Health official outlines what it'd take to reopen Boone County

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council meeting on Monday night will start with an update on COVID-19.

It's one of a series of virus-related items on the agenda along with a public hearing to sell bonds to pay for the new terminal at Columbia Regional Airport.

What it will take to end the stay-at-home order

The city's stay at home order is set to expire in a few days, but the city and county will likely extend it to match up with Governor Mike Parson's order. 

Dr. Stephanie Browning, the county's top doctor, said she expects it to be a phased approach. 

It will take four steps for the stay-at-home order to go to end: 

  1. A standard reduction in the virus for two weeks must occur. 
  2. Hospitals must safely be able to serve everyone. 
  3. There must be broad available testing.
  4. There must be broad investigation, isolation and contract tracing. 

Residents worry about timeline of economy to reopen

There are also a number of people concerned with when Columbia will open the city for business.

Sterling Sublett, who owns multiple Jersey Mike franchises in Columbia, said he's seen about 30 percent of his business decrease since the virus caused people to stay-at-home.

He said he can't wait for the city's economy to reopen once the experts say it's safe for people to move around.

"I'll definitely be happy when the time comes when they say to reopen," he said. "Not just for me, the entire economy needs it. I know a lot of business owners and it's just not good."

Other people wrote into city council to express their views to also open the Columbia economy. Some of those are also admins on a Facebook page called We're ready to open the Columbia, MO economy

A rally to open the economy for the entire state of Missouri will occur Tuesday at the State Capitol Building. We spoke with the organizer of the protest on Sunday and you can read why he wants to reopen the state here.

The City says a new COU terminal is necessary 

The city of Columbia says a new terminal is needed because of increased security regulations, passenger growth and limited ADA accessibility. The airport currently uses two former Columbia Public School (CPS) trailers for secure gate areas. Another separate trailer is used for baggage claim. There is also only one bathroom in the secure area to accommodate up to 177 people.

The first debt payment for the airport, according to a council memo, will be approximately $470,000 plus interest with the first payment due in 2021.

Regions Capital Advantage, INC has agreed to buy the bonds at an interest rate of 1.9%.

The city will pay for the project from a 1% tax increase on lodging taxes at motels and hotels and revenue from passenger facility charges passed by voters in August 2016.