We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in Missouri and the Kansas City area. Check back for updates.
Over 1,400 new COVID cases reported
On Tuesday, officials reported an increase of 1,426 cases over the previous day.
There have been 10,200 positive COVID-19 cases over a seven-day period ending Sept. 18, with an average of 1,457 new cases per day, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data show. In that same period, there were 36 coronavirus-related deaths.
At least 1,798 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, the latest day hospitalizations were reported, including 463 patients being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.
As of Tuesday, 10% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
A little more than 53% of Missouri’s total population have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and nearly 47% have been fully vaccinated.
Cori Bush sponsors bill to stop evictions for duration of pandemic
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush introduced a bill Tuesday to halt evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, in her latest push for resumption of a national moratorium on evictions.
In August, the St. Louis Democrat protested the expiration of a national moratorium by sleeping on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Her protest sparked a new moratorium from the Biden administration, but one that applied only to places experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases.
The new prohibition was quickly struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative majority ruled that an eviction moratorium had to be imposed by Congress, not the Centers for Disease Control.
Average of over 475 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths recorded daily in Kansas City
The Kansas City metropolitan area is recording an average of more than 475 new COVID-19 cases and a dozen deaths every day.
On Tuesday, the area encompassing Kansas City and Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas gained 431 new cases for a total of 191,709 to date.
The seven-day rolling average for daily cases sits at 477, according to data tracked by The Star. One week ago, the average was 513. Two weeks ago, it was 489.
Prairie Village extends mask mandate through October
The Prairie Village City Council on Monday approved extending the citywide mask mandate through the end of October.
In approving the measure, the council cited the fact that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers Johnson County an area of high transmission of COVID-19. The council’s decision had the support of the county health department.
Prairie Village was the first Johnson County city to enact its own mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surged, driven by the highly contagious delta variant. Prairie Village and Roeland Park are the only cities in Johnson County to require masks in most indoor public settings.
Officials warn Johnson County school district has worst COVID rates
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is warning one county school district that its coronavirus infection rates are much higher than any other district — it also happens to have the most lenient COVID-19 rules, the Kansas City Star reports.
The Spring Hill school district, which only requires students below high school level to wear face masks, was sent a letter on Friday from county health officials, which included a graph comparing its COVID rates with its counterparts.
While Johnson County schools have been averaging 3 COVID-19 cases per 1,000 students, Spring Hill is seeing 15 per 1,000.
“We are concerned about the high incidence rate of COVID-19 and reported clusters in the Spring Hill School District as compared to other school districts in Johnson County, Kansas,” Jennifer Dunlay, a county health department spokeswoman said in an email to The Star.
Though the district is currently defined as a COVID cluster, spokesman Christopher Villarreal said the rules will stay as they are.
“Spring Hill School District administrators and Board of Education are constantly monitoring the situation,” Villarreal said. “We have had some schools implement additional mitigation. At this time, there are no Board action items scheduled related to COVID-19 mitigation.”
Mask-defiant cafe says Jackson County mandate ‘unconstitutionally created’
A Blue Springs cafe and its owner who have defied Jackson County’s health order counter sued the county, saying it does not have legal authority to issue a mask mandate, according to court documents.
In her counterclaim, Amanda Wohletz, the owner of Rae’s Cafe, asked the court to determine that the county’s effort to enforce the mandate “is unlawful, nonsensical and is intended only to punish those who speak out against arbitrary and capricious ‘mandates.’”
She said the Jackson County Health Department targeted her business after she spoke out against the mask mandate and expressed her disagreement about the authority of the county to issue such an order.
Kansas City’s mask mandate is back on the table this week
Kansas City’s mask mandate is once again up for debate.
The Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee will hear the ordinance at 9 a.m. Wednesday that would extend the mandate to Oct. 7. It is currently slated to expire Sept. 23.
Morgan Said, chief of staff for Mayor Quinton Lucas, said in a statement that the Oct. 7 extension date “puts Kansas City and Jackson County in alignment, creating more consistency for our businesses, schools, and families.”
Kansas City will give paid leave to vaccinated employees who test positive for COVID
The Kansas City Council approved an ordinance allowing paid leave after a positive COVID-19 test for vaccinated city employees.
The new rule allows 80 hours of paid leave to employees who have been fully vaccinated or those who have been granted an accommodation and must isolate because they’ve tested positive and cannot work virtually.
The leave can be applied retroactively to May 14, 2021, and will be available until the end of the year.
“We wish to encourage city employees to get vaccinated,” Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, District 4 at-large, said. “It’s not just important for the health of themselves and their families but it’s important for the health of this city.”
Rolling average for new COVID-19 cases in Kansas City metro sees small uptick
The rolling average for new COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City metropolitan area increased slightly last week.
On Friday, the area encompassing Kansas City and Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Wyandotte County in Kansas gained 360 new cases for a total of 189,891 to date. The latest number excludes Johnson County, which was delayed in updating its data.
The seven-day rolling average for daily cases sits at 493, according to data tracked by The Star. One week ago, the average was 470. Two weeks ago, it was 572.