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Pandemic 'red zone' persists across Eastern Jackson County

By The Examiner staff

Area testing percentages remain close to last week’s numbers in Eastern Jackson County – a sharp rise from a month ago – while new COVID-19 case numbers are again rising as the area remains in the “red” status of significant community spread.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive percentage stood at 16.47 percent Monday morning, slightly below last week’s number of 16.88 and up about five percentage points from Oct. 5. Around Labor Day, that figure was about 18 percent, and then had slowly dropped over the next month.

The department reported an additional 700 cases over the past week, for 10,725 cases since the pandemic began. More than 93,100 people have been tested in the area, a positive test percent of 11.51 percent – up from 11.32 last week. The case total includes 136 deaths, 14 more over the past week.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases stood at 89 through Saturday, up from 64 just last week after dropping from 95 in mid-October. The area’s high-water mark there was 137 back on July 30. 

According to the Mid-America Regional Council, there have been more than 57,300 confirmed cases and 990 deaths in the nine-county metro area from COVID-19 as of Sunday, up about 3,700 cases and 222 additional deaths from last week. 

As of Friday last week, the Kansas City Health Department had confirmed 14,913 cases of COVID-19 in the city, with 210 deaths.   

The Health Department continues to monitor three recent exposure cases in Eastern Jackson County – Lifegate Church of Independence, 2911 Blue Ridge Blvd., and the Connection Point churches on Missouri 350 in Raytown and on the Northeast Missouri Road near Interstate 470 in Lee’s Summit. No additional cases have been confirmed with either church since last week, according to the department’s dashboard.

The Lifegate Church potential exposure is from small prayer groups and youth groups Oct. 7-21. The main services on Sunday are not believed to be the sources of exposure, the Health Department says. Thus far, there have been five confirmed positive cases from the site, with an estimated 40-plus possible exposures. 

The department says the “drop-off date” – the date until which potentially exposed people should self-isolate – is Nov. 18, and people possibly exposed should get tested or contact the department for additional guidance. For the Connection Point churches, from Oct. 13-21, there are seven confirmed positive cases and 10 to 20 potential exposures apiece. The exposure drop-off date is Nov. 10.