City Council Passes Mask Ordinance Effective Date is June 26
Mayor Steve Benjamin and Columbia City Council has passed a mask ordinance that requires facial coverings or masks shall be required in public places within the City to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.

The ordinance is effective as of 6:00 a.m., Friday June 26, 2020.
City of Columbia develops Microsite to increase awareness about COVID-19

The City of Columbia Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department is excited to announce the new release of our COVID-19 microsite.

Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases, the city of Columbia has dedicated a special microsite to all COVID-19 related information in order to increase awareness about social distancing, wearing a mask, testing and other health related tips.

Additional communications tools that will be developed includes a #GetTestedColumbia and #MaskMonday social media campaign, water bill inserts that focus on COVID-19 testing, wearing masks and contact tracing and public service announcements featuring City leaders and local influencers encouraging citizens to continue social distancing efforts and the proper use of face masks.

The COVID-19 website serves as the online hub to help share additional information about coronavirus alongside with partners, like DHEC and the CDC. For more information regarding the COVID-19 testing and other health related tip information, please visit https://covid19.columbiasc.gov .
Calling all Columbia-area restaurant owners!!
 
Are you looking for resources on how to reopen your restaurant responsibly? The City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities will be hosting a Reopening Responsibly webinar on June 30th for Columbia-area restaurant owners! During this webinar, you will hear from representatives from OSHA along with local restaurant owners on how to reopen responsibly. To register for this webinar, please go to https://oboreopeningrestaurants.eventbrite.com ! On the day of the event, join the Zoom call at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5852603179 .
Mayor Steve Benjamin Urges Citizens to Get Tested

Messages from Columbia City Council Members
Watch the three videos below from Councilman Duvall, Councilwoman Devine, and Mayor Steve Benjamin about COVID-19 updates, and ways you can help stay healthy and safe!
City of Columbia to Distribute Masks to Citizens Starting Monday, June 29
#MaskUpColumbia
 
The City of Columbia will be providing masks to citizens at several locations throughout the City, while supplies last.
 
Businesses are responsible for providing masks to their employees, and/or customers and clients if they choose. Issuance of masks are available to those considered to be at high risk based on CDC guidance and those in vulnerable populations within the City limits.
 
Citizens will be able to receive up to two masks per person or five masks per family. Masks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at one of the designated City of Columbia distribution sites. For information on locations and times of operation please visit the Resilient Columbia microsite at https://resilient.columbiasc.gov
 
Masks are available while supplies last. Citizens that have the ability to purchase their own masks are encouraged to do so. Citizens can make their own masks by following the CDC’s guidance on making cloth face coverings and can find additional information by visiting the following CDC website.
 
 
The distribution of masks will begin on Monday, June 29, 2020 and will end on Friday, July 10, 2020. Please review below the identified sites, dates and times for the mask distribution schedule.
 
Identified Sites:  Busby Street Community Center
                            1735 Busby Street
                            
                            Hampton Park Neighborhood Center
                            1117 Brandon Avenue
 
                            S. Edisto Neighborhood Center
                            1914 Wiley Street
 
                            Earlewood Community Center
                            1113 Recreation Drive
 
 
Distribution Schedule

June 29, 2020
MONDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
 
July 1, 2020
WEDNESDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
 
July 2, 2020
THURSDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
 
 
July 6, 2020
MONDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
 
July 8, 2020
WEDNESDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
 
July 10, 2020
FRIDAY
         Busby Street Community Center         9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         Hampton Park Neighborhood Center   9:00 am – 12:00 pm
         S. Edisto Neighborhood Center           1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
         Earlewood Community Center            1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

City of Columbia Urges Local Businesses to Take the Resilient Columbia Pledge 


The City of Columbia is reaching out to inform local businesses of the opportunity to be recognized for their commitment to following COVID-19 safety protocols. By taking “The Resilient Columbia Pledge," businesses can demonstrate to the community that they are practicing safe and responsible operating guidelines. The commitment represents a critical part of building our community’s confidence as our economy reopens.
 
Prior to taking the pledge, businesses should ensure measures are in place to reflect the best practices being recommended across our state. These measures will help safeguard staff members as well as business patrons.
 
As the public and private sector partner to reopen our cities in thoughtful and meaningful ways, the Resilient Columbia Pledge will be used as a tool to promote those businesses working to keep everyone safe.  
 
The “Resilient Columbia Pledge” link includes a mapping feature for everyone who has completed the pledge. Please take time to click the link below if you are following the recommended safety protocols listed below. The site will continue to be updated on a regular basis as new businesses complete the pledge. 
 
I hereby declare that we take the following steps:
 
·    Monitor the health of our employees
·    Clean high touch areas frequently
·    Encourage the use of face coverings and promote regular hand washing
·    Limit the number of people, both inside our building and in our outdoor spaces (if applicable)
·    Promote social distancing at all times to include the public right of way adjacent to our business

COVID-19 Updates from The City Manager
Public Health Officials Issue Joint Statement
on Need to Continue to Practice Social Distancing
and Proper Use of Face Masks to Save Lives in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In the best interest of the health of all South Carolinians, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), S.C. Hospital Association (SCHA), S.C. Medical Association (SCMA) and S.C. Office of Rural Health (SCORH) issue the following joint statement:
 
“DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH have come together to strongly urge all South Carolinians to actively help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of our fellow residents by practicing physical social distancing and properly using face masks. 
There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.
Since the beginning of this public health crisis, our organizations jointly committed to protect the health and welfare of all South Carolinians throughout this pandemic. We’re calling on you for your continued help. 
Please join the leaders and staff of DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH and the physicians and hospital systems we represent in protecting the lives of all South Carolinians by wearing face masks in confined public settings and maintaining at least six feet between those who are not members of your household. 
Together, we can turn the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives in South Carolina.”
The joint statement follows recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that clearly emphasizes the importance of face masks and social distancing in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

City Council Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 2:00 PM
www.columbiasc.gov , Columbia, SC 29201
A Resilient Columbia Message from Mayor Steve Benjamin
Columbia has been selected by United Airlines as a finalist in the category of “ Coolest Up-and-Coming City”! Columbia is a finalist along with four other cities. We need your help to win! Visit https://www.hemispheresmag.com/readers-choice-awards/ to vote and when you scroll down you will see the category and vote for Columbia, SC. Voting ends on July 1st.
 
#WeAreColumbia 
Follow these easy steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 1.        Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

2.        If soap and warm water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

3.        Clean surfaces frequently with disinfecting supplies (telephones, keyboards, copiers, printers, desks, etc.)

4.        Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other individuals

5.        Do no gather in crowds and groups.
6.        Maximize social distancing among co-workers and the public.

Remember, Safety Starts with an “S” but it begins with “YOU”.
Let’s continue to unite and fight the spread of the Coronavirus. 
Columbia City Council

Stephen K. Benjamin
Mayor
Sam Davis
Councilman District I
Tameika Isaac Devine
Councilwoman At-Large
Howard E. Duvall, Jr.
Councilman At-Large
Edward H. McDowell, Jr.
Councilman District II
Daniel J. Rickenmann
Councilman District IV
Will Brennan
Councilman District III
Teresa Wilson
City Manager