Local COVID-19 positivity rate back up

By The Examiner staff

As health officials local and beyond continue to stress the simple self-precautionary measures to curb COVID-19 spread, the 14-day positive test percentage in Eastern Jackson County moved back up last week after a few couple weeks of dropping.

The area remains firmly in the “red” status of significant community spread, according to the Jackson County Heath Department.

According to the health department, the rolling 14-day average of those testing positive for the disease – one common indicator of the virus’ spread – was 15.6 percent as of Monday morning. In early August, that figure had risen to more than 17 percent, and by last week it had dropped to 14.8 percent.

The department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, confirmed nearly 500 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, for a total of 5,843 cases since the pandemic began. The overall positive test percentage has risen 9 percent out of more than 64,000 people tested.

The department has said it recommends schools use remote learning until the 14-day average drops below 10 percent, though Independence and some other metro area districts decided to start most students with in-person classes two weeks ago and the rest of the districts in Eastern Jackson County start Tuesday.

The EJC case total includes 83 deaths, including six in the past week, and 1,865 presumed recoveries.

The highest ZIP Code testing rates in The Examiner coverage area, according to the Health Department:

• 64057 (southeastern Independence); 190 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64064 (northern Lee’s Summit); 190 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64050 (northern Independence and Sugar Creek); 182 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64055 (southern Independence); 174 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64014 (eastern Blue Springs); 173 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64081 (southern and western Lee’s Summit); 173 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64052 (southwest Independence); 170 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

The Kansas City Health Department has reported, as of Sept. 1, 9,280 cases, including 101 deaths. Metrowide, as of Sunday afternoon, there have been 35,060 cases and 497 deaths, according to a database maintained by the Mid-America Regional Council, up more than 2,700 cases and 23 deaths since last week.