University of Kansas Health System doctor: ‘We are in the epicenter’ of latest COVID-19 wave

As Delta variant COVID-19 cases increase in the U.S., schools consider safety plans for fall
Posted at 10:01 AM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 18:25:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Kansas Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Stites said Thursday Kansas City is past the tipping point in dealing with the next wave of COVID-19.

During Thursday’s briefing, Stites said Kansas City is now in the heart of the storm.

“We’re past the tipping point,” Stites said. “We’re in trouble.”

Stites said that although coverage of the spike in cases driven by the delta variant is focused in places like Springfield, Missouri, it’s no longer safe to have the mindset that it’s there and not here.

“What’s happened is it’s moved — it was in Springfield, but it’s now clearly moved up north,” Stites said.

The Mid-America Regional Council’s Kansas City Region COVID-19 dashboard reports 440 new cases reported Thursday. That’s the highest rate since early February, and a continuation of an upward trend in cases that started in early July.

Regional hospitals have been averaging 94 new hospitalizations per day — a rate that also mirrors hospitalizations from early February.

“If you’re not vaccinated, you should be scared because you’re at risk,” Stites said.

Watch the full KU Daily Briefing: