Kansas City COVID-19 Daily Briefing for Feb. 5

Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 12:26:25-05

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

COVID-19 patient numbers at the University of Kansas Health System continue to trend downward, doctors said Friday.

They are treating 30 patients with active infections, 10 of whom are in the intensive care unit. Four of those are on ventilators.

Fifty-nine patient are recovering from the virus at the hospital. Four of those are also on ventilators.

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health, said he believe they are seeing fewer and fewer patients in the ICU because so many nursing home residents have been vaccinated.

The doctors, who appeared clad in Chiefs gear, warned Kansas Citians to be wary of gatherings on Super Bowl Sunday.

“This is going to be a test for us. We need to pass this test, and we know how to pass the test because we've been studying it for 10 months,” Stites said. “The studying says wear your mask, keep your numbers down, keep deep your distance, stay inside. Don't relax and feel like just because it's a Super Bowl, you have permission to go out and party in a way that's going to spread coronavirus. Follow the rules of infection control. Ace this exam and watch the Chiefs ace the Super Bowl.”

In Depth: How many distributed COVID-19 vaccine doses are ending up in arms in MO, KS?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kansas and Missouri ranked in the bottom third of states for number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

The states, however, take issue with the figures. In Missouri, officials say the low reporting is due to vaccines that went to pharmacies, such as Walgreens and CVS, which the state has no control over.

Kansas continues to blame a reporting lag, and did not comment on whether or not the federal pharmacy distribution plan was affecting its figures.

The states' own numbers indicated they are closer to middle of the pack for administration of the vaccine. The national average is around 61% doses administered of those distributed.

KC-area doctors separate COVID-19 vaccine fact from fiction during panel

The CDC says COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting minority communities. Tuesday, Kansas City doctors hosted a virtual discussion to dispel misonceptions about the vaccine, and encourage those communities to get it as soon as they are eligible.

Kansas lawmakers 'turning up the heat' on Department of Labor

Kansas lawmakers continue to seek answers from the state's Department of Labor on its unemployment processes.

While they say new anti-fraud software installed over the weekend is a good step, they are concerned about how many millions of dollars had already been paid out to fraudsters.

Olathe Public Schools board votes to return secondary students in-person

Olathe Public Schools middle and high school students will return to in-person learning after a 5-2 vote from the school board Thursday night.

The district's elementary students had already been in the classroom. The board cited a decline in community spread and COVID-19 cases within its schools for the decision.

Officials: Coronavirus variant likely more common in Kansas

Kansas officials said a variant of COVID-19 is likely more widespread in Kansas than current numbers indicate.

Only one case of the variant from the United Kingdom has been confirmed in the state so far. The variant is more transmissible and could be deadlier, officials say.

Missouri governor to vaccinators: Don't go rogue

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is urging vaccine providers to be "good stewards" of the doses.

He and the state's health director warned vaccinators that they should only be vaccinating those eligible under state guidelines. Otherwise, they risk losing future distributions.

Kansas unveils economic plan as it recovers from pandemic

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced her "Kansas Framework for Growth," an economic plan she said will help the state navigate current and future challenges set forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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