Virus case levels remain high in EJC

By Mike Genet

As much of the metro area enters the first full week with some form of renewed public health restrictions, positive COVID-19 test percentages and new case totals continued to remain high in Eastern Jackson County, including 2,600 additional cases over the past week.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive test percentage was at 24.6 percent on Friday, about three percentage points higher than the week before. The last time the 14-day average was below 13 percent in Eastern Jackson County was on Oct. 8. 

The department confirmed more than 2,600 additional cases last week, for 15,793 since the pandemic began. The case total includes 171 deaths, including 20 over the previous week. The department’s dashboard shows the rolling seven-day average of new cases at 195 on Friday after climbing above 200 earlier in the week. That average has not been below 100 since the last week of October.

The 262 cases added Nov. 16 marks the highest single-day total.

The overall positive test percentage in EJC is 13.38 percent Friday, with more than 118,040 people tested.

As of Friday morning, the Kansas City Health Department has confirmed more than 20,100 cases and 255 deaths since the pandemic began.

According to the Mid-America Regional Council, as of Sunday, there have been 80,620 confirmed cases in the nine-county metro area, 1,020 deaths. 

The average number of daily new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the metro area dropped a bit from a high 178 on Nov. 15 to 161 on Sunday, though that figure has remained above 100 since the second week of October.

Regarding the hospital beds, the MARC dashboard shows about 33 percent of hospital beds available around the metro area, with 12.7 percent of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, though only 17 percent of ICU beds are available, and COVID-19 patients account for 31 percent of those. Those figures are also based on seven-day rolling averages.