COVID-19 infections more than tripled in Missouri in July

KS, KC area see surge; MO tops 50,000 new cases
Virus Outbreak Missouri Hospital
Posted at 1:45 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 14:45:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Missouri more than tripled in July compared to June, with more than 50,000 confirmed infections.

Cases in the state, which started to become a hot spot for the COVID-19 delta variant in late May, had declined six straight months from a high of 123,756 new cases in November 2020 to only 9,618 new cases in May 2021, according to aggregated data from state and local health departments.

The delta variant’s emergence in southwest Missouri and subsequent spread across the Midwest fueled a 56% increase in cases in Missouri in June, ending the half-year run of declining cases.

Monthly COVID-19 cases in KC, KS and MO

There were more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases reported during June, but that number surged to 50,684 in July — more than three times as many, a nearly 238% increase month over month.

There also were nearly 400 deaths reported in July from COVID-19, a four-month high since 639 deaths were reported in March.

Monthly COVID-19 deaths in KC, KS and MO

The delta variant didn’t become prevalent in Kansas and the seven-county Kansas City region — Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties in Kansas along with Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri — until mid-June, which delayed the surge in new cases by a month.

The number of infections in Kansas more than quadrupled from 3,933 in June to 16,307 in July, a nearly 315% increase. The state also reported 123 deaths from COVID19, the most since March (209).

Throughout the Kansas City region, the spike in new cases was even more pronounced — climbing from 2,992 in June to 13,582 in July, an increase of nearly 365%.

Hospitals have been sounding the alarm about strained capacity, noting that COVID-19 hospitalizations are about 55% of the December peak, but the demand for hospital beds for non-COVID-19 disease also is much higher than last winter.

Kansas City-area health leaders noted that Springfield hospitals are running at 115% of last winter’s peak volume of COVID-19 patients and urged people to avoid emergency room visits except in the case of “true” medical emergencies.

Kansas City, Missouri, and other local health jurisdictions allowed mask mandates to expire in May, but many of those emergency health orders are returning amid the latest COVID-19 surge.

Mayor Quinton Lucas cited increasing hospitalizations, a low vaccination rate in the Kansas City area, and the region’s continued high transmission rate in reinstating the mask mandate, effective Monday.

De Soto USD 232 became the latest public school district in the Kansas City area to decide students and staff would return to school wearing masks amid the spike in cases.