Johnson County health officer says COVID-19 rates increasing

Posted at 3:00 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 16:00:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Health Officer in Johnson County, Kansas, said Tuesday that the amount of COVID-19 transmission has increased of late.

In a video posted to social media, Dr. Joseph LeMaster said the lull in virus transmission that came after the omicron variant, a lull during which there was a low amount of transition, could be over.

“We’re now starting to see much more of that,” LeMaster said in the video.

LeMaster said that, among residents who come for testing, the COVID-19 positivity rate is about 17 percent. He added the county is currently experiencing an incidence rate of roughly 168 cases per 100,000 people.

“This means the number of cases out there and the virus out there circulating are much more than they previously were,” LeMaster said.

LeMaster said he continues to recommend the use of masks in indoor spaces, “especially in crowds of people that cannot socially distance for more than six feet.”

On Wednesday, the White House COVID-19 Response Team is set to hold a press briefing on the country’s COVID-19 response rate. The group is set to include Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Chief Medical Advisor to the President and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, the federal government opened up its website for Americans to request a third-round of free at-home COVID-19 tests. The round includes eight free tests. Testing kits are available at the USPS website.

Last Friday, the Missouri Sewershed project — an effort to monitor COVID-19’s presence in wastewater treatment plans across the state — showed several locations reporting an increasing viral load.

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Missouri Sewershed report update on May 13, 2022.

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