The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department extended a previously issued health order Friday that requires bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol at 10:30 p.m. The current order will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 3, unless otherwise extended, rescinded or modified.

"Given the increasing number of hospitalizations and a return to in-seat classes for CPS elementary schools, it is necessary to extend the current Order to ensure local resources can meet the demand that will likely occur in the coming weeks," Health Director Stephanie Browning said in a news release.

According to the Boone County COVID-19 dashboard, there has been an upward trend in hospitalizations. On Friday, there were 80 COVID-19 inpatients in Boone County hospitals, which is the peak during the pandemic.

Nearly 80% of those patients come from surrounding counties, where restrictions are not in place, thus "providing further support for extending the order and helping to reduce the burden on our local healthcare system," according to the release.

Public Health Orders 2020-13 and 2020-13(c) are an additional extension of the previous orders, 2020-11/2020-11(c) and 2020-12/2020-12(c). No additional restrictions will be enforced under the new order, according to the release.

Previously, the order restricting the hours of operation of establishments serving alcohol was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 20.

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