'Behavior matters': KC-area hospital leaders encourage following COVID-19 recommendations

Posted at 4:00 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 18:16:11-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City-area hospitals are at or near the highest number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the pandemic’s entire duration, health care leaders said Friday.

Chief medical officers from several hospitals gathered virtually to discuss recommendations made earlier in the day by KC-area health departments.

The recommendations include:

  • Continued mask mandates and broader enforcement;
  • Limits on in-person gatherings;
  • Requirements for bars and restaurants to close by 10 p.m. or implement greater occupancy restrictions;
  • Limits on entertainment and recreational venues;
  • Requirements for recreational and youth sporting events to significantly limit attendance; and
  • Requirements for businesses to ensure 6 feet of social distancing in all public places.

The doctors largely agreed with the recommendations and commended the area health department leaders on their efforts, though said the success ultimately depends on people’s actions.

“Behaviors matter,” Dr. Steven Stites said. “Whatever setting you’re in, behavior matters. And that’s what’s going to bend the curve.”

The doctors also had a word of caution for the public, saying the region is at a “crisis point.”

The health care leaders pointed out that hospitals’ increased number of COVID-19 patients puts a strain on their systems in terms of staffing and number of beds available.

The doctors also cautioned against “casual gatherings” in friends and relatives' homes ahead of and during the holiday season.