Kansas City COVID-19 Daily Briefing for Dec. 17

Posted at 8:56 AM, Dec 17, 2020

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 update

University of Kansas Health System doctors said Thursday that numbers remain “stable,” with 82 acute COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Among those patients, 37 are in the ICU and 24 are on a ventilator.

“Certainly I think we see some optimism in the total number of new cases in the Kansas City area, which is continuing to trend down,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease expert.

Still, Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer, warned that “widespread community dissemination” of the virus still exists and said people should remain vigilant, especially during the holiday season.

Stites did commend residents in the metro for heeding the warnings ahead of Thanksgiving, which he said helped to limit what had been an expected surge in COVID-19 cases.

Doctors on Thursday also spoke with officials at the Kansas Leadership Center to discuss their Beat the Virus campaign.

Missouri could receive 2nd vaccine next week

Missouri could receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday. If approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the state may receive 105,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to Parson.

A committee is meeting today to decide whether to recommend Moderna’s vaccine to the FDA.

Kansas outlines vaccine distribution

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly provided more details Wednesday on who will be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In the first round of vaccines this winter, frontline health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, and EMS and public health workers will be the state’s priority, Kelly said.

The second group, expected to receive the vaccine in late winter, will include more first responders as well as teachers, school staff, child care workers and those considered high-risk for contracting the virus.

Harrison County rescinds mask mandate

A mask mandate will not go into effect today in Harrison County, Missouri, after all. On Wednesday, the Harrison County Health Department Board of Trustees voted to rescind a public health order related to the pandemic, which would have implemented a countywide mask mandate.

BPU suspends disconnects through February

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities will suspend disconnect of utility services for non-payment until March 1, 2021, the company announced Wednesday. It applies to both residential and commercial customers.

Lenexa firm consulting on vaccine storage

An engineering firm in Lenexa is working behind the scenes during the inoculation phase of the pandemic. Henderson Engineers has lent its expertise toward working on a storage solution for the Pfizer vaccine, which requires temperatures of 94 degrees below zero.

K-State football season ends

The Kansas State football team has suspended activities and removed itself from bowl game consideration, ending the Wildcats’ 2020 season. The decision came after recent COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

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