Little reduction in local COVID-19 cases

By The Examiner staff

As hospital and health officials brace for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations after the Thanksgiving holiday, positive COVID-19 test percentages and new case totals continued to remain high in Eastern Jackson County 

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive test percentage was at 23.4 percent on Friday, about three percentage points less than the week before. The last time the 14-day average was below 10 percent in Eastern Jackson County was in mid-July. The overall test percentage in EJC is 15.2 percent positive as of Friday – up a half-percent from a week earlier.

The department confirmed an additional 1,500 cases over the past week, for 17,303 since the pandemic began. The case total includes 181 deaths, including 10 over the previous week. New case totals have started to drop a bit, according to the department’s dashboard – from a rolling seven-day average of 198 at the end of last week (and above 200 earlier that week) to 128 on Friday. That figure still exceeds any average from October.

As of last Wednesday, the Kansas City Health Department has confirmed more than 21,600 cases and 278 deaths since the pandemic began.

According to the Mid-America Regional Council, as of Sunday, there have been 87,687 confirmed cases in the nine-county metro area, 1,073 deaths, with 53 deaths and more than 7,000 additional cases confirmed over the past week.

The average number of daily new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the metro area dropped from 190 a week earlier to 146 Sunday, though that figure has remained above 100 since the second week of October. Regarding the hospital beds, the MARC dashboard shows about 37 percent of hospital beds available around the metro area, with 12.4 percent of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Twenty-one percent of ICU beds are available, up from 17 last week, and COVID-19 patients account for 32 percent of those. 

Those figures are also based on seven-day rolling averages.