COVID-19 cases in Kansas City plummet again in March to lowest levels in nearly a year

Virus Outbreak Missouri
Posted at 12:08 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 13:08:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two months after the omicron COVID-19 variant burned through Kansas and Missouri, the number of new cases across both states in March 2022 plunged to the lowest recorded levels since last spring.

The 4,536 confirmed cases in the seven-county Kansas City region and 4,266 in Kansas represent the fewest since June 2021, while the 10,918 new cases reported last month in Missouri are the fewest since May 2021 and the second-fewest since June 2020.

It’s an encouraging sign for Kansas City and both states, which were hammered with record cases numbers and high death tolls in January.

During January 2022, there were more than 197,000 cases reported in Kansas — more than 25% of all cases in the two years of the pandemic.

It was a similar story in Missouri — where nearly 21% of all cases, or nearly 259,000 confirmed cases — and the Kansas City region — where nearly 25% of all cases, or more than 111,000 confirmed cases — were reported in January.

Since those record-setting days, new case counts have dropped more than 95%.

Despite the encouraging trend, state and local health departments in Missouri and Kansas still reported nearly 1,000 additional deaths in March — an indication that COVID-19 continues to circulate, even if it’s less prevalent and more people have immunity from vaccinations or prior infections.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared “the COVID-19 crisis is over” in his state last week in shifting the state health department’s response from the pandemic to the endemic phase, which will wind down some tracking and emergency-response efforts.

Nearly 17,500 Missourians have died from COVID-19 complications and there have been nearly 1.24 million confirmed cases in the state of roughly 6 million people.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly made a similar announcement in Kansas transitioning from a pandemic to an endemic response on March 31, a day after Missouri’s announcement.

Unlike Parson, Kelly said officials in her state understand “the pandemic is not over,” but cited improved knowledge about COVID-19 and better tools to treat infections in “normalizing our COVID-19 response.”

There have been more than 454,000 confirmed infections and nearly 4,900 deaths in the seven-county Kansas City region — Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties in Kansas along with Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri — since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the area more than two years ago.

Editor’s note: With the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announcing a transition to COVID-19 tracking efforts, we will discontinue updates to the KSHB 41 News COVID-19 case tracker — which has been updated daily, weekly and monthly since March 2020.