March 16 blog: New COVID-19 cases in MO, KS; closures continue

Posted at 5:32 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 00:43:42-04

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

Updates on the spread of the virus and how it is affecting the metro can be found below for March 16.

11:40 p.m. | Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kansas, has not closed, but is taking extra cleaning measures to keep patrons safe.

HCA Midwest has instituted visitor restrictionsat its facilities.

41 Action News will continue to provide updates in a daily blog on Tuesday.

9:58 p.m. | The Cass County Health Department confirmed its first presumptive-positive case of coronavirus. The health department says the patient is from Drexel and is currently at home in isolation.

8:45 p.m. | Harrisonville School District will extend its spring break closure through April 3.

8:20 p.m. | Overland Park city meetings will be canceled after March 18 through April 6.

7:05 p.m. | With recommendations from state, county and city leaders to limit the number of people in one space several Kansas City-area schools announced there will be no classes through April 3. On the Missouri side this includes: KCPS, Hickman Mills, North KC, Liberty, Park Hill, Fort Osage, Independence, Excelsior Springs, Center, Raytown, Lee's Summit, Grain Valley, Grandview, Belton, Blue Springs, Ray-Pec and Platte County R-3. On the Kansas side this includes: Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley, Olathe, Spring Hill, Gardner-Edgerton, and USD 232 (De Soto). KCKPS told 41 Action News they will meet on Wednesday to make any decisions.

4:45 p.m. | Amid recommendations to limit gatherings to 50 people or less, Kansas City, Missouri, police say they will not be counting people on Tuesday as they go into bars for St. Patrick's Day.

In a blog post on Monday, KCPD Chief Rick Smith says police have suspended all community events and meetings in police facilities; canceled ride-alongs; and encouraged officers to practice good hygiene, not shake hands and meet in open areas or on porches if possible. Smith said the "situation has been taxing" and the police department is making decisions "that frankly have not been considered during my 32 years of service."

4:15 p.m. | Providence Medical Center will begin a "no visitation" policy beginning at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 17. Visitors allowed under certain conditions include those visiting someone in critical care; spouses or partners in maternity; one visitor per patient in the emergency department and a second in the waiting room; one visitor for patients having outpatient or same-day procedures.

3:40 p.m. | The Kansas City Royals announced that its employees to work from home for two weeks. The box office and team store also will be closed.

Kansas State University will cancel in-person spring commencement and hold the rest of the spring semester remotely.

12:15 p.m. | The KC Streetcar will begin limiting passengers to 50 per streetcar vehicle to comply with the latest guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Noon | The Kansas City VA Medical Center has restricted entry points and will screen veterans and approved visitors, who will be restricted to inpatient units. Outpatient and surgery patients will be allowed one companion. If that person shows flu-like symptoms, they will not be allowed into the facility.

11 a.m. | Johnson County on Monday said eight people have now tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

10:06 a.m. | Leavenworth Municipal Court will be closed for three weeks. Anyone with a court date on March 19, 26 or April 2 is asked to call 913-758-2900.

9:57 a.m. | AMC Theatres announced they will cap attendance at all movies to 50 people to comply with CDC guidelines. They had initially capped attendance at 250, or 50 percent.

9:44 a.m. | Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas held a press conference to give an update on the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri.

The most notable update is that officials believe that in two weeks time, the state will have the capacity to test any person with a fever and cough for COVID-19. They also teased to the possibility of having mobile testing sites in the upcoming weeks.

Gov. Parson estimated that Missouri will get about $20 million in aid between state and federal levels to fight the spread of the virus.
“We’re going to be there to do everything we can possibly do to help people in the state… but there’s going to have to be some common sense," Parson said, emphasizing the 50 person limit to events recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

"We listen to science. We're listening to recommendations from our health directors and others. If Dr. Archer's advice today is we do not need to close schools in Kansas City, then I am going to listen," Mayor Lucas said in response to a question about mixed advice from different levels of authority.

He said that is why opportunities to share information, like the press conference Monday morning, are important.

Gov. Parson also emphasized that information is constantly changing and recommendations could be drastically different tomorrow.

9:11 a.m. | Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says the 6th COVID-19 patient is from Greene County, Missouri.

8:39 a.m. | Missouri has announced another positive case of COVID-19, bringing the state total to six cases. Officials have not yet announced what county the case is in.

🔬 170 total individuals tested
🔬 164 negative
🔬 6 positive

— Mo Health & Sr Srvcs (@HealthyLivingMo) March 16, 2020

5:25 a.m. | Piper USD 203 will offer to-go lunches for students March 16-20. Lunches can be picked up at the north doors of Piper High School between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Full price meals will cost students $2.50, and lunch will cost $0.40 for those eligible for reduced price lunch.

5 a.m. | Chick-fil-a announced the company will be closing the dining rooms in its restaurants. Customers can still visit the drive-thru.