Mask-wearing makes a difference, doctor says

Wyandotte County reported an additional 39 COVID-19 cases on Thursday afternoon, for a cumulative total of 6,465, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths since Wednesday, for a cumulative total of 133. (From UG COVID-19 webpage)

Doctors talked about the importance of mask-wearing and distancing at Thursday’s news conference at the University of Kansas Health System news conference.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, said the evidence is clear that masks and distancing make a difference.

Also participating in the news conference were executives and health officers from small hospitals in Kansas towns.

Beth Worden, chief nursing officer at McPherson Hospital, mentioned how important it was to be a good role model and wear a mask. When she goes to the grocery store, she wants to have a mask on, she said.

“People look at us and say, ‘That’s what we should be doing,’” she said.

Dr. Hawkinson said currently, the treatments being used for COVID-19 include remdesivir and antivirals. So far there is not an oral medication like Tamiflu on the market for COVID-19, although some companies are looking at those types of antivirals.

Convalescent plasma is being used in emergency use authorization, he said. There are still questions about when the person receives the best benefits are from it.

There are 20 or more vaccine studies going on, that can be looked at in the future, he said.

Immuno-suppressant drugs that decrease the immune dysregulation are already marketed for other conditions and are under trials for COVID-19, he said.

In addition, anticoagulants or blood thinners and dexamethasone are being used to treat COVID-19, he said.

Dr. Hawkinson said 20 acute COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Thursday morning, the same as on Wednesday. Five were in the intensive care unit, no change from Wednesday, and two were on ventilators, an increase of one since Wednesday. Four other COVID-19 patients who are no longer infectious are still on ventilators. In addition, 35 other COVID-19 patients were still hospitalized, and were no longer in the acute stage, according to Dr. Hawkinson, which was an increase from 32 on Wednesday.

Wyandotte County reported an additional 39 COVID-19 cases on Thursday afternoon, for a cumulative total of 6,465, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths since Wednesday, for a cumulative total of 133.

Testing offered

Free COVID-19 testing is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at the Health Department parking lot, 6th and Ann, Kansas City, Kansas, weather permitting.

Check with the UG’s website, Health Department Facebook page or call 311 to see if there are any changes in the 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 KU doctors’ news conference is at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/636332230358613.

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

The Unified Government COVID-19 hub outbreak map 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 Unified Government Health Department is collecting input on people’s experiences getting tested for COVID-19 in Wyandotte County. The survey is on the UG website at https://us.openforms.com/Form/ea97a450-3d74-4d86-8d1f-6e340d55cf7c.

The UG Health Department new school and sports guidance is online at https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/09042020fallsportsrecommendations.pdf.

A previous UG sports order is online at https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/08132020localhealthofficerorderregardingsports.pdf.

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

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

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