Virus cases dip, but still 'red status' in EJC

Missouri tops 100,000 cases; state's rate of growth one of highest in the nation

By Mike Genet

Local health officials still consider Eastern Jackson County to be in the “red” status of high community spread, though 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 13.5 percent as of Monday morning, falling from 15.6 percent last week. In early August, that figure had risen to more than 17 percent, and two weeks ago had dropped to 14.8 percent.

The department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, confirmed 474 additional cases of COVID-19 in the past week, for a total of 6,317 cases since the pandemic began. The overall positive test percentage is at 9.4 percent out of more than 67,000 people tested.

Three 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.

The EJC case total includes 87 deaths, including four in the past week, and 1,870 presumed recoveries.

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

• 64064 (northern Lee’s Summit); 202 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64057 (southeastern Independence); 197 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64050 (northern Independence and Sugar Creek); 189 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64081 (southern and western Lee’s Summit); 184 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64055 (southern Independence); 180 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64014 (eastern Blue Springs); 180 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

• 64052 (southwest Independence); 175 positive cases per 1,000 residents tested

The Kansas City Health Department has reported, as of Sept. 8, 9,903 cases, including 101 deaths – up more than 800 cases from the previous week but with no additional deaths. Metrowide, as of Sunday afternoon, there have been 37,309 cases and 524 deaths, according to a database maintained by the Mid-America Regional Council, up more than 2,200 cases and 27 deaths since last week. 

Statewide, Missouri topped 100,000 confirmed cases when the Missouri Department of Health of Senior Services’ dashboard cited 1,974 new cases Saturday, according to the Associated Press. That raised the total since the pandemic began to 101,134, though possibly higher due to undiagnosed illnesses.  

Missouri’s number of cases is growing at a rate faster than most places. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over the seven-day period of Sept. 4-10, the state saw the sixth highest number of new cases among all states.

As of June 15, the state had reported 16,189 confirmed cases. The past 2 1/2 months have seen about 186,000 additional cases. However, the death rate since spring has slowed considerably. Data shows that 7.1 percent of people who contracted the virus died in May, compared to 0.8 percent in August.