KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Doctors and public health officials are alarmed at the surge of positive cases of COVID-19 in the Kansas City metro area.
“Numbers have definitely been increasing over the last several weeks, said Dr. Sarah Boyd, Infectious Disease Physician, Saint Luke's Health System. "Every few days we get a new high that we’ve reached of how many new cases there are.
The metro area added more than 8,600 new cases this week, along with 47 coronavirus-related deaths.
“We can do better than this if we would just pay attention to some of the very simple basics, but nobody wants to do it," said Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Health experts know people are worried about another shut down, but say they don't want to shut down the economy, schools and other important societal pillars.
“I would definitely not like to see any kind of a mass shut down because it’s harmful on the economy, on people's mental health and on the ability to teach and learn," said Norman.
As doctors focus on slowing the spread of the virus, changes to current protocols are not popular.
“I think people just don’t want to be inconvenienced, they want to have their normal life," said Norman.
The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved an order Friday that would require bars, restaurants and businesses to close at midnight starting Monday, November 16.
Health officials favored a 10 p.m. closing time, but the commissioners said no.
“You know, please don’t do this to us, we can’t survive this, they are going to destroy small businesses," said Allison Henry, Owner of Hurricane Allie's Bar and Grill.
Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas is expected to release additional COVID-19 guidance next week.
“I think everyone has COVID fatigue to some degree," Dr. Boyd said. "We all want to sort of go back to what we think was normal before the pandemic.
Area health experts banded together and suggested new guidelines to fight the rapid spread of the virus.
“We don’t have enough staff to staff this surge if it continues in this current fashion, so every community and every county has to say, what can we do to push down these numbers," said Norman.
As the holiday season approaches, health experts remain adamant people avoid large gatherings.
If not, case numbers will continue to rise.