Columbia/Boone County Public Health has issued a new health order, effective Monday, which primarily changes rules for bars and restaurants.

Under the new order, customers at bars and restaurants must be seated when not entering, leaving and using restrooms, according to a health department news release. Customers must wear masks when not seated.

Restaurants and bars will continue operating with social distancing between tables, according to the order. Groups of customers are limited to no more than 10 people.

The order was issued by Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, according to the news release. It will expire at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31, unless extended, rescinded or modified before expiration.

Columbia and Boone County will remain in the current status of the reopening plan but with a few modified conditions, according to the news release. Many of the limitations in the previous order are still in effect.

Other modifications listed in the news release: Face masks are required by those over age 10 when people cannot keep social distancing within city limits of Columbia. The change aligns the county order with Columbia’s mask ordinance that went into effect on July 10.

Businesses, large venues and those organizing public gatherings that may face circumstances not addressed specifically in the order may submit a proposed operational plan to Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, the release said. The plans must meet the goals of the order to help limit the spread of virus and must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the date of the event.

The reopening plan has been modified because of the increase of COVID-19 cases in Boone County, the release said. The seven day rolling new cases rate for the period of July 29-Tuesday was 106 cases per 100,000.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is developing further guidance for businesses to operate under this order. Modifications will be available online at by Monday, according to the release.

Businesses with questions about the requirement in this order can email

People can find more information in the FAQ document and ask general questions by emailing

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • General Assignment reporter, summer 2020 Studying convergence journalism-multimedia producing Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

  • As senior editor of the Missourian, Fred Anklam manages general assignment reporters. He can be reached at or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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