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COVID-19 On City Council Agenda As Cases Continue To Rise In Columbia And Boone County

The Columbia city council received a COVID-19 update last night detailing the increase of COVID-19 transmission in the community.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Director Stephanie Browning told city council members that she concerned by the increasing positive case numbers.

Browning extended the current health order on Friday for three weeks. They are set to expire on Dec. 8.

She said that the number of gatherings taking place may be a primary cause for the surge. The gatherings she mentioned included ones in work, restaurant, and home settings.

“I am really asking people to consider altering their Thanksgiving plans because I think it is going to be really tough for us,” Browning said.

By 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Browning said that there were 676 new unassigned cases. Browning said an average disease investigator is used to handling about 80 cases per day, but some investigators are receiving nearly double that number.

Mike Trapp, Ward 2 council member, said the health department has been very helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in relation to his own personal experience.

“I appreciate the work of you and your department. I think I was ahead of this current wave, so I think I was exposed to a positive case on day three,” said Trapp. “The contact tracer was very helpful and it was a case. Your department did very well, and I appreciate that.”

Trapp said he supports Browning if she believes more extensive measures need to be added if cases continued on their current trend.