UPDATED: May 29, 2020
The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 as the situation continues to evolve. We are staying close contact with multiple entities, including the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS), other City of Columbia departments and the Missouri Division of Tourism. The city of Columbia and the County of Boone are no longer under a stay at home order. Information about what is permitted now that the order has been lifted can be found on Columbia’s Coronavirus Resource Page under Reopening and Recovery Documents.
At this time, there are multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Boone County. The overall risk of COVID-19 to the public remains low at this time. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau highly recommends travelers follow protocols directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Cough into your elbow and sneeze into a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash
- Consult with a doctor before traveling when sick
- Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
- Avoid contact with people who are already sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Be aware of the latest travel advisories from the CDC and U.S. State Department
Should you find yourself feeling ill while in Columbia and Boone County, the region is served by these major healthcare providers:
- University Hospital – University of Missouri
- Boone Hospital Center
- Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding COVID-19. The hotline is open and can be reached at 877.435.8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel to Columbia and/or Missouri?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has consistently advised the public to practice everyday preventative measures to help stop the spread of germs, as typical in the current flu and respiratory disease season. There are no travel restrictions or advisories in the domestic U.S., which includes Columbia, Boone County and the state of Missouri. If you are concerned about travel within the United States, please check updated CDC recommendations here.
Are there any closures of note for visitors to Columbia, such as attractions, hotels, restaurants or meeting venues?
The University of Missouri announced on March 11 that it is modifying operations and classes, and the most current information on COVID-19 at Mizzou can be found here. Operations are also altered at Columbia College and Stephens College. The May commencement ceremonies for each institution have also been canceled or postponed. The Columbia Mall is operating under reduced hours. As is true in every other city, residents and visitors alike are asked to observe public health recommendations. Many other local businesses are now using curbside pickup and/or delivery. The CVB has created an online listing that is being updated constantly.
What is the impact on the tourism industry in Columbia and Boone County?
The decision to cancel meetings and events is creating and will continue to result in a significant impact on the local economy and to the workers whose jobs and livelihoods are affected by reductions in these events. Over 11,000 people in Boone County directly or indirectly depend on tourism for their job.
The Columbia CVB team is now back in the office full time. The Walton Building will be open to the public under modified hours beginning Monday, June 1. During this incredibly difficult time for the tourism industry, the CVB is focused on the following:
- Working closely with our hoteliers and other industry partners to understand the impact the pandemic is having on their business and how the CVB can help.
- Planning for marketing recovery and relaunch once travel begins to grow again. We want to be ready to capture visitors who will be looking to travel as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Compiling helpful and positive information to distribute locally via the CVB’s website and social media.
- Adjusting the CVB’s budget to ensure losses are accounted for and to plan for when travelers are planning trips again.
- Staying in constant communication with sports events planners and our local sports stakeholders to stay up-to-date on cancellations, postponements, and possible reschedulings.
If you have additional questions concerning CVB operations, please don’t hesitate to contact the Columbia CVB. Contact Amy Schneider via email at Amy.Schneider@CoMo.gov.
Additionally, the CDC has a number of handouts available for downloading and printing in multiple languages, including COVID-19 facts, information on stopping the spread of germs, and how to wash your hands.