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
The University of Kansas Health System saw a slight decrease on Thursday in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. In total, the hospital has 67 acute patients (doctors reported 78 patients on Wednesday) and 20 patients in the ICU. Twelve of those patients are on ventilators.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infectious diseases expert, said the hospital can continue to expect fluctuations but said today, “we are fluctuating in the right way.”
Missouri governor issues new school guidance
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday issued new guidance for schools, saying that those identified as “close contacts” can forego quarantining if they were wearing a mask at the time and do not show symptoms.
Parson said the guidance should help lessen the number of people who need to quarantine, which is putting a strain on school staff.
The governor also said Thursday that he will introduce new legislation in the current special session to expand liability protection for health care providers, manufacturers, businesses, schools, churches and nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
KCMO mayor considering new restrictions
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas is considering new COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days as cases continue to surge in the metro.
While he said another complete shutdown likely will not be possible, he’s looking at further restrictions in areas that are contributors to the spread, including bars.
“We’ve seen more problems with bars,” Lucas told 41 Action News on Wednesday. “Bars that get crowded and not following the spacing rules where everybody is standing up and just interacting without masks, and so we would really continue to look I think more closely at the bar scene rather than your established restaurant scene right now.”
Schools consider move to remote learning
The Clinton School District Board of Education voted Wednesday to transition Clinton High School students to all-virtual learning.
The change, which takes effect Thursday, will last through Nov. 20. Principal Jarrod Steffens told families that it was not ideal but became necessary “because of a shortage of available staff.”
The staffing shortage is not a problem unique to the Clinton School District. On Wednesday, the Kearney School District in Clay County also warned that it may have to transition to fully remote learning because of the number of students and staff in quarantine.
Families in North Kansas City Schools also are preparing for the possibility of remote learning after Superintendent Dan Clemens said this week that staff are “stressed to a breaking point.”
Jackson County Election Board dealing with outbreak
The Jackson County Election Board is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak after eight full-time employees and 22 part-time employees tested positive. Anyone who visited the board’s office at 215 N. Liberty St. in Independence recently should be tested for the virus.
Chiefs place Mecole Hardman on COVID-19 list
Though it’s a bye week for the Kansas City Chiefs, the team is still feeling the impacts of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the Chiefs placed wide receiver Mecole Hardman on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Players on the list either have tested positive for COVID-19 or, more frequently, have come into close contact with someone who tested positive.
Hardman tweeted on Wednesday that he was “good.”