In an effort to curb COVID-19 cases, bars and restaurants in Columbia, Missouri, that serve alcohol must now shut down by 10pm each night.
The order comes from Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, who made the announcement in a Friday press conference. According to a press release, the order goes into effect at noon on Fri., Aug. 28. The order is in response to the average number of cases in the 18-22 age bracket increasing over 220 percent in the seven days ending on Aug. 27, compared to the previous week.
Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol must stop serving booze by 9pm, and the establishments must close altogether by 10pm. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol do not have to abide by the order, and restaurants that serve alcohol will also be allowed to serve food via curbside pickup or delivery after they close.
In addition to the closing requirements, dance floors have also been ordered to be closed; the space can be repurposed into seated dining or other authorized uses. All food and drink must be consumed while sitting down, and those not seated must abide by mask requirements, which are required within city limits and strongly encouraged within Boone County. Seating will also be limited to 10 people or fewer per table.
All other public and private gatherings outside of bars and restaurants have also been restricted to 20 people or fewer, excluding any large group gathering or event held at a business or institution open to the public. Those must be limited to 50 percent occupancy or 100 people (whichever is less).
The order will continue until Sept. 17 unless amended or extended.