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COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations far higher than last year in Kansas City region as school begins

Virus Outbreak Schools
Posted at 4:23 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 17:23:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a new school year begins, the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the Kansas City region has worsened compared to this time last year, according to data from the Mid-America Regional Council’s Kansas City COVID-19 Data Hub.

The seven-day rolling average for new infections and hospitalizations through Aug. 11, 2021, are much higher than for Aug. 11, 2020, amid a new wave of cases spurred by the more contagious delta variant.

Hospitals in the region have been sounding the alarm the past several months after southwest Missouri was identified as a hot spot and the surge in COVID-19 cases made its way to Kansas City.

Compared to last year, the average number of new cases right now (679) is more than 90% higher than the same timeframe in 2020 (357).

Hospitalizations also have surged, from a seven-day average of 92 new hospitalizations per day in 2020 to 154 in 2021 — a more than 67% spike.

That includes a significant increase in acute infections with more than twice as many COVID-19 patients in regional intensive-care units and nearly three times as many COVID-19 patients on ventilators compared to last year.

More than 30% of patients in hospital ICUs right now are COVID-19 patients, compared to less than 9% at the same time last year, which has fueled a sharp reduction in available ICU beds for hospitals in the Kansas City region.

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As a new school year begins, the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the Kansas City region in August 2021 has worsened compared to this time last year, according to data from the Mid-America Regional Council’s Kansas City COVID-19 Data Hub.