Local COVID-19 cases reported declining

By The Examiner staff

New COVID-19 cases in Eastern Jackson County continue to fall, though testing remains low.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling seven-day average of new cases was at 8.8 on Sunday, about half of last week’s rate and down from 23 in late February. At the beginning of January, that average had been pushing 200, and by the end of the month it was about half that.

The rolling 14-day positive test percentage for Eastern Jackson County continues to fall and stood at 8.9 percent on Sunday, down from 13 percent a week earlier, 14.5 percent the week before that and about 25 percent at the end of January. However, only about 1,000 tests were done last week for the second straight week, whereas the CDC’s daily minimum goal is about 500.

As of last weekend, the county Health Department had confirmed about 400 additional cases and nine additional deaths over the previous week, for 30,263 total cases and 440 deaths across Eastern Jackson County since the pandemic began just more than a year ago. The county’s dashboard includes Independence.

The Kansas City Health Department has confirmed 36,838 cases and 541 deaths since the pandemic began, as of Friday morning – an additional 159 cases and 20 deaths over the previous week.

The metro area had more than 161,300 confirmed cases and 2,280 COVID-related deaths as of Sunday, according to MARC’s dashboard, an increase of 400 more cases and 50 deaths from the previous week.

According to the Mid-American Regional Council’s dashboard, the seven-day average of new hospitalizations in the nine-county metro area was at 77 on Sunday, down from 86 a week earlier and about 150 at the beginning of the year.

Available hospital beds in the metro dropped a bit from 41 to 39 percent as of Sunday, though the percentage of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients continued to drop to 2.9 percent, down a half-point from a week earlier. Available ICU beds rose back to 29 percent as of Sunday, though COVID-19 patients accounted for just 5.5 percent of those beds, down from 7.5 percent a week earlier and 9.1 percent the before that.

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