Columbia and Boone county officials provide COVID-19 update

1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago Wednesday, April 08 2020 Apr 8, 2020 Wednesday, April 08, 2020 3:38:00 PM CDT April 08, 2020 in News
By: Michael Van Schoik, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - City and county officials gave an update on COVID-19 on Wednesday during a virtual press conference.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece started by saying that initial efforts put forward by the city and county have put the community in a good, safe place. 

"I believe that the early action that we took as a city and county is saving lives and slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus," he said. 

Treece said as of Wednesday afternoon's conference, there have been a total of 72 positive cases. He also said more people have recovered than are still active. As of the conference, Treece said there were only eight active positive cases in the area.

"That is good news," he said. "And we want that good news to continue. But these next two weeks are critical for all of us."

The mayor said people need to continue to stay home and practice good social distancing in order to "flatten the curve," emphasizing that each person's actions affect the entire community. 

Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwell applauded the mayor for his efforts. He also reiterated the importance of the community keeping up with proper safety efforts. 

"This is not anywhere near over," Atwell said. "This is not a time to relax. It is like being on the 1-yard line with the game tied. If we give it our very best for the next two weeks we can continue to keep the outlook favorable. So please continue to give it your very best as we go forward."

Atwell also said he thinks it is clear that individual efforts to social distance have been effective, and it is likely the reason most people do not have the virus. 

All of the city and county officials applauded the community for its efforts to support others in the area. They also shared their support and respect to those out of work. 

Officials advised people to seek help when they need it, whether it comes to food or psychological support during this time. Mayor Treece suggested people visit the city website if they can either give help or need help.

Treece said it is too early to set a date for a "reopening plan," adding that the stay-at-home order could be extended. He said officials agree that when the time comes, the city and county will need to reopen slowly. 

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