Kansas City COVID-19 Daily Briefing for Nov. 18

Posted at 10:45 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 11:45:01-05

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 briefing

University of Kansas Health System officials said they currently have 85 active COVID-19 patients when they would ideally have that down in the 30s. Of those, 32 are in the ICU and 13 on ventilators. Another 41 patients are still in the hospital recovering from COVID-19.

The doctors said Thanksgiving could be devastating, and they fear a total lockdown may be the only solution if the trend continues. The city is almost out of hospital beds.

The doctors were joined by a patient who has been battling the effects of COVID-19 for months.

From vaccines to hospital capacity, Kansas fighting COVID on multiple fronts

The director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is urging people to host virtual Thanksgiving celebrations as the state fights the COVID-19 pandemic. They emphasize that a vaccine is close to being available, but Kansans must follow infection control protocols until then to prevent the hospital system from being devastated by COVID-19 patients.

90 inmates in precautionary quarantine at Jackson County Detention Center

According to Sheriff Darryl Forté, four inmates and eight non-inmates at the Jackson County Detention Center are positive for COVID-19. That has caused another 90 inmates to be placed in precautionary quarantine.

Blue Springs library closes due to COVID-19

Mid-Continent Public Library's Blue Springs South Branch was closed Wednesday due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19. There is no set date for when the library will reopen, and they are working to notify patrons who were in the building between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. Deep cleaning is taking place and potentially exposed staff are being monitored.

East Antioch Elementary closed Wednesday for COVID-19

East Antioch Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District is closed for Wednesday because of a potential COVID-19 exposure event. School officials said they did not have enough time to complete contact tracing before the school day, so they decided remote learning would be safest.

Contact tracing will be completed by noon Wednesday and deep cleaning will take place. Officials anticipate in-person learning to resume Thursday.

Clay County issues renewed COVID-19 restrictions

Clay County is the latest metro-area county to reinstitute tighter restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Beginning Nov. 23, establishments that serve food and drinks indoors can only operate at 50% capacity and must close by 10 p.m. No more than 10 people per group will be allowed in the venues, and all indoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less.

KCI, airlines take steps to mitigate COVID-19 risk

As of September passenger traffic was down 60 percent compared to the same time period last year at the Kansas City International Airport. Both KCI and airlines are taking extra steps for safety and sanitation as that number is expected to change during the holiday travel season.

KC area nurses protest over PPE needs, staffing amid COVID-19 surge

Nurses gathered outside of HCA Midwest Health headquarters Tuesday to ask for more PPE and more help on the front lines of the virus fight. However, not every nurse in the HCA system believes they are being stretched too thin, some say the system is doing enough to help.

Lee’s Summit R-7 school board OKs remote learning for grades 4-12

Lee's Summit students in fourth through 12th grade will return to remote learning on Nov. 23. The board voted on the change in a Tuesday night meeting, citing virus cases in the district doubling in recent weeks and the number of students in quarantine tripling.

Medical schools increasingly turn to virtual reality amid COVID-19 pandemic

Amid enhanced safety precautions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, medical schools across the country are relying more on virtual reality to help train future doctors and health care workers.

Church of the Resurrection returns to online-only services

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection said worship, programs and ministries will go virtual beginning Nov. 22. The church is located in Lenexa and boasts one of the largest congregations in the Kansas City area.

Grain Valley Schools switch all students to remote learning

All students in the Grain Valley School District will revert to remote learning beginning on Wednesday. Middle and high school students will continue virtual learning until after Christmas. Elementary students will return to in-person instruction after Thanksgiving break.

RideKC scales back bus services amid higher COVID-19 spread

RideKC is scaling back bus service because of rapid COVID-19 spread in the community. Core routes that operate every 15 minutes will continue at the same level of service, while lower frequency routes will be temporarily canceled.

Chris Klieman says Wildcats have limited players due to COVID-19, can't shift to fill voids

Kansas State’s football team is down at least a dozen players due to COVID-19, and there aren't enough players left to shift around and fill positions as the team prepares for Saturday's game.

Final analysis: Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine 95% effective, company to seek authorization within 'days'

The Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine showed 95% effectiveness in preventing the virus in a final analysis. The companies hope to apply for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA in the coming days.

FDA gives emergency use authorization to at-home rapid COVID-19 test

The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit was given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA Tuesday. The at-home test uses a nasal swab and should show results within 30 minutes.

Over 1 million children in U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19

Over 1 million children under the age of 19 in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said in a new report on Monday.

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