Day 1 of Columbia's stay-at-home order: business open, people still out
COLUMBIA - On day one of Columbia's stay-at-home order, people were still out and about throughout the city.
The order, which was announced yesterday by the city, went into effect Wednesday morning.
"The order requires residents to stay at home unless they are engaged in one of the essential activities specified in the order," representatives from the City clarified in a statement. "Essential activities include working in an essential business, obtaining supplies or necessary services, seeking medical care, caring for a family member or loved one, and exercising and maintaining personal health. Individuals must practice social distancing to the extent feasible while engaging in these activities, and to stay home if not engaging in one of these specific activities."
On Wednesday morning, however, there were still plenty of cars out on the roads.
"I was surprised by how many people were out on the roads today," Dane Cross said. "It seems like there are more out today than there were yesterday."
Cross and his girlfriend, Savannah Thompson, went out to Stephens Lake Park for a bike ride on Wednesday morning.
"I'm so grateful we can still go to parks like this and have nice places where you can still social distance and still get good exercise," Thompson said.
The couple was part of a steady stream of visitors who used the park to exercise on Wednesday. Columbia Parks and Recreation have closed down some facilities, but the trails at Stephens Lake Park are still open as long as visitors practice social distancing.
But many non-essential businesses like salons and barber shops have closed. Some essential businesses that will remain open, like Walmart, were packed on Wednesday.
Dorinda and Joshua Campbell are first responders who help emergency personnel. While the stay-at-home order does allow people go to places like the grocery store, they said the best thing you can do is stock up on supplies and stay at home for the duration of the order.
"Really utilize what you have and try to avoid going out and introducing yourself because where you may think you are completely healthy, you may catch something," Dorinda said. "It is extremely important to stay at home, especially if you have kids."
Last week, Columbia first responders transported a COVID-19 patient to the hospital. The responders were wearing proper personal protective equipment but are quarantined for 14 days.
While they wait for calls, Dorinda said she and her husband will stay at home.
"That is the easiest way to make sure we are not bringing anything home to our son," she said. "When it gets busy, we don't get to see him much, so we try and utilize as much of this time as we can with him."
The stay-at-home order lasts through April 24.