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EJC COVID-19 'red zone' community spread continues

By The Examiner staff

Although local health officials still consider Eastern Jackson County to be in the “red” status of significant community spread, the number of new coronavirus cases has dipped in recent weeks.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, the rolling 14-day average – one common indicator of the virus’ spread – was at 12.8 percent Monday morning, down from 13.5 percent last week and 15.6 percent the week before that. The 14-day average is at its lowest point since 12.75 percent on Aug. 10.

Another rolling average – daily new cases over seven days – was 65.7 on Monday morning, up from 54 on Sept. 10 but well down from the area high of 106 in mid-August.

The department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, confirmed nearly 600 additional cases of COVID-19 in the past week, for a total of 6,913 cases since the pandemic began. The overall positive test percentage is at 9.67 percent out of more than 71,500 people tested.

Four weeks ago on Aug. 22, immediately before any area district had started school, the department’s data showed 302 new cases per 100,000 people from the previous two-week period. On Aug. 29, that two-week number had 231 new cases, and it remained there Sept. 5 and rose to 234 on Sept. 12.

The EJC case total includes 93 deaths, including six in the past week. 

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

• 64064 (northern Lee’s Summit); 219 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64057 (southeastern Independence); 218 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64050 (northern Independence and Sugar Creek); 201 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64081 (southern and western Lee’s Summit); 196 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64055 (southern Independence); 192 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64014 (eastern Blue Springs); 193 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64052 (southwest Independence); 184 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64058 (rural northeastern Jackson County; 177 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

Metrowide, as of Sunday afternoon, there have been 39,742 cases and 550 deaths, according to a database maintained by the Mid-America Regional Council, up more than 2,400 cases and 26 deaths since last week. 

The Kansas City Health Department has reported, as of Sept. 15, 10,404 cases, including 103 deaths – up 500 cases from the previous week with two additional deaths.