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Eastern Jackson County still in 'red zone'

By The Examiner staff

Local health officials still consider Eastern Jackson County to be in the “red” status of significant community spread, though the number of new coronavirus cases continues to dip.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, the rolling 14-day average – one common indicator of the virus’ spread – was at 10.2 percent Monday morning, down from 12.8 percent at last week’s latest figures and 13.5 percent the week before that. The department’s updated data tracker now shows the 14-day percentage at 8.9 percent last week and 9.4 percent the week before that.

The department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, confirmed more than 400 additional cases of COVID-19 in the past week, for a total of 7,347 cases since the pandemic began. The overall positive test percentage is at 8.75 percent out of more than 83,900 people tested. The number of individuals tested rose about 12,400 from last week. The EJC case total includes 101 deaths, including eight in the past week. 

Another rolling average – daily new cases over seven days – was 61 on Friday morning, up from 54 on Sept. 10 but down from 73 on Sept. 17 and well down from the area high of 106 in mid-August.

Five weeks ago on Aug. 22, immediately before any area district had started school, the department’s data showed 331 new cases per 100,000 people from the previous two-week period. Over the next several weeks, that two-week figure had dropped to 265 new cases, 256, 234 and then 226 on Sept. 19.

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

• 64064 (northern Lee’s Summit); 243 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64057 (southeastern Independence); 239 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64050 (northern Independence and Sugar Creek); 219 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64081 (southern and western Lee’s Summit); 216 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64014 (eastern Blue Springs); 211 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64055 (southern Independence); 210 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64052 (southwest Independence); 201 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

• 64058 (rural northeastern Jackson County; 194 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested.

Metrowide, as of Sunday afternoon, there had been 42,403 cases and 569 deaths, according to a database maintained by the Mid-America Regional Council, up more than 2,600 cases and 19 deaths since last week. 

The Kansas City Health Department has reported, as of Sept. 22, 11,702 cases, including 104 deaths – up about 1,300 cases from the previous week with one additional death.