Kansas City COVID-19 Daily Briefing for Dec. 1

Posted at 11:10 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:50:32-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 41 Action News is offering a daily recap of COVID-19 related stories from across Kansas City and the country. Check back every morning for the latest developments.

LATEST: COVID-19 case tracker for Missouri, Kansas and Kansas City

University of Kansas Health System daily update

Amid an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City area, doctors with the University of Kansas Health System said Tuesday they believe there is potential for further restrictions, interventions and possibly another lockdown.

At KU Health, doctors are treating 101 patients with acute COVID-19 infections. More than 50% of those patients are in the intensive care unit.

Twenty-four patients are on ventilators, and 58 are in recovery phases.

CARES Act rent relief available for residents Jackson, Johnson counties

It’s the first of the month and rent is due for many people in the Kansas City area — some of whom are still struggling to make payments or catch up on payments.

As the end of the year approaches, so too does the deadline for CARES Act money to be used and the end of an eviction ban from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Residents in Jackson County, Missouri, and Johnson County, Kansas, can get help with their rent through the United Way, which has partnered with the KC Regional Housing Alliance to distribute CARES Act funds for rent relief.

Nonprofit helps rent and utility assistance programs

There is also help available for those facing challenges in paying utility bills.

The Mid America Assistance Coalition created and operates a program that allocates funds to agencies that can get the money to people who need it.

The funds are comprised of donations from utility companies, such as Evergy’s Dollar-Aide program and Spire’s Dollar Help program.

Help is available for heat, water, gas and even internet bills, which MAAC’s executive director says is just as much a utility right now as anything else.

COVID-19 cases surge to record levels in Kansas, Missouri

Kansas and Missouri set new records for the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in November.

In both states and in the Kansas City region, the number of cases more than doubled from October.

Doctors offer advice for recovery care after COVID-19

By now, most people know the drill if they contract COVID-19: quarantine.

What’s less clear is how to deal with the virus’ lasting effects post-recovery.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease expert with the University of Kansas Health System, recommends people with lingering symptoms talk with their primary care physician or medical team about them.

KCFD captain who died from COVID-19 laid to rest

Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department Capt. Robert “Bobby” Rocha was laid to rest Monday.

He died from COVID-19, which he contracted while on the job.

KCFD Chief Donna Lake said the virus is a “real threat” to first responders.

Rocha is one of three KCFD members to die from the virus in the course of the pandemic.

KCMO Health Department shuts down 5 businesses for COVID-19 violations

The Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department shut down five businesses over the Thanksgiving weekend due to violations of new COVID-19 restrictions.

Four of the businesses were open past 10 p.m. They must submit a compliance plan in order to reopen.

The fifth business, Corner Bar & Grill, was shut down after an initial call about a large gathering.

The health department investigator called for police backup after the department said the owner, Henry Service, didn’t comply with their orders.

Service told 41 Action News he believes his business was unfairly targeted and he was in the process of closing when police showed up.

Kansas City restaurant closes

Another Kansas City restaurant is closing due to losses from the pandemic.

POI-O closed its doors after reporting a 90% loss in lunch sales since the beginning of the pandemic.

Though he had to close, owner Carlos Mortera said he supports restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, with the stipulation that the federal government should offer more assistance.

Mortera said he hopes the POI-O closure isn’t permanent. In the meantime, he will do POI-O pop-ups at his other restaurant, The Bite.

Nordstrom Plaza opening further delayed by pandemic

The new Nordstrom on the Country Club Plaza is now expected to open in fall 2023, a year later than an updated timeline showed earlier in 2020.

The delay is due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson confirmed.

Two more library branches close due to COVID-19

The Bluford Branch of the Kansas City, Missouri, Public Library is closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The staffer worked the week of Nov. 23, and people who visited the library between Nov. 23-25 are being contacted.

Mid-Continent Public Library also announced a branch closure due to COVID-19.

The Weston branch closed Tuesday after a staff member tested positive. Branch staff is working to contact patrons who visited the library on Nov. 23 and 24.

Find more coronavirus news and resources from 41 Action News here.