Local COVID-19 rate low but ticks upward

By The Examiner staff

Case rates again rose slightly from the previous week in Eastern Jackson County, but they have stayed far below the spikes seen in other places of the country and low enough for local public health officials to allow restriction rollbacks recently or in the coming days. 

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 3.7 percent last week to 4.6 percent as of Sunday. Two weeks ago, the average had dropped from 8 percent to 3.3 percent. At the end of January, the rolling positive test percentage in EJC was at 25 percent. 

The rolling seven-day average of new cases again rose slightly, from 24 last week to 30 as of Sunday. As of Sunday, the county Health Department had confirmed 30,808 (up 218 from last week) and 457 deaths (four more this week) across Eastern Jackson County since the pandemic began. The county’s dashboard includes Independence. 

The department said it counted nearly 5,200 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 37,893 cases and 555 deaths since the pandemic began, as of Friday morning – 210 additional cases and four additional deaths over the previous week. 

The metro area had more than 167,932 confirmed cases and 2,367 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 2,800 cases and 21 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 62 through Friday, down slightly from last week and from about 180 at the beginning of the year. 

Available hospital beds in the metro remained at nearly 41 percent overall and rose to 37 percent for ICU beds, with COVID-19 patients accounting for about 2 percent and 5.5 percent of those figures, respectively. 

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