Doctors say violence has increased, along with COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases increased by 108 on Tuesday in Wyandotte County, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There was one additional death. (From UG COVID-19 webpage)

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Kansas, there has also been an increase in violence, according to a trauma injury prevention education specialist at the University of Kansas Health System.

Olivia Desmarais, RN, former trauma nurse and now a trauma prevention education specialist, at a Tuesday news conference discussed violence against those who are 12 to 24 years old. Violence has increased in that group, and some believe it is tied to COVID-19 and increased stresses in society.

Desmarais discussed the Reducing Effects of Violence through Intervention and Victim Empowerment (REVIVE) program, which helps connect victims of violence with community programs.

Damon Daniel, president of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, said that violence is the leading cause of death among 10 to 14 year olds. The Ad Hoc group is one of several programs working with the REVIVE program to help change violence.

Daniel said violence is a learned behavior and people should strive for change while practicing forgiveness.

Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson said lack of employment and economic insecurity is one reason behind the increase in violence during the pandemic. She said it is a community-wide problem, and she was grateful that this program can help bring resources together. She discussed ways the community can help.

Also speaking at the news conference was Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman. Dr. Norman said the KDHE has a new video feature, “Faces of COVID,” which includes first-hand accounts from Kansas residents who have dealt with the virus.

One video featured a 42-year-old mother of four, Amy Carrillo, from Lawrence, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. While she didn’t think much about it at first, later her symptoms worsened. She experienced severe chest pain, and was in bed for a month. The symptoms lasted four months, and only in the past few weeks, her lungs stopped hurting.

Dr. Norman said the state is seeing 360 new cases a day, and he hoped that by sharing their own personal stories, the COVID-19 patients will reach people and help lower the number of new cases with Labor Day and school reopening approaching.

Dr. Norman said he anticipated an increase in cases around Labor Day, when people traditionally get together, and some could let their guards down.

He also expected to see higher numbers when schools are in session and the weather gets colder. Currently the state is seeing higher numbers of positive cases, and at the same time, the overall 14-day trend line is better, the hospitalization rate is better and the death rate is better. He said on balance, people are taking the masks more seriously. Overall, it’s improving with some problem areas, he added.

Since governments are not giving mandatory orders at the federal and state levels on COVID-19, Dr. Norman said people need to take the responsibility individually, and all need to “own our own preparedness.”

COVID-19 cases increased by 108 on Tuesday in Wyandotte County, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There was one more death from Monday.

KU Health System reported 27 patients in the hospital for COVID-19, down from 30 on Monday, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection control and prevention at KU Health System. Six of the patients were in the intensive care unit, with five on ventilators, the same as Monday. After peaking at 36 patients last week, doctors hope the trend continues to decline as Labor Day approaches, with reopening of schools.

Free testing offered


Free COVID-19 testing is planned from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Zotung Christian Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas.
The pop-up test is offered through Vibrant Health and the Health Equity Task Force.


Free testing also is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Unified Government Health Department parking lot at 6th and Ann, Kansas City, Kansas.


For more information on who may be tested and what to bring, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.


The KU doctors’ news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/1005880593185089


The Wyandotte County school start order is online at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.

Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask order and is in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. For more information, residents may visit the UG COVID-19 website at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information or call 311 for more information.


The CDC’s COVID-19 web page is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

COVID-19 cases on the rise in KC area

Wyandotte County reported 4,492 positive COVID-19 cases on Aug. 3, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. (From UG COVID-19 webpage)
A seven-day rolling average of positive cases in Wyandotte County showed the rate is decreasing in recent weeks. (From UG COVID-19 webpage)
The nine-county Kansas City area showed a trend of increasing cases recently, according to this chart from the KC Region COVID-19 Resource Hub. Almost 20,000 cumulative cases were reported in the Greater Kansas City area. (KC Region COVID-19 Resource Hub)
A chart showed statewide COVID-19 cases by symptom onset date. (KDHE chart)

Trend is declining in Wyandotte County

COVID-19 cases are increasing in the community, according to doctors participating in a University of Kansas Health System news conference Monday morning.

The University of Kansas Health System on Monday morning reported four COVID-19 deaths over the weekend. There were 30 COVID-19 patients, including six in the intensive care unit and five on ventilators, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection control and prevention.

Overall, the number of cases is increasing in the community, according to Dr. Hawkinson.

Dr. David Wild, vice president of performance improvement for the University of Kansas Health System, said the patients are slightly younger and are staying in the hospital a shorter time, leading to more patients coming and going.

Those who end up in the ICU are generally very sick and on the ventilator, and most of them are there a longer time, he said.

This past weekend, the youngest COVID-19 patient in the hospital was 19 and the oldest was in the 80s, he added. “There are plenty of 20- and 30-year-olds in the hospital,” he said.

They are now seeing the spread of the disease in the community, and all ages are being affected, Dr. Wild said.

At Advent Health, there were 24 COVID-19 patients in the hospital today, including eight n the ICU and five on ventilators. The numbers peaked about 10 days ago at 30. The hospital is seeing the same experience with a wider range of ages, according to Dr. Larry Botts, chief medical officer.

Dr. Raghu Adiga, chief medical officer at Liberty Hospital, reported seven COVID-19 patients, with three in the ICU and ventilators. He said Clay County has seen an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in the past couple of weeks, but not a large increase in hospitalizations.

Dr. Mark Steele, executive chief clinical officer at Truman Medical Center, said there were 22 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, down from a high of 36 a week ago, with 11 in the ICU and three on ventilators. The length of stay is down.

The hospital has seen about a third of the COVID-19 deaths in the Hispanic population, he said, and has increased its efforts to offer testing to the community.

Dr. Hawkinson said there are still a few weeks to get the community spread under control, and he hopes to see a further drop in numbers before schools reopen. He said people can reduce the spread of the disease by wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands, staying home when sick and staying away from crowds.

Wyandotte County reported 4,492 positive COVID-19 cases on Aug. 3, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage.

The Kansas City Region COVID-19 Resource Hub reported 19,945 confirmed cases and 373 deaths Sunday in a nine-county area in Greater Kansas City.

The state of Kansas reported 28,876 positive cumulative COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, an increase of 1,064 since Friday morning, according to statistics from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There were a cumulative total of 365 deaths, an increase of seven deaths from Friday.

The KDHE figures stated Wyandotte County increased 124 cases from Friday to Monday morning.

According to KDHE statistics, Johnson County cases increased to 5,252, an increase of 257 since Friday. Sedgwick County, the Wichita area, reported 4,506 cases on Monday morning, according to KDHE.

Free testing offered

Free COVID-19 testing is planned from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at All Saints Parish, 811 Vermont Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

The pop-up test is offered through Vibrant Health and the Health Equity Task Force.

Free testing also is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Unified Government Health Department parking lot at 6th and Ann, Kansas City, Kansas.

For more information on who may be tested and what to bring, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.

The KU doctors’ news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/654931088754776.

The Wyandotte County school start order is online at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.


Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask order and is in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. For more information, residents may visit the UG COVID-19 website at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information or call 311 for more information

The CDC’s COVID-19 web page is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

COVID-19 testing planned today

Free COVID-19 testing is planned today from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Aug. 3 at the Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 9301 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas.

The pop-up test is offered through Vibrant Health and the Health Equity Task Force.

Free testing also is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Unified Government Health Department parking lot at 6th and Ann, Kansas City, Kansas.

For more information on who may be tested and what to bring, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.