More COVID-19 testing to open soon in Wyandotte County

More COVID-19 testing will open soon in Wyandotte County, according to Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer.

Dr. Greiner talked about the additional testing in an internet presentation with U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 1. Wyandotte County currently has more than 100 positive COVID-19 cases.

The Unified Government Health Department’s website at www.wycokck.org/COVID-19 has information and a self-reporting tool.

There is already testing for COVID-19 going on at the Sharon Lee Family Health Care at 340 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Kansas, (the former Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care), Dr. Greiner said. The requirements for testing are not as strict as they were formerly, he said. People may call 913-396-7070 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or visit http://www.swbfhc.org/ for more information.

Dr. Greiner said during the program with Rep. Davids that there are plans for an additional drive-through site on Friday in Wyandotte County.

Also, he said that St. Luke’s Health System is doing some testing for COVID-19 at some of its sites. St. Luke’s has announced its testing has been expanded to all first responders within the region who meet testing criteria. Those being tested have to have one or more of the symptoms, and need a referral. For more information, visit https://www.saintlukeskc.org/about/news/saint-lukes-news-saint-lukes-expands-covid-19-drive-through-testing-all-first-responders.

Dr. Greiner said the Johnson County Health Department also is looking at additional places for COVID-19 testing soon. This effort was approved recently through the Johnson County Commission, and the county is looking at sites.

Dr. Greiner encouraged Wyandotte County residents to visit the UG’s COVID-19 website at www.wycokck.org/COVID-19 or https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information. If they have symptoms, Wyandotte County residents can fill out a self-tracking form and a medical professional from the Health Department will get back to them with advice on what they should do. Those who are sick also may call their primary care doctor or their health clinic.

Rep. Davids encouraged residents to visit her COVID-19 website page at davids.house.gov/coronavirus, which has information and links about COVID-19, information about economic relief, unemployment benefits, stimulus funding programs including programs for small businesses, and other topics.

During the program, Rep. Davids also fielded questions about the small business relief that is in the financial stimulus package.

On Thursday she released a statement calling on the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department to make sure small businesses receive relief quickly and efficiently. About $20 million was allocated to SBA for small business disaster loans.

“Small businesses across the country, especially in the Kansas Third District, are suffering from the necessary public health measures put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The CARES Act provides desperately needed resources for affected small businesses, which must be implemented immediately and without government red tape. Failing to do so will have enormous consequences,” Rep. Davids stated.

Several other topics were included in the Wednesday night presentation, including information about benefits, and health topics such as whether to wear a mask. To view the video of the Wednesday program, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N-kYmYItY0.

Wyandotte County reports 108 COVID-19 cases with one additional death

There are five COVID-19 related deaths in Wyandotte County, with 108 cases, according to the 4:50 p.m. update Thursday, April 2. (UG COVID-19 webpage)
A map showed COVID-19 cases in different Zip Code areas of Wyandotte County. There were 26 cases in 66104; 26 cases in 66109; 20 cases in 66112; 15 cases in 66102; 5 cases in 66101; 5 cases in 66106 and five cases in 66012. Other areas had fewer than 5 cases. (Map from UG’s COVID-19 website)
A graph showed a rise in COVID-19 cases in Wyandotte County. (Graph from UG’s COVID-19 website)
A map from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment showed that 44 counties in Kansas had positive COVID-19 cases. (Map from KDHE)

Kansas has 552 COVID-19 cases

Wyandotte County reported 108 positive COVID-19 cases at 4:50 p.m. April 2, with one additional death, according to the Unified Government website.

It brought the total number of deaths in Wyandotte County to five, the UG’s COVID-19 website stated. According to the UG, the fifth death was a woman in her 60s who died on April 1.

Kansas reported 552 positive cases with a total 13 deaths statewide about 11 a.m. April 2, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

The KDHE reported three additional deaths in Kansas since the April 1 count. Kansas now has 44 counties with at least one positive case.

Johnson County reported 161 cases, according to the KDHE. Johnson County reported one additional death since April 1, and now has a total four deaths, according to the Johnson County Health Department website. The county reported 144 cases on April 1.

According to the KDHE website, there were 138 hospitalizations statewide, with 6,059 negative tests reported. There were 685 lab tests in Wyandotte County, the website stated.

There were 40 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wyandotte County, the UG’s website stated.

Today, Gov. Laura Kelly, at a news conference, continued to urge residents to stay home and stay safe to stop the spread of COVID-19. A statewide stay-home order is in effect through April 19. Wyandotte County has a stay-home order that is effective from when the state’s order expires, through April 24.

Gov. Kelly also said today the Kansas Department of Revenue is waiving penalty and interest on first quarter 2020 estimated tax payments made after April 15, but on or before July 15, 2020. It applies to individual income tax, corporate income tax and privilege tax.

Unemployment filings now over 79,000 in Kansas

Gov. Kelly said the pandemic has caused a great loss of jobs in Kansas, and a surge of unemployment claims that has overwhelmed the state Department of Labor’s online system for applying for and receiving benefits.

Kansas Labor Secretary Delia Garcia said there were roughly 10 million persons filing for unemployment benefits at the national level, as of today’s figures, and Kansas has 79,353 unemployment claims currently. She said the nation has not seen this sort of unemployment recently; it’s worse than the 2008 recession.

Gov. Kelly said the state Department of Labor was overwhelmed with 877,000 phone calls on Monday, and the state now has brought in help to provide more capacity. Amazon web services is now contracting with the state to provide more service.

Also, the state has transferred some employees from other departments to help with the calls, she said. Retired workers also have been asked to come back.

The governor asked those who could use the internet to file electronically on www.gotkansasbenefits.gov. The phone lines are reserved for those who don’t have the internet, for non-English speakers, military service members and those who recently moved to the state.

Also, the governor urged residents not to hang up on the phone line and call back again, as that will put them at the back of the line.

Garcia urged self-employed people to apply, as well as other workers who are unemployed. The federal legislation will include funds for self-employed people, but they have to go through a process of applying, and being denied in order to qualify for it.

Garcia said the state’s jobless trust fund is solvent, with about $1 billion in it, and they thought it would have lasted until February 2021, but they’re not sure at the present how long the funds will last.

The governor said the state buildings are not being reopened, but more state employees will begin working remotely from home on Monday as more state operations resume.

Also, Gov. Kelly said the state has submitted more than six orders to the federal government for hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment such as gowns and masks since mid-March. While the orders were received and approved, the state has not received any of the equipment, she said. She said all the states are facing the same problems.

“The federal system really was not prepared for this, they didn’t have the stockpiles on hand to meet the demands when the demands came in,” she said. “And then, quite honestly, whatever system they had, the delivery isn’t working.”

“When this pandemic began in China should have been the time that we were looking very, very closely at what we had on hand at the federal level and prepared a system for distribution to the states, because it was clear from the get-go that this was going to be a global problem,” Gov. Kelly said at the news conference. “We just didn’t take it seriously enough soon enough, and I think we’re all paying the price for that now.”

Questions were raised about civil rights being violated through the tracking of cell phone data to find out if an area’s residents are complying with the stay-home order. Gov. Kelly said this is not the state’s program, the state doesn’t contract with those who are doing the tracking, and they were just seeing the reports online like anyone else. She believed it helped the state get an idea of areas where people are following the stay-home order, and areas where they are not. It doesn’t identify any individuals.

Wyandotte County got a “B-” on that cell tracking scoreboard, showing that activity has been reduced since before the stay-home orders went into effect. According to the website, the county had a 25 to 40 percent decrease in average mobility based on distance traveled, and greater than 70 percent decrease in nonessential visits. (See https://www.unacast.com/covid19/social-distancing-scoreboard)

The governor also explained that the state’s stay-home order, which allows trips to grocery stores and hardware stores, was not supposed to be an opportunity to browse around for a long time in stores. It was meant for people to go and pick up their essentials and then leave.

KU doctors urge people to maintain social distancing

The University of Kansas Hospital had 36 positive COVID-19 patients on Thursday, with 14 patients on ventilators, according to hospital officials. There are 48 inpatients waiting for test results.

“Nothing bugs me more than to go out and drive around one of the parks, see people congregating together, walking together, acting like it’s a normal day,” Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer of the University of Kansas Health System, said. “It is not a normal day. This is a pandemic.”

He urged residents to stay at home, stay safe and socially distance. “It works,” he said.

Some areas are slowing the rate of the rise by social distancing, he said. The evidence is compelling that social distancing and staying at home is slowing the rate of the virus, he said. It could reduce the duration of the crisis and the number of days that the stay-home orders are in effect, he added.

Rural areas, according to the doctors, are staying in touch with the KU Health System and receiving regular updates. Telemedicine may be a silver lining in this crisis, according to Dr. Stites.

To see the governor’s news conference, with more information available, visit https://www.facebook.com/GovLauraKelly.

To see the KU doctors’ news conference, with more information available, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=037YfXEF0Kw&feature=youtu.be.

The Kansas COVID-19 website is at
https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus.

The UG’s COVID-19 response website is at
https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.

COVID-19 information from the CDC is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

Three KCKCC freshmen among four all-region picks

Led by Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year Brandon Burgette, KCKCC placed three Blue Devils on the All-Region VI team, from left – first team selection Jalen Davis and second teamers Robert Rhodes and Deron McDaniel. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
A second team selection, KCKCC’s Kamryn Estell was the lone freshman named to the All-Region VI women’s team.

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

If the makeup of the NJCAA All-Region VI Division II basketball teams is any indication, there’s good things ahead for Kansas City Kansas Community College teams.

Kamryn Estell is the lone freshman selected to the women’s team while the men’s team has just three frosh, two of them Blue Devils – Deron McDaniel and Robert Rhodes. All three were named to the Region VI second teams and are expected to be the foundation for next season.

They join sophomore Jalen Davis, the only KCKCC first team selection, on the regional honor teams. All four were also selected to All-Jayhawk Conference teams along Brandon Burgette, the Coach of the Year in his first season as Blue Devil mentor.

The Jayhawk men’s champion for the first time in history, the Blue Devils also won the Region VI championship and a berth in the national tournament erased by the coronavirus.

A 6-4 guard out of Houston, Davis led the Blue Devils in scoring at 13.9 points a game. Ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.851), Davis was also third in the conference in 3-point accuracy (.397) and fourth in scoring. Davis scored in double figures in 18 of 31 games including six contests with 24 points or more and highs of 28, 29, 30 and 31.

Rhodes, a 6-7 forward out of Cypress Springs, Texas, was named the Jayhawk Defender of the Year after leading the conference in rebounds (9.3) and blocked shots (2.2) and pacing the Blue Devils in steals (1.3). Fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.580), Rhodes had 10 double-doubles while averaging 8.2 points and 1.7 assists.

A 6-0 guard out of Next Level Prep, McDaniel led the Blue Devils in assists (3.3) and 3-point goals (68) and was fifth in the Jayhawk in scoring at 13.6 points a game. Scoring in double figures in 18 of 27 games including 9 of 10 conference games, McDaniel had nine games of 18 or more points with a high of 23.

Estell was named the Jayhawk Freshman of the Year. A 6-1 forward from Belton, Estell led the Blue Devils in scoring (15.0) and rebounds (7.2) despite being double and triple teamed throughout the season. The only Blue Devil in the starting lineup taller than 5-foot-7, she also led the Blue Devils in field goal accuracy (.560).

Co-runnerup to Labette in the women’s conference race, Highland placed three players on the all–sophomore first team –Armani Turner, Erin Randle and Tiana Gipson. Denisha Wilson of Labette and Johnson County’s Krystal Turner rounded out the first team while Labette’s Jessica Martino, Angel Williams and Diamond Jones and JCCC’s K.K. Jackson-Morris joined Estell on the second unit.

Highland’s Marquise Milton was the lone freshman on the men’s team. He was joined by teammate Rashon Johnson, JCCC’s JaQuaylon Mays and Lukas Milner and Davis on the first team while Kannon Jones and Craig Jordan of Fort Scott, Michael Flenory of Labette and Rhodes and McDaniel made up the second team.