University of Kansas Health System sees most COVID-19 related deaths in October

KU Health System
Posted at 4:18 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 19:24:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The month of October has been a difficult one in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the Kansas City metro.

“We’re not even though October yet, but that should be really concerning," said Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System.

According to Hawkinson, 20 people have died due to COVID-19 at the University of Kansas Health System so far this month.

“The youngest patient who has died was 21 and the oldest was 97, so again, quite the range," said Dr. David Wild, also with the University of Kansas Health System.

In Wyandotte County, the health department says it's seeing an average of 40 new cases per day.

“A month or so ago, it got as low as 30 cases per day, so that number is increasing, which is concerning," said Elizabeth Groenweghe, chief epidemiologist with the Unified Government Public Health Department.

The county has reached nearly 8,000 positive cases of coronavirus and has reported 162 COVID-19 related deaths.

Currently, Wyandotte County is sitting at a 17.4% positivity rate, a much higher percentage than what is ideal.

“Generally, the metric nationwide that people are kind of looking for is the percent positivity of less than 5%," Groenweghe said.

Wyandotte County has been more strict than neighboring Johnson County when it comes to reopening plans. The health department says it would like to see the percent positivity at 5% or less before adjusting restrictions.

“That’s the percent positivity where we can start looking at possibly relaxing some of the restrictions that we have in place," Groenweghe said.

Johnson County recently saw the highest jump in COVID-19 related deaths during the pandemic in a seven-day span, jumping from 173 to 190.