9 Johnson County mayors call for stronger county response to omicron

Johnson County letter
Posted at 11:31 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 16:12:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a surge in COVID-19 cases, nine mayors from cities in Johnson County have signed a letter calling for more measures to be put in place to combat the spread of the omicron variant.

Mayors from Leawood, Mission, Mission Hills, Roeland Park, Prairie Village, Merriam, Westwood Hills, Overland Park and Westwood signed the letter addressed to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners calling for more "meaningful mitigation and prevention strategies."

"The Omicron variant has hit our County hard and COVID-19 percent positivity rates exceed 22% as of the date of this letter," the letter said. "This surge is creating stress on our local hospital systems, as well as other institutions, like our city operations and local public schools. While it is our sincere hope that Omicron will “peak” soon and cases will begin trending downward, things are unfortunately likely to get worse before they get better."

In response to this trend in cases, the mayors asked the board to use their additional resources to help combat the virus.

"The Board of Commissioners acts as the Johnson County Board of Health and has the resources and expertise of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to guide its path," the letter said. "While our cities have taken different approaches in response to COVID, we share the collective belief that additional prompt action is needed by the Board to assist our cities in weathering this latest and strongest COVID surge."

The letter then calls for additional resources to be disseminated, namely increased testing with timely results made available, education on the importance of vaccine booster shots, and access to high quality masks.

"We appreciate the tireless work of JCDHE and the leadership of the Board of County Commissioners since March 2020 in seeing Johnson County through the COVID-19 pandemic," the letter said. "We hope that you will take action at your meeting on Thursday, January 6th to expand meaningful mitigation and prevention strategies in response to Omicron. Thank you for your service to our community."

While nine mayors from the area signed on, a few were absent, including those from mayors of Lenexa, Olathe and Shawnee.

The nine mayors sent the letter on Wednesday.