EJC covid-19 case totals update

By The Examiner staff

Eastern Jackson County and the metro area are not experiencing a COVID-19 spike similar to other areas of the Midwest, as positive test percentages in Eastern Jackson County continue to fall.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive test percentage in Eastern Jackson continues to fall, from 3.6 percent the previous week to about 3.3 percent as of Sunday. Two weeks ago, the average was 8 percent, and at the end of January, that figure in EJC was at 25 percent.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases rose slightly from 19.8 last week to 22.3 as of Sunday. As of Sunday, the county Health Department had confirmed 30,506 total cases and 449 deaths (two this week) across Eastern Jackson County since the pandemic began. The county’s dashboard includes Independence.

The department said it counted about 6,000 new tests last week – similar to the previous few weeks. The CDC’s goal for the agency is about 500 tests per day.

The Kansas City Health Department has confirmed 37,488 cases and 550 deaths since the pandemic began, as of Friday morning – nearly 180 additional cases and 10 additional deaths over the previous week.

The metro area had more than 164,370 confirmed cases and 2,339 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 500 cases and 12 deaths from the previous week.

In general, numbers around the area continue to creep down as far active and recovering patients, Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease specialist with the University of Kansas Health System, said during a media briefing Monday.

“In our metropolitan area our cases continue to be under 100 a day, which I think is a good benchmark,” Hawkinson said. “Certainly if we can push those lower it will be even better.”

According to MARC’s dashboard, the seven-day average of new hospitalizations in the nine-county metro area was at 63 through Friday, down from 70 a week earlier and about 150 at the beginning of the year.

Available hospital beds in the metro rose a couple percentage points to 41 percent after several steady weeks, and the percentage of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients stood at just 2.85 percent, just .2 of a point greater than a week earlier. Available ICU beds rose dropped a bit to 34.5 percent, and COVID-19 patients accounted for 7.7 percent of those beds, up more than 1 percentage point from a week earlier.

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