COVID-19 cases tick upward in Jackson County

By The Examiner staff

Case rates rose slightly last week in Eastern Jackson County, though in general they have stabilized for a few weeks after a steady period of lessening averages.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive test percentage in Eastern Jackson rose slightly from 3.3 percent last week to 3.7 percent as of Sunday. Two weeks ago, the average was at 3.6 percent, and three weeks ago it was at 8 percent, At the end of January, the rolling positive test percentage in EJC was at 25 percent.

Friday, Jackson County lifted capacity restrictions around the county, though mask and social distancing rules remain. 

Statewide, new cases rose about 6 percent over the past week in Missouri.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases again rose slightly, from 22.3 last week to 24 as of Sunday. Two weeks ago that average was about 20. As of Sunday, the county Health Department had confirmed 30,590 (up 84 from last week) and 453 deaths (four more this week) across Eastern Jackson County since the pandemic began. The county’s dashboard includes Independence.

“We had seen a steady decline, and now we’ve stabilized at about 20” new cases,” said Bridgette Shaffer, director of the county Health Department.

The department said it counted more than 5,400 new tests last week – a short drop from the previous few weeks. The CDC’s goal for the agency is about 500 tests per day.

The Kansas City Health Department has confirmed 37,683 cases and 551 deaths since the pandemic began, as of Friday morning – nearly 200 additional cases and one additional death over the previous week.

The metro area had more than 165,049 confirmed cases and 2,346 COVID-related deaths as of Monday across the nine-county metro area, according to Mid-America Regional Council’s dashboard, an increase of more than 600 cases and seven deaths from the previous week.

According to MARC’s dashboard, the seven-day average of new hospitalizations in the nine-county metro area was at 65 through Friday, up slightly from last week but down from 70 two weeks earlier and about 150 at the beginning of the year.

Available hospital beds in the metro stood at 40.5 percent, about the same as last week, and the percentage of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients dropped a few tenths to 2.4 percent. Available ICU beds rose dropped slightly to 33 percent, and COVID-19 patients accounted for less than 6 percent of those beds, dropping nearly two percentage points from a week earlier.

Hospitalization data are based on a seven-day rolling average.