Countywide mask ordinance unlikely, commissioner says

2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 9:41:19 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
By: Kaleigh Feldkamp, Missourian

COLUMBIA (Missourian) - The Boone County Commission has no plans to follow Columbia’s lead and impose a countywide mask ordinance, one commissioner said.

The Columbia City Council passed an amended emergency citywide mask ordinance by a vote of 6-1 on Monday. Fifth Ward Councilperson Matt Pitzer was the sole vote against the ordinance.

The ordinance goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday and requires all Columbia residents over the age of 10 to wear masks when around people who are not members of their household. The ordinance was amended to exempt some activities, including when inside a personal vehicle, while eating and drinking in restaurants or bars and when exercising outdoors.

Northern Commissioner Janet Thompson said that because the majority of Boone County’s cases are coming from Columbia, the county health department does not see a reason to impose a mask ordinance for the entire county at this time.

“If the data picture changes, we’ll need to look at (that option),” Thompson said. “But now, the data shows where it’s necessary is Columbia.”

With Tuesday’s 34 new positive COVID-19 cases reported, Boone County now has 547 positive cases. Of those positive cases, 190 are active and 355 have been released from isolation, according to county data.

Last week, Boone County reported its highest single-day COVID-19 positive case increase, with an increase of 39 new cases Thursday. The county’s COVID-19 positivity rate was a startling 15.7% for the week of June 26 to July 2, compared to the rate that remained at or below 1.4% up until June 12, according to previous Missourian reporting.

At Monday’s council meeting, Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services Director Stephanie Browning said she did not think Columbia should move on to the next stage of its reopening process in light of the increase in new positive cases.

To slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others by social distancing from people outside of your household.
  • Wear a mask when around others.
  • Follow all guidelines when visiting businesses in Boone County.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

Contact your primary care physician or local health care system immediately if you begin to experience any symptoms of COVID-19.

To read more visit our partners, Columbia Missourian.

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