Doctors reported a jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit cases on Monday morning at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas.
There were a record 152 total COVID-19 active and recovering patients Monday morning at the hospital, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control.
He said there were 102 active COVID-19 patients on Monday morning, with 46 in the intensive care unit and 30 on ventilators. There were another 50 COVID-19 patients in recovery at the hospital.
For comparison, there were 92 active COVID-19 patients at the hospital last Wednesday, including 46 in the ICU and 21 on ventilators. There were 47 in recovery last Wednesday.
HaysMed in Hays, Kansas, reported 34 total COVID-19 patients, including 20 active and 14 recovering patients, he said.
In the past five to six days there has been a peak in total infections around the Kansas City, area, and they are seeing hospitalizations lag behind the increase in infections, he said.
It is still early to know if there will be a surge following Thanksgiving gatherings, according to Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System. He said by Dec. 12 to 14 they should know more about any possible surges in cases from the holiday gatherings.
According to Dr. Stites, it’s possible that there was less testing during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and that case numbers could fluctuate.
The doctors also discussed a recommendation from Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, that people who traveled and attended large gatherings over Thanksgiving should assume they have COVID-19 and get tested soon. She suggested that those who traveled and attended large gatherings should not go near the elderly and those with comorbidities.
Dr. Hawkinson said those who traveled and went to Thanksgiving gatherings could get tested about a week after the gathering, but not before the fifth day.
Dr. Stites said they will be closely watching the number of beds available at the health system, and they still had some ICU beds available on Sunday. He said they will be discussing the availability of beds with other hospitals’ chief officers.
While there were some testing sites closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, the KU Health System’s lab has seen increased testing including 1,500 tests over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to Rachael Liesman, director of the microbiology lab. The lab is averaging over 1,000 tests a day and has doubled testing in the last four weeks, Liesman said.
According to Rick Couldry, vice president of pharmacy health professions, the KU Health System is working with the state of Kansas in its efforts to coordinate testing throughout the state.
The health system has been assigned to a group of five counties in central Kansas, and will focus its efforts on areas that do not have enough testing, he said. They expect to work with long-term care facilities.
KU Health System also has been working closely with Vibrant Health, and has already run about 1,000 tests for Vibrant, which serves Wyandotte County and underinsured residents, he said.
Kansas reports increase of 4,425 cases and 31 deaths since Friday
Kansas reported an increase of 4,425 COVID-19 cases since Friday, for a cumulative total of 157,446. There were 31 additional COVID-19 deaths in Kansas, for a cumulative total of 1,560, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The Greater Kansas City Region, which includes a nine-county area, reported a seven-day average of 924 additional daily cases on Monday, according to the Mid-America Regional Council’s Kansas City Region COVID-19 Resource Hub. Most of the indicators were trending down.
The rate of new cases is declining slightly, according to the resource hub. The cumulative number of cases in the nine-county area was 90,640.
There were an additional 15 COVID-19 deaths in the nine-county area reported on Monday, for a total of 1,088. The seven-day average of deaths per day was 6.
The daily average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations was 146 in the nine-county area, which is trending down. The weekly average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the nine-county area was 873.
The average daily number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital is 644 in the nine-county area. The number of those on ventilators is 101, which was down from the previous day, according to the KC Region COVID-19 data page. There was an average daily number of 174 patients in the intensive care units in the nine-county area.
The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard reported a total of 13,540,684 COVID-19 cases in the United States on Monday. There were a cumulative 268,016 deaths.
Free COVID-19 testing available Tuesday
Free COVID-19 testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at All Saints parish, 811 Vermont, Kasnas City, Kansas.
The pop-up test is through Vibrant Health and the Wyandotte County Health Equity Task Force.
The Unified Government Health Department has moved its COVID-19 testing from the 6th and Ann location to the former Kmart at 78th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. The hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tests are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County. The tests are now saliva COVID-19 tests.
The tests now are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.
For more information about the testing site at the former Kmart location, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/10092020_newtestingsitewyco.pdf.
The KU doctors’ news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/3661066500642141.
For more information, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.
The new Wyandotte County health order with a limit of 10 persons to a gathering, and a closing time of 10 p.m. for restaurants and bars, with other new restrictions, is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/11162020localhealthorderexecuted.pdf.
The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.
The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/20209.html.
The CDC’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.