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COVID-19 updates (Mar. 21)

-Gov. Parson announced new social distancing orders statewide, effective from Monday, Mar. 23 until Apr. 6. Social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed. Eating and drinking in restaurants, bars, and food courts is not allowed (drive-thru, pickup, and delivery are still allowed). You cannot visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes in most cases. Schools are also ordered to remain closed. You are still allowed to visit grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks. Stay six feet away from everyone when possible.

-As of Saturday night, Boone County had 15 positive COVID-19 cases, with one death. Missouri has 90 confirmed cases, with three deaths.

-Columbia Public Schools said Saturday an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The district says the employee worked at Russell Boulevard Elementary, but did not interact with family, staff, or students within 24 hours of showing symptoms.

-Columbia has new orders on social gatherings because of the novel coronavirus, as of Saturday. No more than 10 people are allowed together at once, with some exceptions. Restaurants and bars are closed, except for services like drive-thru, carryout, and delivery. Gyms, movie theaters, and other entertainment venues can only have ten people inside at once, staff included.

-The City of St. Louis and St. Louis County have issued a “Stay at Home Order,” effective Monday, Mar. 23. People in those places can go out to grocery stores and pharmacies, or for other essential needs like doctor’s appointments. They can get carry-out at bars and restaurants, and go to work at most businesses. They can also exercise outside. Kansas City starts a similar order on Tuesday.

-The federal Small Business Association now has disaster loans available for businesses that qualify. More info at

(This story was last updated at 9:21 p.m. Saturday.)

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