Live blog: KC area public health officials recommend extending stay-at-home order

Posted at 5:48 AM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 22:15:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread across the world, and in Missouri and Kansas.

41 Action News is keeping track of all closings and cancellations, as well as tracking where positive coronavirus cases are located.

We are also keeping track of which metro jurisdictions are under stay at home orders for the foreseeable future, only allowing for essential business and activities.

If you are a business finding unique ways to serve our community, check our KC Open for Business Facebook group to share your ideas.

Updates on the spread of the virus and how it is affecting the metro can be found below for April 15.

9:15 p.m. | The city of St. Louis and St. Charles County both reported additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. St. Louis city now has 743 coronavirus cases, an increase of 20, and one more death, bringing the city's deaths to 27. The death is a man in his 80s.

St. Charles County reported 16 new COVID-19 cases, increasing its total to 416, and one new death. St. Charles County now has 17 deaths due to the virus.

7:25 p.m. | Public health officials in the Kansas City area recommend extending stay-at-home orders through May 15 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

5:40 p.m. | The Missouri General Assembly will resume its regular legislative session on April 27. Lawmakers said it was not an easy decision, but "absolutely critical for the people of Missouri that we keep the state government funded and services operating without interruption." Legislators left the capitol in mid-March and returned briefly last week to pass a $6 billion supplemental budget and emergency aid package.

5:30 p.m. | Two more residents and one staff member at Meadow View Health and Rehabilitation in Harrisonville have tested positive for COVID-19, the facility said Wednesday. Three residents have died. In all, 16 residents and three employees have contracted the virus.

5:15 p.m. | Riverbend Post Acute Rehabilitation in Kansas City, Kansas, says 92 residents and 24 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Nine residents have been hospitalized. At the facility, another three people have died, bringing the death toll to 15.

4:40 p.m. | The Shawnee Mission School District says it served nearly 1,680 children at its food distribution sites on Wednesday, an increase of 300 children from the day before. Some of its sites were short food because of the increase, according to the district. Beginning Monday, SMSD food distribution sites will increase the number of meals and food service staff and bring on additional volunteers to help families. Parents are advised to bring containers in order to bring meals back to their vehicles.

3:45 p.m. | Adventure Oasis Water Park in Independence will not open for its 2020 season. The decision “was made out of an abundance of caution for the public health.”

3:40 p.m. | In the Kansas City metro, 1,529 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, as well as 78 deaths. Kansas reported 1,505 cases of the virus on Wednesday afternoon, and Missouri neared 5,000 cases, with 4,950 confirmed. Nationwide, more than 27,000 people have died from the coronavirus, and there are more than 614,000 confirmed cases.

3:30 p.m. | Kansas City Public Schools will still end the school year on May 22, Superintendent Mark Bedell told the Board of Education on Wednesday. Summer school classes will be held online.

2:15 p.m. | Dr. Lee Norman, Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary, said in a press briefing that Lansing Correctional Facility has 24 staff members and 20 inmates with COVID-19. As of Monday, the facility reported17 staff members and 20 inmates had contracted the virus.

2:05 p.m. | Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says the state's stay-at-home order will be extended until midnight on May 3.

Also Wednesday, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said he doesn't expect to see a coronavirus vaccine for another year.

1:40 p.m. | Bank of Blue Valley announced a $100,000 donation to four local nonprofits. The bank plans to "make significant contributions" to the Advent Health Foundation ($25,000), Harvesters Community Food Network ($25,000), the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation ($35,000) and the Northeast Kansas Fire and EMS Departments and Ambulatory Services ($15,000).

12:36 p.m. | Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Johnson County District Attorney is reducing all traffic diversion fees to $30. Court fees remain the same. The goal is to alleviate the financial burden the virus has placed on many families.

10:50 a.m. | The Missouri Department of Economic Development released March unemployment data Wednesday, revealing a 1 percent increase month-to-month from February.

Nearly 21,000 Missourians lost a job in March, the department said, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent.

The department said it expects to see the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in its April report.

10:25 a.m. | Local McDonald's stores and their distribution partner, EARP Distribution, are donating 18,273 pounds of food to Harvesters on Thursday. The delivery will include 9,000 beef patties, 15,360 Go-Gurt yogurt tubes, 7,480 packets of apple slices and 252 cases of parfait yogurt.

10:06 a.m. | Boulevardia, which was scheduled for June 19-20, has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. Organizers hope to bring the two-day festival back in 2021. All ticket packages that have already been purchased online will be automatically refunded.

10 a.m. | Just starting your day? We’ve got you covered with a quick look at what you need to know.

Get Caught up: April 15

9:38 a.m. | New unemployment claims in Kansas fell significantly last week. The week of April 4, there were 50,345 new claims filed in Kansas, but there were only 30,786 new claims filed the week of April 11.

Still, the number of Kansans receiving unemployment rose from 37,150 on April 4 to 58,818 last week, an increase of 58.3%.

9:36 a.m. | Sam's Club is now offering special shopping hours for first responders and healthcare workers. They will be from 8-10 a.m. on Sundays. Shoppers will be provided and encouraged to wear masks while shopping.

9:12 a.m. | Johnson County, Kansas, reported 332 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths as of Wednesday morning. That puts the total number of cases in the Kansas City metro over 1,500.

8:40 a.m. | The University of Kansas Health System gave their daily update on COVID-19 operations. The hospital has 31 patients with the virus. Of those, 11 are in ICU and nine are on ventilators.

7:26 a.m. | The IRS has created a website where Americans can track their stimulus payment.

6:38 a.m. | The Federal Government has clarified that relief checks distributed by the IRS do not have to be repaid as some sources are suggesting.

5:29 a.m. | American Idol announced the show will continue, despite COVID-19 restrictions. Judges, hosts and even performers will join the show from their homes.

5 a.m. | Now that the CDC is recommending everyone wear face masks when going out, 41 Action News consumer investigator Cat Reid looked into how to make one at home if someone lacks sewing skills.

Previous coverage:
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
Wednesday, March 18
Thursday, March 19
Friday, March 20
Saturday, March 21
Sunday, March 22
Monday, March 23
Tuesday, March 24
Wednesday, March 25
Thursday, March 26
Friday, March 27
Saturday, March 28
Sunday, March 29
Monday, March 30
Tuesday, March 31
Wednesday, April 1
Thursday, April 2
Friday, April 3
Friday, April 3
Saturday, April 4
Monday, April 6
Monday, April 6
Tuesday, April 7
Wednesday, April 8
Thursday, April 9
Friday, April 10
Saturday, April 11
Sunday, April 12
Monday, April 13
Tuesday, April 14