EJC weekly case totals updates

By The Examiner staff

New COVID-19 cases in Eastern Jackson County continue to remain low after several weeks of continuous drops. 

According to the Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside Kansas City, the rolling 14-day positive test percentage in Eastern Jackson stood at 4.5 percent as of Monday, down from 4.7 percent last week, 5.8 the week before that and less than 7 percent in early May. That figured had dropped as low as 3.3 percent early in the spring. At the end of January, the rolling positive test percentage in EJC was at 25 percent.     

The rolling seven-day average of new cases stood at 18.7 as of Monday, compared with 18.5 last week but 32 the week before that. Four weeks ago, the average was 47.  

As of Sunday, the county Health Department had confirmed 31,950 cases (up 75 from last week) and 526 deaths (six more this past week) across Eastern Jackson County since the pandemic began. The county’s dashboard includes Independence. The department said it counted more than 4,100 new tests over the past week, about 3,000 fewer than last week’s total. That number has slowly declined since the beginning of April. The CDC’s goal for the agency is about 500 tests per day.     

“Overall, and in the United States, we’re continuing to see lower amounts of cases, for one reason or another, it’s not just cases, but it is the hospitalizations,” Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control with the University of Kansas Health System, said during a media briefing Monday. As restrictions get lifted and COVID-19 variants pop up, he said, “What we are seeing is that, with vaccinations, especially the second dose, you are having better protection.”    

According to the Mid-America Regional Council’s dashboard, as of Monday morning slightly more than 34 percent of the population in Jackson County, including Kansas City (which was at 33 percent Thursday), had been fully vaccinated, including 44 percent of those age 18 and older. Metro-wide, nearly 38 percent of the population and 50 percent of those 18-older have been fully vaccinated. 

According to MARC’s dashboard, the seven-day average of new hospitalizations in the nine-county metro area was at 43 through Saturday, down slightly from 45 the previous week and 52 and 55 the weeks before that. That average stood at about 180 at the beginning of the year. The metro area has confirmed more than 174,600 cases since the pandemic began, along with 2,490 deaths – 7 additional deaths this week. 

Available hospital beds in the metro dipped several percentage points to 37 percent overall and 30 percent for available ICU beds. COVID-19 patients account for 2.8 percent of hospitalized patients overall and 5.4 percent in the ICU, representing slight increases from the previous week.    

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