City of Columbia and Boone County leaders hold a live-streamed briefing, practicing social distancing.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill announced new stay-at-home orders to protect the public and essential workers from the spread of COVID-19.

Columbia is home to the Truman VA hospital, Boone County Hospital, the UM hospital and health care system hub, as well as its medical school.

The orders exceed the back-to-school date and Treece says the school district will “accommodate this order. ”

Boone County Public Health and Human Services Director Stephanie Browning confirmed that there are 20 cases in the county as of this morning.

Treece said nothing in the order prevents you from going to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the gas station, the drive-through, and the doctor.

He said because of “healthcare workers and first responders who are selflessly sacrificing, and grocery workers stocking shelves while we stay at home, we honor the seriousness of their work by following the advice and direction of our public health professionals.”

City ordinances violations are complaint-driven and Treece says regulatory workers like building inspectors are being trained to respond and give directions to the offender first. Further violations would be reported to the public health department.

Treece offered this hopeful message:

“We will get through this together. And when we do, may we never take for granted greeting a stranger with a handshake or our friends with a hug. May we be thankful for a crowded football stadium or a packed city council chamber. And may we find joy ina busy morning getting ready for school once again or having to wait 20 minutes for a table in the evening at our favorite local restaurant.”