KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether you call it a second wave or a continuation of the initial wave delayed in part by stay-at-home orders, it’s clear that COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Kansas and Missouri.
The climbing number of people testing positive for active COVID-19 infections helped fuel the largest jump in the U.S. since March last week.
Cases have been on the rise in Missouri as well as the seven-county Kansas City metro area for at least a few weeks now, but now Kansas saw its first significant spike in new cases since peaking the outbreak peaked in early May.
In Johnson County, the number of deaths at long-term care facilities stands at 67 following an updated report Monday from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.
The number of new cases reported in Missouri last week rose for the fourth time in the last five weeks, increasing 33.5% last week from 1,384 new cases June 6-12 to 1,848 new cases June 13-19.
The latest spike — which has been fueled by new COVID-19 clusters at meatpacking facilities across the state, including a large one at the Butterball play in Carthage, Missouri — represents the largest increase in new cases week over week since the beginning of the pandemic.
Kansas City and St. Louis are among the ongoing hotbeds for community transfer in Missouri, which also saw a 22.9% increase in COVID-19 deaths last week — the third straight week the number of deaths from the virus rose in the state.
Aside from one week in early May, the number of new cases reported in the seven-county KC metro had remained between 351 and 547 since early April.
But that changed during the last three weeks — which have seen at least 700 new cases added locally each week, including 833 new cases reported last week. That marked a 16% increase from the previous week and 63.3% more new cases that were reported for the last full week of May (510).
Kansas, which didn’t see the number of cases explode until mid- to late April had bucked the recent trend in Missouri and Kansas City.
After the number of cases in Kansas peaked during the first week of May, the state saw a steady decline in the number of new cases for the next month.
Kansas saw a 2.3% increase in the number of new cases between the week of May 30-June 5 compared to June 6-12, but last week saw COVID-19 surge significantly.
The 1,010 new cases reported last week in Kansas represent a 49% jump week over week, which is the largest single-week increase since cases in the state more than doubled in late April.
The rising cases across Kansas and Missouri are part of a wider national trend.
According to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, health departments across the country reported the first statistically significant rise in new COVID-19 cases since the end of April, reversing a nearly two-month trend of declines. It also was the largest single-week increase in cases since the early weeks of the pandemic.
There were 174,318 new cases reported last week in the U.S., a 17.1% increase from the previous week when fewer than 150,000 new cases were reported.
If there is good news, the combined number of deaths from COVID-19 across the country dropped for the ninth consecutive week to fewer than 4,500 — but the number of deaths in the KC area as well as Kansas and Missouri actually increased last week, bucking the national trend.