The Column Bears Board is monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19 (a.k.a. ‘novel Corona virus’) in the Central Missouri area. We are aware that some may have concerns or questions about how this will impact our events.

We exist for our members and supporters, our events are meant to enhance and embrace our community. Continuing that mission is important, as is your health – both mental and physical.

In the coming weeks we’ll do the following:

• Assess event continuation on a case-by-case basis, considering risk to our participants and the Columbia community in the context of the event
• Communicate about changes or cancellations to events via our Facebook page and Group
• Ask that if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, or have become aware you were at an event or otherwise in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you stay home and join us when you are feeling better
• Remind everyone of proper social distancing practices
• Encourage creative acts of welcome that maintain distance, to replace the hugs, handshakes, and close forms of contact typical within our community
• Reiterate that the reason we take precautions now is to prevent harm to the most vulnerable members of our communities later – we are all in this together!

If you’d like to learn more about proper social distancing you can visit:…/…/event-attendees.html.

Cover your mouth when you cough. Wash your hands with soap and water. Sanitize commonly touched surfaces often. Know your own risk factors and engage with events accordingly. Give verbal bear hugs instead of physical ones.

If you have medical questions about COVID-19, speak to your Primary Care Provider’s office or call the dedicated hotline from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: (877) 435-8411. You can reach out to the Column Bears Facebook Page if you’re seeking non-medical resources and a group admin may be able to provide you with contacts for support.