Sunday, February 28
Shadow

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Missouri reports 3,825 new COVID-19 cases – KMBC Kansas City

Kansas City metro area health officials are grappling with how to handle continuing case count increases after reopening businesses more than four months ago. What you need to know:The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday the state has 242,332 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 3,148 deaths since the outbreak started. Kansas is now only updating COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Saturday there have been 420,583 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak and 5,944 deaths.SATURDAY7 p.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Saturday that the state has 420,583 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 3,825 cases from Friday’s total.There have now been 5,944 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 32 from Friday’s total.There have been 67 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,798,436 and 101,358 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 18,570 positive cases and an average of 2,6953 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 32,445 (+397) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 25,179 (+241) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,744 (+141) cases in Clay County, 6,030 (+158) in Cass County and 2,628 (+107) in Platte County.FRIDAY9:45 p.m. — The Kansas City Public Library said it has closed Plaza Branch at 4801 Main St. after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Library officials said the staff member worked this week. The Plaza Branch will reopen once the library can complete contact tracing, complete the cleaning, and ensure adequate staffing.3:45 p.m. — The Mid-Continent Public Library said its East Lee’s Summit Branch at 2240 SE Blue Parkway is temporarily closed due to potential COVID-19 exposure. The book drop will remain open. Holds on materials that were available at the branch before the closure will be extended. The library said it is working with the Jackson County Health Department to determine additional next steps. 12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 5,504 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Wednesday, pushing the statewide total to 242,332 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Friday the death total grew by 121 to 3,148 and hospitalizations increased by 144 to 7,257 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Friday that 32% (+0%) of ICU beds are available and 82% (+1%) of the state’s ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,051,207 people with 808,885 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 13.2%.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 43,349. Johnson County is second with 42,456 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,576 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,395 cases, Douglas County reports 6,810 and Miami County has 2,083. Health officials they are monitoring 373 active outbreak clusters with 212 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Friday that the state has 416,758 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 4,332 cases from Wednesday’s total.There have now been 5,912 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 30 from Thursday’s total.There have been 66 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,773,583 and 97,577 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 18,187 positive cases and an average of 2,598 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 32,048 (+339) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,938 (+686) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,603 (+58) cases in Clay County, 5,872 (+57) in Cass County and 2,521 (+93) in Platte County.9 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System said Friday the hospital is treating 141 total COVID-19 patients with 70 in recovery phase and 71 acute cases, including 23 that are in the ICU and 15 on ventilators.7 a.m. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced $68 million in federal aid for college construction projects and released close to $127 million he previously cut. Parson last year blocked the state from spending nearly $450 million of its more than $35 billion budget after state finances took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.On Wednesday he said the state economy bounced back faster than expected, allowing much of the restricted money to now be spent. Another $8.6 million is now available for state tourism, as well as $9.4 million for work programs for low-income families who receive state financial help. Newly released funding also includes $14 million for state colleges and universities and more than $9 million for community colleges. The state funding for colleges and universities is coupled with another $68 million from the federal government for Missouri schools to fix up old buildings. Parson said the money for university construction projects also will help put people back to work. St. Louis Community College in Forest Park also received a $4 million federal grant to open an on-site childcare center for the first time.6 a.m. — Kansas expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots. READ MOREDemocratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday announced new details about the order in which her state’s residents will be eligible for inoculations, and making people aged 65 to 74 years an earlier priority was the biggest shift.The state’s previous plan had that age group getting theirs after people in “congregate” living, such as state hospitals, shelters for the homeless, and prisons.THURSDAY6:15 p.m. — Kansas expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots. READ MORE.4:05 p.m. — The Johnson County Library said its Lenexa City Center Branch at 8778 Penrose Ln. will be temporarily closed through Jan. 12 due to a potential COVID-19 exposure. In an abundance of caution, the closure includes the drive-thru window, materials return and the holds pick-up lobby. Holds on materials that were available at the branch will be extended. 3 p.m.– Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she is ordering flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff to remember the more than 3,000 people that have died from COVID-19. On Wednesday, Kansas passed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic — 3,000 deaths from COVID-19.Kelly ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the 3,027 “lives lost and the families left behind.”“It is with great sadness that I am once again ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Kansans who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” Kelly said in a statement. “My administration remains committed to fighting further spread of COVID-19, and I know Kansans will do their part to protect their neighbors and loved ones.”11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Thursday that the state has 412,426 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 3,983 cases from Wednesday’s total.There have now been 5,882 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 24 from Wednesday’s total.There have been 70 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,747,390 and 89,759 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,270 positive cases and an average of 2,467 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,709 (+320) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+469) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,603 (+128) cases in Clay County, 5,872 (+122) in Cass County and 2,521 (+66) in Platte County.8 a.m.–Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday began what’s guaranteed to be an unusual legislative session as the state continues its battle with the coronavirus pandemic.The usually packed House was noticeably empty when the chamber convened, with only the most veteran lawmakers present to take their oaths in order to reduce the number of guests in the galleries. The newer lawmakers were gradually added until the 163-member chamber was again full, with lawmakers packed closely at their desks. Democratic representatives wore masks, but most Republicans did not. The smaller 34-member Senate convened in one group, with a similar partisan divide in mask-wearing. Legislative leaders said precautions will be in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19 during the Republican-led Legislature’s roughly five-month annual session, although rules primarily apply to staffers and not lawmakers. House and Senate administrative staff must wear face masks, but that’s optional for lawmakers. The Senate is limiting staff seating in committee rooms, and the House is allowing employees to work from home when practical. Republican Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 but has since recovered, said healthcare and other essential workers are on the frontlines daily. He said lawmakers are “going to have to do the same thing” and find a way to work safely.“Maybe by the middle of summer we might have this thing a little bit further behind us,” Schatz said. “But until then I plan on us moving forward and continuing business in the best way we can.”When legislators last convened for a special session shortly after the Nov. 3 election, their work was delayed into December after several lawmakers and staff tested positive for COVID-19. State Rep. Brenda Shields told The Associated Press she tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 12 after spending the previous days in Jefferson City. Shields said she regularly wore a mask and doesn’t know how she contracted the virus. At first, her symptoms appeared mild, like a head cold with fatigue. But two weeks later, Shields said she experienced “extreme heaviness” in her chest. Doctors said her lung capacity was less than 50% — as if she was a lifelong smoker, though she’s never smoked — and that she also had developed heart issues from the virus. Shields said her recovery could take up to six months, and she hopes colleagues learn from her experience.“Some people have COVID and it comes and goes and life continues on. You never know when you might be the person who ends up being the long-hauler,” said Shields, a Republican from St. Joseph. “So I encourage them to wear a mask and to take care of themselves.”The Capitol is still open to the public. On days when the Legislature is in session, entrants will have their temperatures taken and be questioned about possible illness or exposure. Public seating will be spaced out in House and Senate committee hearings for social distancing. The Senate also provides live audio streaming of its committee hearings and sessions, and the House livestreams video of its public meetings. House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said Democrats plan to propose additional COVID-19 safety restrictions for House members, including mandatory face masks in shared spaces. “As far as I have been told, it’s going to be business as usual, which is obviously very unacceptable to me,” she said. Schatz and Republican House Speaker Rob Vescovo were both elected without opposition by their colleagues to the top leadership posts.Lawmakers are expected to focus on pandemic-related policies in their work. Both Schatz and Vescovo said a top goal is to pass a bill shielding businesses and health care workers from being sued for alleged misconduct related to the coronavirus pandemic. Republican Gov. Mike Parson and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an influential business association, are both pushing lawmakers to pass the policy. Parson had added passing the bill on lawsuits to lawmakers’ to-do list during a special session on federal coronavirus aid last year. He later dropped his last-minute request, instead leaving it to lawmakers to address during their longer annual session this year. Vescovo stressed the need to give schools the resources to stay open so that children can effectively learn. He also called for broader education reforms, recounting his own experience as a child adopted out of the foster care system who struggled and dropped out of school before eventually earning a GED. He said the education system must be improved “so that it can help the kids who do not learn in conventional ways.”Vescovo also voiced support for bills that that would “balance the need to protect the public health” with people’s freedoms during the pandemic. Several lawmakers this year have proposed checks or limits on local officials’ ability to close businesses, require masks or issue other health-related orders.One bill would allow mayors or other local executives to shut down businesses, churches, schools and public gatherings for up to 15 days at a time. Any longer than that and shutdowns would need to be approved by the city or county governing board, state health department or the Legislature. Another proposal would exempt churches and places of worship from social-distancing requirements. Schatz said he’s not sure how successful those proposals will be. The governor will outline his policy goals and budget recommendations during a State of the State speech Jan. 27. Democratic Rep. Kip Kendrick, of Columbia, also officially stepped down Wednesday to serve as chief of staff to Sen. Greg Razer, a Kansas City Democrat. 7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track. According to numbers from Thursday morning, there have been 161,774 people who have recovered from the coronavirus. This includes 27,405 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,962 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.5:30 a.m. — Overnight, as debate continued on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory, Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner learned he tested positive for the coronavirus. His office tweeted the news overnight writing, “Congressman LaTurner took the test as part of Washington DC’s travel guidelines that require visitors to be tested. He is not experiencing any symptoms at this time.” READ MOREWEDNESDAY12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 5,501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Monday, pushing the statewide total to 236,818 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Wednesday the death total grew by 130 to 3,027 and hospitalizations increased by 158 to 7,113 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Wednesday that 32% (-8%) of ICU beds are available and 81% (+0%) of the state’s ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,037,519 people with 800,701 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 14.2%.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 42,336. Johnson County is second with 41,357 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,285 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,279 cases, Douglas County reports 6,648 and Miami County has 2,002. Health officials said the median age of people with COVID-19 is 39, and they are monitoring 373 active outbreak clusters with 212 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Wednesday that the state has 408,443 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,854 cases from Tuesday’s total.There have now been 5,858 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 33 from Tuesday’s total.There have been 63 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,724,603 and 95,883 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,775 positive cases and an average of 2,539 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,386 (+195) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+189) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,475 (+51) cases in Clay County, 5,750 (+57) in Cass County and 2,521 (+21) in Platte County.9 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 134 total COVID-19 patients with 65 in recovery phase and 69 acute cases, including 25 that are in the ICU and 13 on ventilators.8:30 a.m. — The Wichita City Council is diverting COVID-19 grant funding that had been intended for hiring a pandemic-control officer and is instead using it to lease software that ensures police officers don’t cheat on their training.In May, the council earmarked about $250,000 to hire an emergency management coordinator to manage the police department’s response to the pandemic, the Wichita Eagle reported.Police told the council Tuesday that they were unable to fill the position and wanted to divert $165,000 of the funds to lease for three years software that will track officers’ training online, a capability the department has sought for years.The department had advertised the two-year position of COVID emergency manager, but neither of the two finalists would take the job, said administrative division Capt. Dan East. Mayor Brandon Whipple said the money could have been better spent to hire someone to act as a liaison with county and state government to create a more coordinated response to the viral pandemic. He also questioned why city staff sat on the money for nine months before proposing an alternate use for it.Moore said the software meets the grant conditions because so much of police training has had to move online.7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track. According to numbers from Wednesday morning, there have been 161,774 people who have recovered from the coronavirus. This includes 27,405 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,962 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.6 a.m. — Two-fifths of all of Missouri’s COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last two months of 2020, according to the state health department. Data on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that 2,369 deaths were reported in November and December. That’s about 41% of the 5,825 deaths attributed to the virus since March. READ MORE[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] TUESDAY8:30 p.m. — The Lee’s Summit School District said Pre-K through sixth grade will return to in-person classes on Jan. 11.School board members voted 6-1 Tuesday to allow students to return, with the flexibility to make changes to the learning model if necessary. Board members are expected to make a decision about seventh grade through 12th grades on Jan. 14.5 p.m. — Reps. Sharice Davids and Emanuel Cleaver II received the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. 4 p.m. — Republican legislators and Kansas’ GOP attorney general say privacy is key, as lawmakers prepare to decide whether to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to refuse to disclose their close contacts to health officials. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly wants legislators to rewrite the law enacted last year, arguing recently that provisions allowing people to opt out of contact tracing “served no purpose.” Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature aren’t ruling out changes, but some say they want to make sure people’s privacy remains protected. The law is set to expire May 1.3:30 p.m. — Mid-Continent Public Library said its North Oak Branch at 8700 N. Oak Trafficway in Kansas City is temporarily closed due to potential COVID-19 exposure. The book drop will remain open. Holds on materials that were available at the branch before the closure will be extended.All library staff who were potentially exposed will be screened and closely monitored. The library said it is working closely with the Kansas City Health Department on additional next steps. 11:15 a.m. — A 13th Kansas inmate has died of COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread in the state’s prisons, infecting thousands. The Kansas Department of Corrections said the latest inmate to die had been serving a 24-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder and second-degree murder at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. He was 65 and had an unspecified underlying medical condition. He was taken to a hospital Saturday and died Monday. The state prison system – housing about 8,600 inmates – has reported 5,303 cases among offenders and another 1,063 among staff. Four staff members also have died.11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Tuesday that the state has 405,589 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,632 cases from Monday’s total.There have now been 5,825 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 263 from Monday’s total. However, the spike can attributed to a delay in totals over the past seven days.There have been 63 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,711,328 and 94,528 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,319 positive cases and an average of 2,474 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,191 (+181) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+183) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,475 (+48) cases in Clay County, 5,750 (+38) in Cass County and 2,521 (+18) in Platte County.10:30 a.m. — Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday that Kansas exceeded its goal to conduct 1 million COVID-19 tests in 2020.“In October, we launched our Unified Testing Strategy with a goal of testing one million Kansans by the end of the year, and I’m excited to announce that we exceeded that number,” Kelly said. “This coordinated partnership between state health officials and local providers, in addition to a majority of counties’ decision to adopt face covering requirements, led to the control of the spread of the virus in Kansas for the first time since the stay-at-home order was lifted in May.” READ MORE9 a.m.– Gov. Laura Kelly says she’s “very comfortable” with how Kansas is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines despite U.S. government data showing that its inoculation rate is the lowest of any state in the nation. The governor argued Monday that Kansas likely has a more efficient distribution system than other states and is getting vaccine doses more quickly to more communities. READ MORE8 a.m. — The economy continues improving in nine Midwest and Plains states but business leaders are less optimistic after the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the region, according to a new monthly survey released Monday.The overall index for the region suggests strong growth even though it dipped to 64.1 in December from November’s 69. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, said the manufacturing sector has been growing steadily since restrictions related to the virus started to be relaxed in the spring, but current activity still remains below the level it was at before the pandemic began. Goss said the survey’s confidence index suggests business leaders are worried about the economy after the recent growth in virus cases across the region. The confidence index dipped into negative territory at 45.8 in December from November’s neutral score of 50.Companies were still hiring last month, but the pace of job growth slowed. The employment index declined to 57.7 in December from November’s 63.1. Goss said the region still has 4.7% fewer jobs now than when the pandemic began — a decrease of about 655,000 jobs. The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. 7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track. According to numbers from Tuesday morning, there have been 159,942 people who have recovered from the coronavirus. This includes 27,206 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,784 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] MONDAY6:50 p.m. — Gov. Laura Kelly says she’s “very comfortable” with how Kansas is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines despite U.S. government data showing that its inoculation rate is the lowest of any state in the nation. READ MORE.12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 3,572 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Friday, pushing the statewide total to 231,317 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Monday the death total grew by 18 to 2,897 and hospitalizations increased by 52 to 6,955 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Monday that 40% of ICU beds are available and 81% of the state’s ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,024,129 people with 792,812 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 13.8%.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 41,361. Johnson County is second with 40,379 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,029 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,183 cases, Douglas County reports 6,466 and Miami County has 1,941. Health officials said the median age of people with COVID-19 is 39, and they are monitoring 397 active outbreak clusters with 207 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.Noon — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Monday that the state has 402,957 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 1,196 cases from Sunday’s total.There have now been 5,562 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which is steady from Sunday’s total.There have been 57 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,697,356, and 90,122 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 16,595 positive cases and an average of 2,371 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,010 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,069 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,427 cases in Clay County, 5,712 in Cass County and 2,503 in Platte County.9:30 a.m. — The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City is now testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibodies. If a donor’s blood has those antibodies, the plasma from that blood may be used for what’s called convalescent plasma, which doctors believe may help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from the virus. READ MORE8:30 a.m. — Kansas will rely on genetic tests to identify cases of a new and apparently more contagious coronavirus strain that was first seen in England, the director of the state Department of Health and Environment said this week.No cases of the new strain have been detected in Kansas. Cases have been confirmed in Colorado, Florida and California. Dr. Lee Norman said Kansas already does genetic testing with about 1% of COVID-19 patients and it plans to increase its lab capacity so that it can do more tests.Norman told reporters during a Statehouse news conference this week that Kansas already has seen other variations of the virus that causes COVID-19, including a “Utah strain” and a “Wisconsin strain.” “Viruses always change, kind of over time, with minor genetic variations. Mostly, they don’t make much difference,” Norman said. “They’re more alike than different, quite honestly.”The state on Friday reported another 138 deaths from COVID-19 since Wednesday, for a total of 2,879 since the pandemic began. Kansas has confirmed 227,745 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 5,312 since Wednesday, the health department said.8 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 126 total COVID-19 patients with 56 in recovery phase and 70 acute cases, including 28 that are in the ICU and 15 on ventilators.7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track. According to numbers from Monday morning, there have been 158,354 people who have recovered from the coronavirus. This includes 27,010 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,407 in Leavenworth County, 5,626 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] SUNDAYNoon — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Sunday that the state has 401,761 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,305 cases from Saturday’s total.There have now been 5,562 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which is an increase of 19 from Saturday.There have been 60 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,691,231, and 87,018 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 15,935 positive cases and an average of 2,276 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 30,887 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 23,992 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,428 cases in Clay County, 5,706 in Cass County and 2,497 in Platte County.8:30 a.m. –Missouri is approaching 400,000 cases of the coronavirus as hospitalizations continue on the high plateau the state has seen since mid-November. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the addition Saturday of 2,157 new cases brought the state’s total to 399,456. Missouri’s seven-day average of daily new case numbers has generally declined from a peak of 4,723 on Nov. 20, though it is still far higher than any level seen in the spring or summer. It rose slightly over the past few days, to 2,688 on Saturday compared with 2,183 on Wednesday.The Department of Health and Senior Services was reporting 2,804 COVID-19 patients statewide. It was only the eighth time the state has reported more than 2,800 coronavirus patients.Missouri hospitalization data lags three days, and not every hospital reports every day.8 a.m. — As 2021 begins, health officials and elected leaders in Kansas are reflecting on the lessons learned so far about the coronavirus pandemic.THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORDemocratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the pandemic showed Kansas that a “patchwork” response does not work. She closed schools in mid-March and late that month issued a statewide stay-at-home order that remained in place for five weeks.A law approved in June by the Republican-controlled Legislature gave the state’s 105 counties the authority to opt out of Kelly’s orders. She argued recently that she was forced to accept local control to keep a state of emergency for the pandemic in effect.“I never thought it was a bright idea,” she said in an Associated Press interview.She added, “It really puts pressure on the local elected officials that many of them would just as soon not have.”THE HEALTH SYSTEM CEORuss Johnson, the CEO of LMH Health, formerly Lawrence Memorial Hospital, said the lessons of the pandemic “cut across every jurisdiction” and include the importance of planning and community collaboration.He said restrictions in early spring could be seen as an overreaction but “accelerated” his organization’s focus on COVID-19 “in a way that we might not have done otherwise.”THE CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICERDr. Sam Antonios, chief clinical officer for the Ascension Via Christi health system, said “if you read history,” the coronavirus pandemic raised issues “eerily similar” to those facing communities during the deadly 1918-19 influenza pandemic. Antonios also said the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the need for a community health system that includes a strong workforce and healthy hospitals, clinics, technology, nursing homes and home health services.“It has highlighted how important it is for that to be healthy in order for the community to remain healthy,” he said.THE STUDY COMMITTEE CHAIRMANState Rep. Fred Patton, a Topeka Republican who was chairman of a committee that reviewed emergency management laws, said they were designed for short-term disasters, such as fires, floods and tornadoes. The law enacted in June applies only to the current pandemic. Lawmakers expect to consider permanent changes.“I think we all believe that at the local level, people are better set up to make decisions on what’s impacting them,” Patton said. “It’s situations like this that sometimes challenges that belief, though.”THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADERSIncoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, both conservative Wichita Republicans, criticize Kelly for closing schools and businesses early in the pandemic. Many Republicans argue that Kelly’s actions damaged the economy more than necessary.“If we learned anything from this, we learned we need to take measured approaches, step by step, and understand what we’re dealing with more so than just flying off the handle,” Suellentrop said. When Kelly announced her stay-at-home order in late March, Kansas had reported six coronavirus deaths and fewer than 300 cases. Kelly has argued that the state needed more information about COVID-19.As of Friday, the state had reported a total of 2,879 deaths and 227,745 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. “What we’ve learned is that the governor made a bunch of bad mistakes early on,” Hawkins said.THE DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERSHouse Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat, argues that Republicans who criticize Kelly for being too aggressive early in the pandemic are “really overplaying” the issue of her closing businesses. “You can talk about the closing period, but they have struggled since there have been no restrictions from the state,” Sawyer said. “Until we get COVID under control, you know, the economy is going to suffer, businesses are going to suffer, people are going to suffer.”Rep. Jason Probst, a Hutchinson Democrat, added that Republican lawmakers “act like this was the only state that shut down business.”THE POLITICAL SCIENTISTKelly on Wednesday received an early COVID-19 vaccine shot, while some top Republicans passed on the chance, saying they didn’t want to jump ahead of others needing vaccines more more. University of Kansas political scientist Patrick Miller described objections to Kelly’s early inoculation as arising from a political “theater industry.”“It takes things, sometimes of little importance but sometimes of great importance, and then it repackages and it sells a movie script to you,” he said.As for the pandemic, Miller said: “At this point, it’s just unavoidable that every single aspect of it is going to become political.”7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track. According to numbers from Sunday morning, there have been 158,001 people who have recovered from the coronavirus. This includes 26,695 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,405 in Leavenworth County, 5,626 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] SATURDAY5:45 p.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Saturday that the state has 399,456 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began.There have now been 5,543 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri.There have been 61 deaths reported in the last seven days.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 3,679,665, and 84,616 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 15,244 positive cases and an average of 2,178 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 30,682 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 23,827 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,385 cases in Clay County, 5,670 in Cass County and 2,477 in Platte County.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] FRIDAY11:30 a.m. — Federal government data says Kansas ranks last among states in its reported COVID-19 vaccination rate. State officials attribute the issue to a lag in reporting by providers of the shots. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12,164 people had received the first of two vaccine doses in Kansas as of Wednesday, or 418 for every 100,000 of its 2.9 million residents. The CDC said Kansas had administered less than 11% of the vaccine doses it had received. A state health department spokeswoman said Thursday that the vaccination numbers are not current because not all providers are fully trained on using a computer system for reporting inoculations.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ] The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Kansas City metro area health officials are grappling with how to handle continuing case count increases after reopening businesses more than four months ago.

What you need to know:

  • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday the state has 242,332 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 3,148 deaths since the outbreak started. Kansas is now only updating COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Saturday there have been 420,583 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak and 5,944 deaths.

SATURDAY

7 p.m.The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Saturday that the state has 420,583 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 3,825 cases from Friday’s total.

There have now been 5,944 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 32 from Friday’s total.

There have been 67 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,798,436 and 101,358 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 18,570 positive cases and an average of 2,6953 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 32,445 (+397) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 25,179 (+241) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,744 (+141) cases in Clay County, 6,030 (+158) in Cass County and 2,628 (+107) in Platte County.

FRIDAY

9:45 p.m. The Kansas City Public Library said it has closed Plaza Branch at 4801 Main St. after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Library officials said the staff member worked this week.

The Plaza Branch will reopen once the library can complete contact tracing, complete the cleaning, and ensure adequate staffing.

3:45 p.m.The Mid-Continent Public Library said its East Lee’s Summit Branch at 2240 SE Blue Parkway is temporarily closed due to potential COVID-19 exposure. The book drop will remain open. Holds on materials that were available at the branch before the closure will be extended. The library said it is working with the Jackson County Health Department to determine additional next steps.

12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 5,504 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Wednesday, pushing the statewide total to 242,332 since the outbreak started.

KDHE officials said Friday the death total grew by 121 to 3,148 and hospitalizations increased by 144 to 7,257 since the outbreak started.

Health officials said Friday that 32% (+0%) of ICU beds are available and 82% (+1%) of the state’s ventilators are available.

The state said it has tested 1,051,207 people with 808,885 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 13.2%.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 43,349. Johnson County is second with 42,456 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,576 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,395 cases, Douglas County reports 6,810 and Miami County has 2,083.

Health officials they are monitoring 373 active outbreak clusters with 212 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.

11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Friday that the state has 416,758 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 4,332 cases from Wednesday’s total.

There have now been 5,912 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 30 from Thursday’s total.

There have been 66 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,773,583 and 97,577 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 18,187 positive cases and an average of 2,598 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 32,048 (+339) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,938 (+686) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,603 (+58) cases in Clay County, 5,872 (+57) in Cass County and 2,521 (+93) in Platte County.

9 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System said Friday the hospital is treating 141 total COVID-19 patients with 70 in recovery phase and 71 acute cases, including 23 that are in the ICU and 15 on ventilators.

7 a.m. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced $68 million in federal aid for college construction projects and released close to $127 million he previously cut.

Parson last year blocked the state from spending nearly $450 million of its more than $35 billion budget after state finances took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday he said the state economy bounced back faster than expected, allowing much of the restricted money to now be spent.

Another $8.6 million is now available for state tourism, as well as $9.4 million for work programs for low-income families who receive state financial help.

Newly released funding also includes $14 million for state colleges and universities and more than $9 million for community colleges.

The state funding for colleges and universities is coupled with another $68 million from the federal government for Missouri schools to fix up old buildings. Parson said the money for university construction projects also will help put people back to work.

St. Louis Community College in Forest Park also received a $4 million federal grant to open an on-site childcare center for the first time.

6 a.m. — Kansas expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots. READ MORE

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday announced new details about the order in which her state’s residents will be eligible for inoculations, and making people aged 65 to 74 years an earlier priority was the biggest shift.

The state’s previous plan had that age group getting theirs after people in “congregate” living, such as state hospitals, shelters for the homeless, and prisons.

THURSDAY
6:15 p.m. Kansas expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots. READ MORE.

4:05 p.m. — The Johnson County Library said its Lenexa City Center Branch at 8778 Penrose Ln. will be temporarily closed through Jan. 12 due to a potential COVID-19 exposure. In an abundance of caution, the closure includes the drive-thru window, materials return and the holds pick-up lobby. Holds on materials that were available at the branch will be extended.

3 p.m.— Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she is ordering flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff to remember the more than 3,000 people that have died from COVID-19. On Wednesday, Kansas passed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic — 3,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Kelly ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the 3,027 “lives lost and the families left behind.”

“It is with great sadness that I am once again ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Kansans who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” Kelly said in a statement. “My administration remains committed to fighting further spread of COVID-19, and I know Kansans will do their part to protect their neighbors and loved ones.”

11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Thursday that the state has 412,426 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 3,983 cases from Wednesday’s total.

There have now been 5,882 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 24 from Wednesday’s total.

There have been 70 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,747,390 and 89,759 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,270 positive cases and an average of 2,467 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,709 (+320) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+469) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,603 (+128) cases in Clay County, 5,872 (+122) in Cass County and 2,521 (+66) in Platte County.

8 a.m.Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday began what’s guaranteed to be an unusual legislative session as the state continues its battle with the coronavirus pandemic.

The usually packed House was noticeably empty when the chamber convened, with only the most veteran lawmakers present to take their oaths in order to reduce the number of guests in the galleries. The newer lawmakers were gradually added until the 163-member chamber was again full, with lawmakers packed closely at their desks. Democratic representatives wore masks, but most Republicans did not.

The smaller 34-member Senate convened in one group, with a similar partisan divide in mask-wearing.

Legislative leaders said precautions will be in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19 during the Republican-led Legislature’s roughly five-month annual session, although rules primarily apply to staffers and not lawmakers.

House and Senate administrative staff must wear face masks, but that’s optional for lawmakers. The Senate is limiting staff seating in committee rooms, and the House is allowing employees to work from home when practical.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 but has since recovered, said healthcare and other essential workers are on the frontlines daily. He said lawmakers are “going to have to do the same thing” and find a way to work safely.

“Maybe by the middle of summer we might have this thing a little bit further behind us,” Schatz said. “But until then I plan on us moving forward and continuing business in the best way we can.”

When legislators last convened for a special session shortly after the Nov. 3 election, their work was delayed into December after several lawmakers and staff tested positive for COVID-19.

State Rep. Brenda Shields told The Associated Press she tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 12 after spending the previous days in Jefferson City. Shields said she regularly wore a mask and doesn’t know how she contracted the virus.

At first, her symptoms appeared mild, like a head cold with fatigue. But two weeks later, Shields said she experienced “extreme heaviness” in her chest. Doctors said her lung capacity was less than 50% — as if she was a lifelong smoker, though she’s never smoked — and that she also had developed heart issues from the virus. Shields said her recovery could take up to six months, and she hopes colleagues learn from her experience.

“Some people have COVID and it comes and goes and life continues on. You never know when you might be the person who ends up being the long-hauler,” said Shields, a Republican from St. Joseph. “So I encourage them to wear a mask and to take care of themselves.”

The Capitol is still open to the public. On days when the Legislature is in session, entrants will have their temperatures taken and be questioned about possible illness or exposure.

Public seating will be spaced out in House and Senate committee hearings for social distancing. The Senate also provides live audio streaming of its committee hearings and sessions, and the House livestreams video of its public meetings.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said Democrats plan to propose additional COVID-19 safety restrictions for House members, including mandatory face masks in shared spaces.

“As far as I have been told, it’s going to be business as usual, which is obviously very unacceptable to me,” she said.

Schatz and Republican House Speaker Rob Vescovo were both elected without opposition by their colleagues to the top leadership posts.

Lawmakers are expected to focus on pandemic-related policies in their work.

Both Schatz and Vescovo said a top goal is to pass a bill shielding businesses and health care workers from being sued for alleged misconduct related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an influential business association, are both pushing lawmakers to pass the policy.

Parson had added passing the bill on lawsuits to lawmakers’ to-do list during a special session on federal coronavirus aid last year. He later dropped his last-minute request, instead leaving it to lawmakers to address during their longer annual session this year.

Vescovo stressed the need to give schools the resources to stay open so that children can effectively learn. He also called for broader education reforms, recounting his own experience as a child adopted out of the foster care system who struggled and dropped out of school before eventually earning a GED.

He said the education system must be improved “so that it can help the kids who do not learn in conventional ways.”

Vescovo also voiced support for bills that that would “balance the need to protect the public health” with people’s freedoms during the pandemic. Several lawmakers this year have proposed checks or limits on local officials’ ability to close businesses, require masks or issue other health-related orders.

One bill would allow mayors or other local executives to shut down businesses, churches, schools and public gatherings for up to 15 days at a time. Any longer than that and shutdowns would need to be approved by the city or county governing board, state health department or the Legislature. Another proposal would exempt churches and places of worship from social-distancing requirements.

Schatz said he’s not sure how successful those proposals will be.

The governor will outline his policy goals and budget recommendations during a State of the State speech Jan. 27.

Democratic Rep. Kip Kendrick, of Columbia, also officially stepped down Wednesday to serve as chief of staff to Sen. Greg Razer, a Kansas City Democrat.

7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Thursday morning, there have been 161,774 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 27,405 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,962 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.

5:30 a.m. — Overnight, as debate continued on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory, Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner learned he tested positive for the coronavirus. His office tweeted the news overnight writing, “Congressman LaTurner took the test as part of Washington DC’s travel guidelines that require visitors to be tested. He is not experiencing any symptoms at this time.” READ MORE

WEDNESDAY
12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 5,501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Monday, pushing the statewide total to 236,818 since the outbreak started.

KDHE officials said Wednesday the death total grew by 130 to 3,027 and hospitalizations increased by 158 to 7,113 since the outbreak started.

Health officials said Wednesday that 32% (-8%) of ICU beds are available and 81% (+0%) of the state’s ventilators are available.

The state said it has tested 1,037,519 people with 800,701 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 14.2%.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 42,336. Johnson County is second with 41,357 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,285 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,279 cases, Douglas County reports 6,648 and Miami County has 2,002.

Health officials said the median age of people with COVID-19 is 39, and they are monitoring 373 active outbreak clusters with 212 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.

11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Wednesday that the state has 408,443 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,854 cases from Tuesday’s total.

There have now been 5,858 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 33 from Tuesday’s total.

There have been 63 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,724,603 and 95,883 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,775 positive cases and an average of 2,539 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,386 (+195) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+189) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,475 (+51) cases in Clay County, 5,750 (+57) in Cass County and 2,521 (+21) in Platte County.

9 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 134 total COVID-19 patients with 65 in recovery phase and 69 acute cases, including 25 that are in the ICU and 13 on ventilators.

8:30 a.m. — The Wichita City Council is diverting COVID-19 grant funding that had been intended for hiring a pandemic-control officer and is instead using it to lease software that ensures police officers don’t cheat on their training.

In May, the council earmarked about $250,000 to hire an emergency management coordinator to manage the police department’s response to the pandemic, the Wichita Eagle reported.

Police told the council Tuesday that they were unable to fill the position and wanted to divert $165,000 of the funds to lease for three years software that will track officers’ training online, a capability the department has sought for years.

The department had advertised the two-year position of COVID emergency manager, but neither of the two finalists would take the job, said administrative division Capt. Dan East.

Mayor Brandon Whipple said the money could have been better spent to hire someone to act as a liaison with county and state government to create a more coordinated response to the viral pandemic. He also questioned why city staff sat on the money for nine months before proposing an alternate use for it.

Moore said the software meets the grant conditions because so much of police training has had to move online.

7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Wednesday morning, there have been 161,774 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 27,405 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,962 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.

6 a.m. — Two-fifths of all of Missouri’s COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last two months of 2020, according to the state health department. Data on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that 2,369 deaths were reported in November and December. That’s about 41% of the 5,825 deaths attributed to the virus since March. READ MORE


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


TUESDAY
8:30 p.m.The Lee’s Summit School District said Pre-K through sixth grade will return to in-person classes on Jan. 11.

School board members voted 6-1 Tuesday to allow students to return, with the flexibility to make changes to the learning model if necessary.

Board members are expected to make a decision about seventh grade through 12th grades on Jan. 14.

5 p.m. — Reps. Sharice Davids and Emanuel Cleaver II received the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.

This content is imported from Facebook.
You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

4 p.m.Republican legislators and Kansas’ GOP attorney general say privacy is key, as lawmakers prepare to decide whether to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to refuse to disclose their close contacts to health officials.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly wants legislators to rewrite the law enacted last year, arguing recently that provisions allowing people to opt out of contact tracing “served no purpose.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature aren’t ruling out changes, but some say they want to make sure people’s privacy remains protected. The law is set to expire May 1.

3:30 p.m.Mid-Continent Public Library said its North Oak Branch at 8700 N. Oak Trafficway in Kansas City is temporarily closed due to potential COVID-19 exposure. The book drop will remain open. Holds on materials that were available at the branch before the closure will be extended.

All library staff who were potentially exposed will be screened and closely monitored. The library said it is working closely with the Kansas City Health Department on additional next steps.

11:15 a.m.A 13th Kansas inmate has died of COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread in the state’s prisons, infecting thousands.

The Kansas Department of Corrections said the latest inmate to die had been serving a 24-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder and second-degree murder at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. He was 65 and had an unspecified underlying medical condition.

He was taken to a hospital Saturday and died Monday. The state prison system – housing about 8,600 inmates – has reported 5,303 cases among offenders and another 1,063 among staff. Four staff members also have died.

11 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Tuesday that the state has 405,589 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,632 cases from Monday’s total.

There have now been 5,825 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which up 263 from Monday’s total. However, the spike can attributed to a delay in totals over the past seven days.

There have been 63 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,711,328 and 94,528 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 17,319 positive cases and an average of 2,474 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,191 (+181) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,252 (+183) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,475 (+48) cases in Clay County, 5,750 (+38) in Cass County and 2,521 (+18) in Platte County.

10:30 a.m.Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday that Kansas exceeded its goal to conduct 1 million COVID-19 tests in 2020.

“In October, we launched our Unified Testing Strategy with a goal of testing one million Kansans by the end of the year, and I’m excited to announce that we exceeded that number,” Kelly said.

“This coordinated partnership between state health officials and local providers, in addition to a majority of counties’ decision to adopt face covering requirements, led to the control of the spread of the virus in Kansas for the first time since the stay-at-home order was lifted in May.” READ MORE

9 a.m.Gov. Laura Kelly says she’s “very comfortable” with how Kansas is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines despite U.S. government data showing that its inoculation rate is the lowest of any state in the nation.

The governor argued Monday that Kansas likely has a more efficient distribution system than other states and is getting vaccine doses more quickly to more communities. READ MORE

8 a.m.The economy continues improving in nine Midwest and Plains states but business leaders are less optimistic after the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the region, according to a new monthly survey released Monday.

The overall index for the region suggests strong growth even though it dipped to 64.1 in December from November’s 69. Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, said the manufacturing sector has been growing steadily since restrictions related to the virus started to be relaxed in the spring, but current activity still remains below the level it was at before the pandemic began.

Goss said the survey’s confidence index suggests business leaders are worried about the economy after the recent growth in virus cases across the region. The confidence index dipped into negative territory at 45.8 in December from November’s neutral score of 50.

Companies were still hiring last month, but the pace of job growth slowed. The employment index declined to 57.7 in December from November’s 63.1. Goss said the region still has 4.7% fewer jobs now than when the pandemic began — a decrease of about 655,000 jobs.

The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Tuesday morning, there have been 159,942 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 27,206 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,538 in Leavenworth County, 5,784 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


MONDAY
6:50 p.m.Gov. Laura Kelly says she’s “very comfortable” with how Kansas is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines despite U.S. government data showing that its inoculation rate is the lowest of any state in the nation. READ MORE.

12:30 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 3,572 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Friday, pushing the statewide total to 231,317 since the outbreak started.

KDHE officials said Monday the death total grew by 18 to 2,897 and hospitalizations increased by 52 to 6,955 since the outbreak started.

Health officials said Monday that 40% of ICU beds are available and 81% of the state’s ventilators are available.

The state said it has tested 1,024,129 people with 792,812 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 13.8%.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 41,361. Johnson County is second with 40,379 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 16,029 cases. Leavenworth County has 5,183 cases, Douglas County reports 6,466 and Miami County has 1,941.

Health officials said the median age of people with COVID-19 is 39, and they are monitoring 397 active outbreak clusters with 207 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.

Noon — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Monday that the state has 402,957 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 1,196 cases from Sunday’s total.

There have now been 5,562 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which is steady from Sunday’s total.

There have been 57 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,697,356, and 90,122 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 16,595 positive cases and an average of 2,371 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 31,010 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 24,069 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,427 cases in Clay County, 5,712 in Cass County and 2,503 in Platte County.

9:30 a.m.The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City is now testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibodies. If a donor’s blood has those antibodies, the plasma from that blood may be used for what’s called convalescent plasma, which doctors believe may help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from the virus. READ MORE

8:30 a.m.Kansas will rely on genetic tests to identify cases of a new and apparently more contagious coronavirus strain that was first seen in England, the director of the state Department of Health and Environment said this week.

No cases of the new strain have been detected in Kansas. Cases have been confirmed in Colorado, Florida and California.

Dr. Lee Norman said Kansas already does genetic testing with about 1% of COVID-19 patients and it plans to increase its lab capacity so that it can do more tests.

Norman told reporters during a Statehouse news conference this week that Kansas already has seen other variations of the virus that causes COVID-19, including a “Utah strain” and a “Wisconsin strain.”

“Viruses always change, kind of over time, with minor genetic variations. Mostly, they don’t make much difference,” Norman said. “They’re more alike than different, quite honestly.”

The state on Friday reported another 138 deaths from COVID-19 since Wednesday, for a total of 2,879 since the pandemic began. Kansas has confirmed 227,745 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 5,312 since Wednesday, the health department said.

8 a.m. — Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University

of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 126 total

COVID-19 patients with 56 in recovery phase and 70 acute cases,

including 28 that are in the ICU and 15 on ventilators.

7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Monday morning, there have been 158,354 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 27,010 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,407 in Leavenworth County, 5,626 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


SUNDAY
Noon — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Sunday that the state has 401,761 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. That number is an increase of 2,305 cases from Saturday’s total.

There have now been 5,562 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri, which is an increase of 19 from Saturday.

There have been 60 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,691,231, and 87,018 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 15,935 positive cases and an average of 2,276 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 30,887 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 23,992 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,428 cases in Clay County, 5,706 in Cass County and 2,497 in Platte County.

8:30 a.m. –Missouri is approaching 400,000 cases of the coronavirus as hospitalizations continue on the high plateau the state has seen since mid-November.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the addition Saturday of 2,157 new cases brought the state’s total to 399,456.

Missouri’s seven-day average of daily new case numbers has generally declined from a peak of 4,723 on Nov. 20, though it is still far higher than any level seen in the spring or summer.

It rose slightly over the past few days, to 2,688 on Saturday compared with 2,183 on Wednesday.

The Department of Health and Senior Services was reporting 2,804 COVID-19 patients statewide. It was only the eighth time the state has reported more than 2,800 coronavirus patients.

Missouri hospitalization data lags three days, and not every hospital reports every day.

8 a.m. — As 2021 begins, health officials and elected leaders in Kansas are reflecting on the lessons learned so far about the coronavirus pandemic.

THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the pandemic showed Kansas that a “patchwork” response does not work. She closed schools in mid-March and late that month issued a statewide stay-at-home order that remained in place for five weeks.

A law approved in June by the Republican-controlled Legislature gave the state’s 105 counties the authority to opt out of Kelly’s orders. She argued recently that she was forced to accept local control to keep a state of emergency for the pandemic in effect.

“I never thought it was a bright idea,” she said in an Associated Press interview.

She added, “It really puts pressure on the local elected officials that many of them would just as soon not have.”

THE HEALTH SYSTEM CEO

Russ Johnson, the CEO of LMH Health, formerly Lawrence Memorial Hospital, said the lessons of the pandemic “cut across every jurisdiction” and include the importance of planning and community collaboration.

He said restrictions in early spring could be seen as an overreaction but “accelerated” his organization’s focus on COVID-19 “in a way that we might not have done otherwise.”

THE CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER

Dr. Sam Antonios, chief clinical officer for the Ascension Via Christi health system, said “if you read history,” the coronavirus pandemic raised issues “eerily similar” to those facing communities during the deadly 1918-19 influenza pandemic.

Antonios also said the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the need for a community health system that includes a strong workforce and healthy hospitals, clinics, technology, nursing homes and home health services.

“It has highlighted how important it is for that to be healthy in order for the community to remain healthy,” he said.

THE STUDY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

State Rep. Fred Patton, a Topeka Republican who was chairman of a committee that reviewed emergency management laws, said they were designed for short-term disasters, such as fires, floods and tornadoes. The law enacted in June applies only to the current pandemic. Lawmakers expect to consider permanent changes.

“I think we all believe that at the local level, people are better set up to make decisions on what’s impacting them,” Patton said. “It’s situations like this that sometimes challenges that belief, though.”

THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADERS

Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, both conservative Wichita Republicans, criticize Kelly for closing schools and businesses early in the pandemic. Many Republicans argue that Kelly’s actions damaged the economy more than necessary.

“If we learned anything from this, we learned we need to take measured approaches, step by step, and understand what we’re dealing with more so than just flying off the handle,” Suellentrop said.

When Kelly announced her stay-at-home order in late March, Kansas had reported six coronavirus deaths and fewer than 300 cases.

Kelly has argued that the state needed more information about COVID-19.

As of Friday, the state had reported a total of 2,879 deaths and 227,745 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

“What we’ve learned is that the governor made a bunch of bad mistakes early on,” Hawkins said.

THE DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat, argues that Republicans who criticize Kelly for being too aggressive early in the pandemic are “really overplaying” the issue of her closing businesses.

“You can talk about the closing period, but they have struggled since there have been no restrictions from the state,” Sawyer said. “Until we get COVID under control, you know, the economy is going to suffer, businesses are going to suffer, people are going to suffer.”

Rep. Jason Probst, a Hutchinson Democrat, added that Republican lawmakers “act like this was the only state that shut down business.”

THE POLITICAL SCIENTIST

Kelly on Wednesday received an early COVID-19 vaccine shot, while some top Republicans passed on the chance, saying they didn’t want to jump ahead of others needing vaccines more more. University of Kansas political scientist Patrick Miller described objections to Kelly’s early inoculation as arising from a political “theater industry.”

“It takes things, sometimes of little importance but sometimes of great importance, and then it repackages and it sells a movie script to you,” he said.

As for the pandemic, Miller said: “At this point, it’s just unavoidable that every single aspect of it is going to become political.”

7 a.m. — The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Sunday morning, there have been 158,001 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 26,695 in Johnson County, 11,480 in Wyandotte County, 4,405 in Leavenworth County, 5,626 in Douglas County and 1,541 in Miami County.


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


SATURDAY
5:45 p.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on Saturday that the state has 399,456 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

There have now been 5,543 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Missouri.

There have been 61 deaths reported in the last seven days.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 3,679,665, and 84,616 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 15,244 positive cases and an average of 2,178 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 30,682 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 23,827 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 6,385 cases in Clay County, 5,670 in Cass County and 2,477 in Platte County.


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


FRIDAY
11:30 a.m.Federal government data says Kansas ranks last among states in its reported COVID-19 vaccination rate. State officials attribute the issue to a lag in reporting by providers of the shots.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12,164 people had received the first of two vaccine doses in Kansas as of Wednesday, or 418 for every 100,000 of its 2.9 million residents.

The CDC said Kansas had administered less than 11% of the vaccine doses it had received. A state health department spokeswoman said Thursday that the vaccination numbers are not current because not all providers are fully trained on using a computer system for reporting inoculations.


[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ]
[ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE ]


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *