Kansas City COVID-19 Daily Briefing for March 16, 2021

Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 12:12:18-04

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

Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System are treating around the same number of COVID-19 patients Tuesday as Monday.

Eleven people have active infections, four of whom are in the intensive care unit with one on a ventilator.

Fifteen patients are recovering from the virus.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman joined the broadcast Tuesday to talk about Kansas’ new vaccine phase.

Kansas moving to Phases 3, 4 of vaccine distribution next week

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state will move on to the next phases of its vaccine distribution plan Monday, March 22.

Kansans eligible in Phases 3 or 4 of the plan will be able to get their shot.

Kelly said the state decided to collapse the two phases into one because the differences between the groups were nuanced and officials are expecting increased vaccine supply.

Missouri grocery store workers eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Missouri began a new phase of its vaccine plan Monday, making workers in many sectors eligible to receive the vaccine.

That includes grocery store workers, who have direct contact with the public on a daily basis.

"It doesn't matter which (vaccine) you get as far as I'm concerned," one grocer told 41 Action News. "I'm not a vaccine professional, but it's hope. It's hope that everything gets back to normal as soon as possible."

KCVA now offers COVID-19 vaccine without appointments

The Kansas City VA Medical Center will now offer walk-in vaccines to eligible veterans.

Appointments are still "highly encouraged," but vaccines will also available on a first-come, first-served basis from noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday at the KCVA Honor Annex, 4251 Northern Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri.

Higher demand, limited supply push gas prices up

With the economy rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic more quickly than some anticipated, experts say gas prices are and will remain high.

An expert from the Kansas City area said he expects gas prices to hover around $2.50 per gallon this summer.

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