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Boone County, MO

THURSDAY UPDATES: Boone County orders masks inside county buildings

KMIZ ABC 17 News
KMIZ ABC 17 News

People doing business in the Boone County Government Center and Annex will have to wear masks starting immediately.

The Boone County Commission issued the order requiring everyone 10 years old and older in those county buildings to wear masks in public areas Thursday. Government departments in those buildings will have discretion over rules for their offices, per the order.

The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded.

Boone County mask order Download

The order comes amid a surge in cases across Missouri and in Mid-Missouri. Active cases in Boone County are close to 700 and the county health department has reported more than 300 new cases this week.

MU Health to open coronavirus testing site

University of Missouri Health Care will open a dedicated coronavirus testing site Monday as Boone County and Mid-Missouri continue to see a surge in new cases.

The testing site will be located at 2003 W. Broadway, Suite 100, in Columbia, MU Health said in a news release. Testing should be scheduled online at . Appointments will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks will be required at the testing site. Patients should bring proof of insurance if they're insured but testing is free.

MU Health says it will give patients results within 48 hours. Those who test positive will get a phone call. Those who test negative will have to access the MU Health online patient portal for results.

The testing site news comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said even vaccinated people should be tested if they're exposed to someone with the virus, even if they don't have symptoms.

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department has reported more than 300 new cases this week alone and the county had nearly 700 active cases as of Wednesday. The daily average of new cases remains at levels not seen since the winter and 90 patients are being treated for COVID-19 in Boone County hospitals. Hospitals have delayed some transfers and procedures because of the number of COVID-19 patients being treated.

University of Missouri to require masks in classrooms as coronavirus surges

The University of Missouri said Thursday that it will return to requiring students and employees to wear masks inside classrooms and indoors when social distancing isn't possible.

"Missouri is working to combat a rise in cases primarily caused by the Delta variant, with most of the cases occurring in unvaccinated individuals," MU said in an email to the campus. "While faculty, staff and student cases remain very low at Mizzou, we will take additional precautions."

The requirement will be reviewed Sept. 15.

The new rules require unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors at all times. The masking requirements take effect Monday.

MU is also encouraging workers and students to upload documents showing they've been vaccinated and is giving away incentives to those who are vaccinated. The university will also host several vaccination events. Drawings will start in mid-August with prizes including tuition discounts for students, dinner with head coaches or free parking for a year.

The campus has 21 active student cases and 14 active cases among faculty and staff . Fall classes start Aug. 23.

The move comes as Missouri continues to rank among the top states in the country for most coronavirus cases per capita. That surge is evident in Mid-Missouri, too. In Boone County, new cases have reached levels not seen since the winter.

More than 2,200 COVID-19 cases reported in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,262 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total to 564,201 throughout the pandemic.

The state also reported 720 new probable antigen cases, bringing the total to 108,385.

Data shows four new COVID-19 related deaths were reported Thursday. The total number of deaths now sits at 9,642.

The state's positivity rate is back up to 14.7% after dropping slightly Wednesday.

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