KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas, Health Department director Juliann Van Liew said Tuesday that Kansas City could find itself in a similar situation as last winter if resident's don't take proper COVID-19 precautions.
"We don't know what variant is coming next, and if you add a variant worst than the delta and pile that on top of influenza and on top of the fact that we move indoors in the winter, we can be really setting ourselves up for a catastrophic winter just like last year," Van Liew said during Tuesday's University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 conference call.
Former Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department director, Dr. Rex Archer, also addressed comments he made last month in which he predicted a COVID-19 "blow-up," in the fall.
"I still feel that way, although there are some things being put in place that may reduce the size of that blow up," Archer said.
Both doctors said they are concerned about the spread of the delta variant in schools that don't have mask mandates.
"We are extremely worried about what comes out of those school settings," Van Liew said. "They can literally be hot boxes for infections if they don't have the right controls in place."
Many districts in the Kansas City area have decided to implement a mask mandate in some form, but many of them were met with resistance from parents.
"If schools don't mandate mask wearing for everybody, we're going to have a real problem this fall," Archer said.