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.
University of Kansas Health System update
University of Kansas Health System doctors on Wednesday said they continue to be encouraged by recent trends in patient numbers. The hospital remains under the "century mark," with 30 active COVID-19 patients and 46 in recovery phases, doctors said.
Among those in active phases, nine patients are in the ICU and five are on ventilators.
"If we can keep those active infections decreasing and get our recovery patients home, that will be a very good thing," said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention.
Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer for the health system, said people still should continue to keep their guards up against the virus, particularly once the weather warms up again.
When spring-like weather arrives, more people may start gathering again, which makes Stites "a little nervous," he said.
Dr. Nancy Stewart also joined the call on Wednesday to discuss the importance of sleep and offered some tips for getting better rest during periods of anxiety and stress.
Walmart pharmacies in metro to offer vaccines
Several Walmart pharmacies in the Kansas City metro will soon begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to those who meet eligibility requirements.
Store pharmacies in both Kansas and Missouri will begin offering the vaccines on Friday. Supplies will vary based on location.
KCKPS approves intramural sports plan at middle schools
The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Board of Education on Tuesday voted to approve an intramural sports plan for middle schools.
Restrictions will be in place, with programs set to begin on April 19, according to the district.
Missouri lawmakers look to waive overpayments
Lawmakers in Missouri are pressuring Gov. Mike Parson to waive overpayment notices sent by the Department of Labor.
The department told lawmakers the state has overpaid between 40,000 and 50,000 unemployment claimants. State Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Republic, said part of the blame lies with the state, which waived a one-week waiting period that would normally catch those errors in order to expedite payments.
Taylor has sponsored a bill that would waive federal portions of the overpayments. A hearing on the proposed legislation will be heard on Wednesday afternoon.
Gov. Mike Parson’s office told 41 Action News on Tuesday that the governor’s position has not changed. Parson has maintained that those who received benefits in error should return them.
KU plans to hold in-person commencement ceremonies
The University of Kansas "tentatively" plans to hold in-person commencement ceremonies this spring for the classes of 2020 and 2021.
The university will hold multiple ceremonies for each class to comply with crowd size limitations, Chancellor Douglas Girod said on Tuesday. Students will likely be allowed three or four guests in attendance.
The school was forced to alter its graduation plans over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinton hospital holds vaccination events
Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton will host two vaccine clinics this weekend for those with scheduled appointments. The hospital is one of Missouri's "high-throughput" locations, receiving 1,200 doses every other week.
The hospital also held two clinics on Tuesday. It hopes to have 3,000 total people inoculated by Sunday.