Kansas City metro registered nurse says not all COVID-19 breakthrough cases reported to CDC

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 20:01:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not all COVID-19 breakthrough cases – which are being reported in the Kansas City metro – are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to one area health care professional.

The CDC defines a breakthrough case as someone testing positive for the virus more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated. However, the definition is different when it comes to hospitals reporting cases.

Officials at the University of Kansas Health System report breakthrough cases to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which, in turn, reports them to the CDC. But Lance Williamson, infection prevention and control manager, said the CDC now only requires hospitals to report breakthrough cases where someone is hospitalized or dies.

"At the beginning, they were counting all the patients who had very mild illness or even asymptomatic and just had been tested for whatever reason, but that's no longer considered a breakthrough infection as far as national reporting," Williamson said.

Auarantine guidelines remain the same, regardless of vaccination status, according to Williamson.

"A positive test is a positive test," he said, "and when you don't have symptoms to go off of we still recommend that 10 days after that positive test that you isolate."

A University of Kansas Health System spokesperson said the hospital tracks breakthrough cases twice a week or so. On July 15, 16% of inpatients were fully vaccinated and all with significant medical history, including cancer, morbid obesity, cardiac, renal and lung problems.

Those cases are then sent off to be tested for the Delta variant.

Williamson said it is safe to assume it's the dominant variant in the hospital.

A spokesperson for Truman Medical Centers/University Health said there are currently 38 COVID-19 inpatients at both campuses. Of those, one was previously vaccinated.