Sporting KC to battle Dallas in matinee Saturday in KCK

First-place Sporting Kansas City (6-3-2, 20 points) will play FC Dallas (4-2-4, 16 points) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Live match coverage will begin nationwide at 2:30 p.m. on Univision and TUDN during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Tickets for the Western Conference clash between the pair of MLS charter clubs can be purchased online at SeatGeek.com as Sporting KC plays the club’s 200th match at the world-class venue with comprehensive health and safety protocols in place for a reduced-capacity crowd of 18 percent.

In addition to the nationally televised Spanish-language broadcasts, FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus will broadcast three hours of on-site commentary from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Live streams will be available to viewers on Twitter and FOX Sports GO, as well as local radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting Kansas City vaulted to first place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference with a 1-0 victory over Minnesota United FC on Sunday, courtesy of a late game-winner from Johnny Russell and a strong defensive performance in which the Loons were held without a shot on goal for the first time in their 114-game MLS history.

Sporting will now continue a three-game homestand as the 2020 campaign reaches its midway point in Week 12 of the abbreviated 23-game MLS regular season.

FC Dallas won just two of its first eight games in 2020 – and did not participate in the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida – but has found its rhythm in the past week with back-to-back home wins, beating rivals Houston by a 2-1 scoreline on Saturday before Santiago Mosquera’s hat trick lifted Dallas to a 4-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday.

With six points in five days, FC Dallas is now fourth in the West and is the only team in the conference to emerge victorious in its past two outings.

Saturday’s showdown will serve as a rematch of the 1-1 draw between the two sides on Sept. 2 at Children’s Mercy Park, which saw Franco Jara and Khiry Shelton trade first-half goals as Sporting outshot Dallas by a 22-5 margin.

Iowa native Kyle Zobeck made his MLS debut in net for FC Dallas that night, replacing Jimmy Maurer in the first half due to injury, and the former 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick has since started each of the last three games for the Western Conference’s stingiest defense.

As indicated by the last meeting, the regular season series between the MLS originals is deadlocked at 25-25-13 through 63 meetings dating back to Kansas City’s first ever road match in April 1996. However, Sporting is 8-2-3 against Dallas in its last 13 home games across all competitions – highlighted by a 10-game unbeaten run from 2012-2018 – despite going 0-2-1 in the most recent three encounters in KC.

Saturday’s splendid forecast calls for 72 degrees and sunny skies throughout the mid-day match. Across all competitions, Sporting boasts an 18-0-9 record in 27 all-time home matches at Children’s Mercy Park that have kicked off at 4 p.m. or earlier.

While Sporting aims to keep that run going in the race for first place, below are four additional statistical milestones of potential note on Saturday:

• Sporting’s 11-game scoring streak is one shy of matching the club record for most consecutive games without being shutout to start a season.
• Vermes is one shy of the 150th regular season win of his coaching career, an achievement reached by four previous MLS managers.
• Saturday will be Sporting’s 200th match at Children’s Mercy Park (including friendlies) since the stadium opened on June 9, 2011.
• Sporting is one shy of the team’s 250th home win in club history across all competitions.

SportingStyle locations will be selling Kick Childhood Cancer retail items, including limited-edition scarves and beanies, in support of The Victory Project and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. For every beanie sold, Sporting KC will donate a beanie to Children’s Mercy Hospital for patients battling cancer.

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COVID-19 test rules change in Wyandotte County to include those without symptoms

On Friday afternoon, Wyandotte County reported a cumulative total of 6,508 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 43 from Thursday, according to the UG COVID-19 website. There was no increase in deaths reported from Thursday, and the total is 133. (From UG COVID-19 website)
The seven-day rolling average of positive COVID-19 cases in Wyandotte County has shown a downward trend recently. (From UG COVID-19 website)
New rules have been issued for testing at the UG Health Department, starting Monday. People without symptoms now may be tested. (From UG Health Department information)

Starting Monday, Sept. 21, Wyandotte County will begin COVID-19 testing for people who don’t have symptoms, as well as those who have symptoms, according to an announcement today from the Unified Government Health Department.

Tests at the Health Department parking lot at 6th and Ann and also at pop-up testing sites through Vibrant and Swope Health will now be available to those who do not have symptoms, expanding eligibility, the spokesman said.

Previously, only those who had symptoms or those who had an exposure to a known COVID-19 case were tested here.

People who don’t have symptoms may have COVID-19, according to health officials, and may be spreading it without knowing it. Some may be infectious for a few days before symptoms start.

Those tested at the Health Department still will have to be residents of Wyandotte County or people who work in Wyandotte County, Friesen said.

Not as many people have been going in for testing recently at the Health Department and pop-up sites, said Janell Friesen, public information officer. They have reached a point where they had adequate staff and resources to offer it to nonsymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms, she said.

Additional testing of nonsymptomatic people, the wider population, has been recommended at the national and state levels recently, and $52.7 million in the third round of CARES Act funding was approved Sept. 17 by the State Finance Council for COVID-19 testing throughout the state.

The Health Department worked with Vibrant Health, Swope Health and the Wyandotte County Health Equity Task Force to adjust testing eligibility, according to the Health Department.

“Asymptomatic testing is a crucial step toward controlling the spread of COVID-19. We’re happy to now offer this critical service to our community,” said Dr. Kelly Kreisler, chief medical officer for Vibrant Health.

Dr. Jennifer Frost, interim chief medical officer with Swope Health, said, “The only way to prevent transmission of COVID-19 is by separating people who are infected from those who are not. Because many people with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, we need to expand testing to the asymptomatic population.”

“We’ve seen our county’s testing numbers going down, but we still are still one of the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 in the metro. This is a major step forward in our ability to test more members of our Wyandotte County community and get a clearer picture of where and how the virus is spreading,” said Juliann Van Liew, director of the Unified Government Public Health Department. “We know that people can still be infectious even if they don’t have symptoms or their symptoms haven’t started yet. If we can identify people who are asymptomatic but still carrying the virus, we can more effectively stop the spread of COVID-19 in Wyandotte County and beyond.”

The change was in response to the most recent testing numbers here as well as current data on asymptomatic spread of the virus, according to the Health Department.

Appointments are not needed to get tested at the Health Department and pop-up clinics, Friesen said. Walk-ins are available.

For those who have symptoms, the Health Department suggests they get tested within 48 hours of the symptoms, she said.

For people who have been exposed to a COVID-19 case but do not have symptoms, it could ake several days for COVID-19 to show up on the test. They should be tested ideally from seven to nine days after being exposed, Friesen said, then should go home and finish their quarantine. COVID-19 may show up anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure, she added.

At the present, they don’t know who will show up to be tested, she added. There may be some families coming through at the beginning of the school year or activities, she said. There also might be people who are getting ready to travel somewhere and want to be tested first.

There may be some businesses who want to send employees in for testing, and Friesen recommended they look at the COVID-19 business town hall meeting video from earlier this month to get a sense of guidelines. The video is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information. Next week, they plan to go over the guidance specific to businesses, she said.

At the University of Kansas campus, it was reported that the positivity rate was 2 to 3 percent when they tested every student entering the university this fall, but then when they stopped testing everyone and started testing the sick and those who were exposed to COVID-19, the rate went up to around 10 percent.

Friesen said although they do not know for certain, it is a possibility that the local positivity rate may decline if there are more people coming in to get tested who are asymptomatic. They will continue to track the rates, she said. The positivity rate was listed at 17.6 percent on the UG COVID-19 website on Friday, meaning that the rate is 17.6 positive out of 100 of those who tested in Wyandotte County. The positivity rate is often used when schools consider whether they can reopen or for other community reopening criteria.

The Health Department is using PCR swab testing at this time, and is also looking at other testing possibilities for the future, she said. They want to be sure there are solid, reliable results, before making any changes, she said.

The test result wait time will vary, depending on where the test is, what lab is running it and if there was a huge influx of tests coming in at the same time at the lab, she said. Currently the wait time is usually within a couple of days at the Health Department, she said.

A few Saturdays were added recently to the pop-up test schedule for Vibrant Health and Swope Health, she said. Testing will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Faith Deliverance Family Worship Center, 3043 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. Testing has also been added for Saturday, Sept. 26, at another pop-up location. Friesen said testing also has been added from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Vibrant Health Argentine location.

Testing is one of the best tools they have to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After a person tests positive, the person is in quarantine while the virus is active, and contacts are traced to stop the spread in the community. Anyone who has close contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 while it is active should go into quarantine for 14 days, Friesen said. Even if the contact tests negative, they should still complete the 14-day quarantine.

On Friday afternoon, Wyandotte County reported a cumulative total of 6,508 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 43 from Thursday, according to the UG COVID-19 website. There was no increase in deaths reported from Thursday, and the total is 133.

For more information, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/09182020_asymptomatictestinginwyco.pdf.

Check with the UG’s website, Health Department Facebook page or call 311 to see if there are any changes in the testing schedule. Information about testing is at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.


The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.

KCK native receives Park University’s ‘Promising Young Professional’ Award

JT Daniels

JT Daniels, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, has received the Park University Promising Young Professional Award.

The award was given by the Park University Alumni Association on Sept. 17 in a virtual award ceremony. Daniels currently is a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, where he has a studio.

Daniels graduated from Park University in 2011 and shows exceptional leadership promise in his field, according to the alumni association.

After graduating from Park, Daniels rented a studio space in the Kansas City area to focus on commissioned work.

He was preparing to move out of the studio when he got a phone call that changed the course of his career, a Park spokesman stated in a news release. A scout was looking to photograph Midwest artists in their studios for a marketing campaign.

Afterward, a New York advertising firm noticed his colorful, fluid style and invited him to be one of 10 artists to submit designs for iced tea labels, according to the spokesman.

Daniels’ vibrant, streamlined designs are now featured on bottles of Brisk iced tea.

His uplifting murals can also be seen all over the Kansas City metro area, from the walls of local businesses to Kansas City Streetcar stops to the historic 18th and Vine District, according to the Park news release.

His colorful, expressive murals have also been commissioned by numerous clients in the Kansas City region.

Daniels’ portfolio continues to grow nationally in original works, collaborative projects and murals that address socially relevant topics, according to a Park University spokesman.

Daniels’ website is at http://www.jtdanielsart.com/.

Park University, a nonprofit private institution, was founded in 1875 in Parkville, Missouri, and now has 41 campuses in 22 states and also offers online education.