Doctors hope mask-wearing is taking hold

Wyandotte County reported an additional 19 COVID-19 cases on Monday afternoon, for a cumulative total of 7,812, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths reported, for a cumulative total of 145. (From UG COVID-19 webpage)

When it comes to masks, the Kansas City area seems to be doing a better job than previously, according to University of Kansas Health System doctors.

Discussing mask-wearing at the Monday morning news conference, Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer, remarked that when he went shopping recently in Kansas City, Missouri, he saw a lot of people wearing masks, even when they were outdoors walking around. Not too many were not wearing masks.

That was a positive development, considering that case numbers were higher during the past few weeks in Greater Kansas City.

Mask-weearing is much better than a few months ago, Dr. Stites added. Also, people seem to be wearing their masks right, he said.

He said he shared the frustration of a resident who went someplace where masks were not being worn.

“We know mask-wearing is the single most important barrier you could provide,” he said.

Masks are better than face shields, he said, because particles can still come out with shields.

Dr. Stites advised residents when it freezes, to go outside with a member of your group, take a look at your breath and see where it goes.

“It’s just ridiculous that people still want to politicize something that saves lives,” he said.

Dr. Joseph LeMaster, Johnson County public health officer, said that he agreed, and that it was unnecessary that it has become divisive. They hear comments every week from people at public meetings who feel that wearing a mask is a violation of their rights, he said.

All the agencies have been doing the same kind of public health work for the past 60 years, he said.

More than 200,000 people nationally have died as a result of the pandemic, and this is not something that people should be divided over, he said, nor should it be politicized.

Dr. LeMaster said the increase in cases in the Greater Kansas City area has been caused by people not wearing masks and not socially distancing.

Mask-wearing is mandatory in Wyandotte and Johnson counties when in public places, and when around others who are not in your household. Not wearing a mask can be reported, he said.

Also at the news conference, Dr. Jessica Kalendar-Rich, a specialist in geriatrics who is on the national Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality, discussed how nursing homes are starting to allow visits from patients’ relatives. However, the visits are limited in time, and they are not allowed as frequently as before the pandemic.

Under federal guidelines, there must be a certain amount of distance for the visits, a limit on time, and a record is kept of the visitors. There are now federal mandates on testing workers at nursing homes, she said, depending on case rates in the community.

Wyandotte County reported an additional 19 COVID-19 cases on Monday afternoon, for a cumulative total of 7,812, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths reported, for a cumulative total of 145.

Kansas reported an additional 2,113 COVID-19 cases from Friday to Monday, with 13 additional deaths reported, for a cumulative total of 72,968 cases and 872 deaths, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment COVID-19 webpage

According to KDHE figures, Johnson County reported an increase of 292 cases since Friday for a cumulative 13,702; Leavenworth County reported an increase of 47 since Friday for a cumulative 2,534; Shawnee County (Topeka area) reported an increase of 83 since Friday for accumulative 3,318; and Sedgwick County (Wichita area) reported an increase of 350 since Friday for a cumulative 10,927.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at the KU Health System, reported a slight increase in COVID-19 patients at the hospital. There were 32 acute COVID-19 patients hospitalized, an increase from 26 on Friday, with 11 patients in the intensive care unit, the same as Friday, and eight on ventilators, the same as Friday. At one point this past weekend, there were 37 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. There are another 32 patients still hospitalized from COVID-19 but in the recovery stage, a decrease from 35 on Friday. HaysMed in Hays, Kansas, reported 16 COVID-19 patients on Monday, a decrease from 19 on Friday, with two of the patients in the recovery phase.

Free testing offered

A free COVID-19 pop-up test will continue from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at All Saints parish, 811 Vermont, Kansas City, Kansas. The pop-up test is through Vibrant Health and the Wyandotte County Health Equity Task Force.

The Unified Government Health Department moved its COVID-19 testing Monday 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 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 because of the weather or for other reasons. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.

For more information about the new 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 at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/813748172732305/.

The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.

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

The Unified Government COVID-19 hub outbreak map is at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/.

To see an NEA list of schools that have had COVID-19 cases, visit https://app.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=aa3f2ede7cb2415db943fdaf45866d2f.

The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.

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

Voters’ guide for the 2020 general election

Wyandotte County voters this year will see several contests on their general election ballots for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

At the top of the ballot are candidates for president and vice president: Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Republican; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Democratic; and Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Cohen, Libertarian.

There also are contests for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Kansas Senate and Kansas House on the Wyandotte County ballot. Also, judges and the Wyandotte County district attorney are on the general election ballot, without opposition.

Thousands of advance ballots were mailed to voters last week in Wyandotte County, and may be returned by mail, or at any advance voting sites while they are open; at the Election Office; and on Election Day at any polling place in Wyandotte County. There are two drop boxes at the Election Office at 850 State Ave., and there are plans for four additional drop boxes in the county.

Advance voting in-person begins on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at two sites in Wyandotte County: the Election Office at 850 State Ave. and Eisenhower Recreation Center at 2901 N. 72nd St. The Amayo-Argentine Community Center at 2910 Metropolitan will open Oct. 24 for advance voting. More details on hours and days they are open are at http://wyandottedaily.com/wyandotte-county-to-get-additional-four-drop-boxes-for-ballots/.

Candidate forums for the Kansas House and Kansas Senate are being shown on KCEC Cable television station at KCKCC, on Spectrum Cable (Wyandotte County) on Channel 17, and on Google TV on Channel 146. The forums will be shown now through Nov. 2. The forums also are on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMfeRPiOepX1DVWc9Tz2RISP4a-Hmxnpq.

Links to stories about the candidates

U.S. Senate

Candidates on the ballot for U.S. Senator include Roger Marshall, Great Bend, Republican; Barbara Bollier, Mission Hills, Democratic; and Jason Buckley, Overland Park, Libertarian.

To see stories about the U.S. Senate candidates, visit

http://wyandottedaily.com/senate-candidates-differ-on-handling-supreme-court-vacancy/

http://wyandottedaily.com/trump-and-economy-start-to-define-race-for-kansas-u-s-senate-seat/

http://wyandottedaily.com/two-kansas-doctors-running-for-u-s-senate-have-two-plans-for-health-care/

http://wyandottedaily.com/at-a-glance-where-kansas-u-s-senate-candidates-stand-on-the-major-issues/

U.S. Representative, 3rd District

Running for U.S. Representative, 3rd District, are incumbent Rep. Sharice L. Davids, Roeland Park, Democratic; Amanda L. Adkins, Overland Park, Republican; and Steve A. Hohe, Shawnee, Libertarian.

To see stories about the U.S. Representative, 3rd District, contest, visit:

http://wyandottedaily.com/where-kansas-3rd-congressional-district-candidates-stand-on-the-major-issues/

http://wyandottedaily.com/chamber-sponsors-forums-for-congressional-candidates/

http://wyandottedaily.com/how-the-coronavirus-altered-the-kansas-congressional-race-between-rep-davids-and-adkins/

http://wyandottedaily.com/kansas-u-s-senate-race-is-set-as-marshall-beats-kobach-for-gop-nod-watkins-out-in-2nd-district/

http://wyandottedaily.com/congressional-candidates-tell-of-qualifications/

Candidates for Kansas Senate

There will be one Kansas Senate contest and one Kansas Representative contest on each voter’s ballot.

Three incumbents, State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th Dist, and State Sen. Kevin Braun, R-5th Dist., are running for re-election to the state Senate.

Their opponents include Sam Stillwell, Republican, running for 4th District; Diana Whittington, Republican, running for 6th District; and Jeff Pittman, Democrat, running for 5th District.

A candidates’ forum for state Senate sponsored by Business West and Kansas City Kansas Community College is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoImp9GZaTc.

A questionnaire from Sen. David Haley is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-from-state-sen-david-haley-d-4th-dist/.

The Wyandotte Daily received no response to a phone call and a message to Sam Stillwell.

A questionnaire from Sen. Kevin Braun is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-from-state-sen-kevin-braun-r-5th-dist/.

A questionnaire from Jeff Pittman is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-from-rep-jeff-pittman-candidate-for-state-senate-5th-district/.

A questionnaire from Sen. Pat Pettey is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-from-state-sen-pat-pettey-d-6th-dist/.

A questionnaire from Diana Whittington is at http://wyandottedaily.com/candidate-questionnaire-from-diana-whittington-running-for-state-senate-6th-district/.

Candidates for Kansas House

Candidates on the ballot for the Kansas House include Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-31st Dist., Landon Griffith, Republican; Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist., Greg Conchola, Republican; Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., Jordan M. Mackey, Republican; and Rick Parsons, Libertarian; Rep. Valdenia C. Winn, D-34th Dist.; Rep. Broderick Henderson, D-35th Dist.; Mark D. Snelson, Republican; Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-36th Dist.; and Mark Gilstrap, Republican; and Aaron Coleman, Democrat running for 37th District.

Also, incumbent Rep. Stan Frownfelter, D-37th Dist., who lost in the primary, is running as a write-in candidate in the 37th District. There are two other write-in candidates in the 37th District, including Kristina Smith, a Republican, and Keith Jordan, a Democrat.

A story about the 37th District is at http://wyandottedaily.com/write-in-candidates-challenge-coleman-in-37th-district/.

A story about several candidates who participated in a candidate forum for the Kansas House is at http://wyandottedaily.com/candidates-running-for-kansas-house-voice-opinions-at-forum/.

A video forum with Kansas House candidates, sponsored by Business West and KCKCC, is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fhSW4wRnI8.

A story about the 36th District is at http://wyandottedaily.com/gilstrap-challenges-rep-wolfe-moore-for-state-representative-36th-district/.

Questionnaire from Landon Griffith, candidate for the 31st District, is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-from-landon-griffith-republican-candidate-for-kansas-house-31st-district/.

Questionnaire from Rep. Broderick Henderson, candidate for 35th District, http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-rep-henderson-seeks-re-election-in-35th-district/.

Questionnaire from Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-36th Dist., is at http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-state-rep-kathy-wolfe-moore-d-36th-dist/.

Questionnaire from Rep. Stan Frownfelter, candidate for 37th District, http://wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-rep-frownfelter-seeks-re-election-to-37th-district/.

Information from Aaron Coleman, 37th District Democratic primary winner: http://wyandottedaily.com/coleman-on-ballot-for-37th-district-house/.

Judicial candidates on ballot

The general election ballot also contains a number of judges up for retention. They do not have opposition.

Also on the ballot is the Wyandotte County District Attorney, where Mark A. Dupree Sr., a Democrat, is running unopposed.

Judges in the 29th District (Wyandotte County District Court), who are running unopposed include: Robert P. Burns, Division 1; Michael A. Russell, Division 2; Courtney Mikesic, Division 7; Jane Sieve Wilson, Division 8; Daniel Cahill, Division 9; Renee S . Henry, Division 13; Jennifer Orth Myers, Division 14; and Constance M. Alvey, Division 16.

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric S. Rosen, Topeka, is up for retention in Position No. 4.

For the Kansas Court of Appeals, judges who are up for retention include Sarah E. Warner, Lenexa, Position No. 4; David E. Bruns, Olathe, Position No. 6; G. Gordon Atcheson, Overland Park, Position No. 8; Karen M. Arnold-Burger, Overland Park, Position No. 9; and Kathryn Gardner, Topeka, Position No. 14.

Other stories on the election

Other stories about the 2020 election:

Opinion: More conservative legislature predicted. http://wyandottedaily.com/opinion-column-predictions-indicate-more-conservative-legislature/.

Voting: Wyandotte County to get four additional drop boxes for ballots. http://wyandottedaily.com/wyandotte-county-to-get-additional-four-drop-boxes-for-ballots/.

Candidate forum schedule for cable TV and YouTube: http://wyandottedaily.com/candidate-forums-for-state-representative-and-state-senate-being-shown-this-week-on-cable-tv/.

Election 2020 stories are under the category on the right side of the Wyandotte Daily page, and also at http://wyandottedaily.com/category/election-2020/.

To find your polling place and see what’s on the ballot, visit Voter View at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView.

The Wyandotte County Election Office at 850 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, has more information about voter registration, mail ballots and advance voting at wycovotes.org, or email election@wycokck.org, or call the Election Office at 913-573-8500.

Links to other Election 2020 stories will be added to this story as the campaign goes on.

BPU to meet Wednesday

The Board of Public Utilities will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in a virtual meeting.

A work session will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by a regular meeting at 6 p.m.

On the agenda for the work session are a board update, general manager update, a reporting on 2021 staffing and a report on 2021 fuel and purchase power.

On the agenda for the regular meeting at 6 p.m. will be a visitors’ time, a COVID-19 update, internal audit update, a report on 2021 annual delegates for Western Fuels, miscellaneous comments and board comments.

The meeting will be conducted through telephone and the internet.

To join the Zoom meeting for the virtual board meeting, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84523139724.

The public also may call toll free: 1-888-475-4499, meeting ID: 845 2313 9724.

To access the Board meeting information packet, click the link: https://www.bpu.com/Portals/0/pdf/board-information-packet-10-21-20.pdf

Members of the community who wish to speak to the board must be logged in to the Zoom meeting via the internet using their browser or the Zoom application. Members of the public will be asked to raise their hand to signal they wish to address the board.

During the public comment section of the agenda, community members will be asked to provide their name and address and will then have 5 minutes to speak.

The zoom application is free and can be downloaded from zoom for the following platforms

PC – https://zoom.us/support/download

Mac – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/zoom-cloud-meetings/id546505307

Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.zoom.videomeetings&hl=en

iOS – https://apps.apple.com/us/developer/zoom/id530594111

You may also join from any web browser -https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84523139724