City of Columbia Missouri Community Relations

P.O. BOX 6015 COLUMBIA, MO 65205


March 17, 2020

CONTACT: Steven Sapp
Director of Community Relations
City of Columbia

City of Columbia coronavirus (COVID-19) update - first case in Boone County - Tuesday, March 17 at 7 p.m.

(COLUMBIA, MO) - At a press conference on Tuesday, March 17, officials from City of Columbia, Boone County and MU Health Care announced the first positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Boone County. The individual, who is in their sixties and recently traveled outside of the United States, is self-isolated in their home and is modeling good behavior since the onset of symptoms.

Staff members from Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) have been in contact with the patient and identified people who have had close contacts with the patient. Staff members will continue to follow-up with those persons. PHHS provided guidance and recommendations to keep the patient  isolated and will continue to monitor the patient through the full period of isolation. The patient will be on home isolation until symptom free and two negative tests that are 24 hours apart.

"We have planned and prepared for this. We have coordinated with federal, state and local officials to ensure we are all in close communication about how we proceed," Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said. "We have a strong system of hospitals, healthcare providers, first responders and emergency operations to help protect the health and safety of our community."

As a result of the positive case, PHHS Director Stephanie Browning signed an order (Order 2020-01) related to gatherings to reduce the potential of disease spread between individuals.

At this time, the order limits public gatherings to no more than 50 people. The limit is 50 percent of their normal capacity or 50 people, whichever is less, including staff. This includes restaurants, retail food facilities, entertainment venues, and gym and fitness facilities. There is also a limit on gathering or events with persons at highest risk to 10 people. 

This does not include cafeterias, commissaries, restaurants located within hospitals, nursing homes or similar facilities, adult detention facilities and juvenile justice facilities, grocery stores, farmers markets, pharmacies, food banks or crisis shelters.  

PHHS asks that all community members practice social distancing as much as possible. An effective community response is an all community response. Browning emphasis that we all have a role in protecting ourselves and our community. Some of best things that each one of us can do include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

The order signed by Browning is attached to this press release.


City of Columbia Vision
Columbia is the best place for everyone to live, work, learn and play.

City of Columbia Mission
To serve the public through democratic, transparent and efficient government.