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Children's Mercy adjusts visiting rules amid increase in COVID-19 cases across KC-area

Transitions from 'Green' to 'Yellow' zone
Children's Mercy Pfizer vaccine trial
Posted at 5:40 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 18:40:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Summer is right around the corner, and COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the Kansas City area.

In response, Children’s Mercy Hospital is updating its guidance for staff, patients and visitors.

On Tuesday, Children’s Mercy transitioned from a “Green” to “Yellow” zone, which means a change in visitation rules as well as masking protocols.

Dr. Angela Myers, division director of infectious diseases at Children's Mercy, said the decision was made as cases to continue to rise, according to data from the Mid America Regional Council.

Myers said inside Children's Mercy, the hospital has seen a 10% positive case increase with patients just this week.

“We see it going up and up over the past month or so, where it had been down about 2%" Myers said. "Kind of each week, it was creeping up to 5% and then 7%, and now we have hit 10%."

Myers added these numbers, along with the increase in positive cases among employees, is the one of the other reasons for the new restrictions. The goal is to keep families and staff safe.

“We were already wearing masks with patients with gowns and gloves, [and] with COVID suspected or positive patients," Myers said. "However, this is wearing masks outside of that setting even non-patient areas, and different educational activities and things like that."

With summer right around the corner, Children’s Mercy says it’s important families get vaccinated, boosted and stick to outdoor activities to prevent infection.

“We expect vaccination to be available for children under 5 hopefully within the next couple of weeks and they will have that opportunity," Myers said. “Outdoor activities are safe, and so I would continue to do those as the weather allows. But, if you are going to be a in a crowded indoor setting and you’re unsure of the vaccination status of the people you are with, then it’s not a bad idea to have a mask handy."