeks, we need to pause our original reopening plans,” said PHHS Director Stephanie Browning in a release announcing the move.

“The plan we outlined was for the best-case scenario and we just aren’t there right now. Extending the current step allows us to get a handle on this virus so that we can try to avoid moving […]

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