COVID cases continue to drop slightly around Kansas City

Allyse Dowell, a registered nurse at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, tends to a patient critically infected with COVID-19 in the cardiovascular intensive care unit Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Dowell draws blood from the patient for measure his oxygen level.

Allyse Dowell, a registered nurse at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, tends to a patient critically infected with COVID-19 in the cardiovascular intensive care unit Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Dowell draws blood from the patient for measure his oxygen level.

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The number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas City fell slightly last week as orders for free home tests became available to all Kansas households.

Last week, new bivalent boosters also arrived in metro clinics. These boosters provide protection against both the original COVID-19 and several strains of the omicron variant. The CDC as well as local health officials are advising anyone 12 years of age or older who has received a first vaccination against COVID-19 to get one of these new shots.

“Only half the population of the United States has received their first booster, so we have a lot of wiggle room,” said Dr. Matt Shoemaker, acting co-director of the infectious diseases division of the Health System. University of Kansas. in a Friday press briefing.

What does Kansas City’s COVID-19 data look like this week?

Authorities have reported a total of 1,554 new cases in the Kansas City area since last week. That’s less than last week’s total of 1,769 new cases. This means that the metro recorded around 222 cases per day last week, compared to around 253 per day the week before.

Since many people are taking COVID tests at home, which are not publicly recorded, experts say the total number of actual cases is likely two to five times higher than the data shows.

The state of Missouri is no longer reporting county-level death counts. Johnson County reported three new deaths and Wyandotte County reported two last week. This brings the total number of deaths in the Kansas City metro area to at least 4,360 since the start of the pandemic.

How are hospitals holding up?

The University of Kansas Health System is treating 26 patients with active COVID-19 infections, up from 22 this time last week. Six of those patients are in intensive care, and two of them are on ventilators, compared to five patients in intensive care and two on ventilators last week.

MARC data shows that average daily hospitalizations continue to decline in the greater Kansas City area. Hospitalization trends generally follow several weeks after the number of cases, although the current number of cases may not accurately reflect the full extent of the virus due to home testing.

“Although globally and in the United States the trend is improving, mainly due to the deployment of vaccines, we are still seeing 350 deaths per day and more than 4,000 hospitalizations per day in the United States,” said Shoemaker. .

“If we want this downward slope to continue, we have to keep getting the vaccines out and getting people vaccinated. »

What are the risk levels for COVID-19 in the Kansas City area?

Clay, Platte, Jackson and Wyandotte counties all remain at a ‘medium’ community level of COVID-19, the same as last week. That means the CDC recommends maintain good ventilation, keep up to date on your vaccines and boosters, and wear a mask if you are immunocompromised or indoors with someone who is.

Johnson County is still at a “low” community level this week, and no local counties are at a “high” level.

The five counties that make up the Kansas City metropolitan area remain at ‘high’ transmission levels, as well as most other counties in the country. This means your risk of catching COVID-19 in public is still high, even though medical care may be easier to access than before.

How Immunized Is the Kansas City Area?

Vaccination rates in the region are slowly increasing, with 63.64% of the population fully vaccinated in the Kansas City area. Eastern Kansas has a higher vaccination rate, at 72.30%, than western Missouri, at 57.19%.

Getting vaccinated and vaccinated remains the most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. New bivalent boosters are now available in the subway.

Do you have more questions about how to stay safe from COVID-19 in Kansas City? Ask our on-duty journalism team at [email protected].

Natalie Wallington is a reporter for The Star’s Help Desk, covering government programs, community resources, COVID-19 data and environmental action, among other topics. His journalism has previously appeared in The Washington Post, Audubon Magazine, Popular Science, VICE News and elsewhere.

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