The Midwest is currently a hotspot for COVID-19 in the nation, according to Dr. David Wild of the University of Kansas Health System. He showed this graph from the COVID Tracking Project. (From KU Health System) The state of Kansas reported an increase of 5,692 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, for a cumulative total of 109,225, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There were an additional 34 deaths in the two days. (From KDHE) On Wednesday, Wyandotte County reported an additional 71 COVID-19 cases, for a cumulative total of 9,035, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths, for a cumulative total of 167. (From UG COVID-19 website)
COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to rise on Wednesday.
According to Dr. David Wild, vice president of performance improvement at the University of Kansas Health System, the Midwest currently has the highest COVID-19 rates in the nation. The Midwest has an average of 729 new cases per million daily.
And COVID-19 hospitalizations at the KU Health System and other hospitals in the Kansas City area are increasing, he said.
“All of the things that we said could happen, and if they happened would scare us in March and April, are happening now,” Dr. Wild said.
Dr. Wild said the seven-day average of new cases in the Kansas City metropolitan area also continues to rise. Increased hospitalizations usually follow case rate increases, after some days or weeks.
Currently, people who have COVID-19 in the Kansas City metropolitan area are infecting one to two others, he said. In other areas of the Midwest, an infected person is infecting three to four others, he said.
“We’re on our way to that unless we change,” he said.
“We continue to ask each of you to make a difference if you can,” Dr. Wild said.
People have reduced the spread of COVID-19 before and they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 again, he said.
Dr. Wild said there is some data that more transmission of the virus is occurring at restaurants, bars and gyms nationally, as well as family gatherings, or gatherings in homes of 10 to 40 people.
At some of these places, people are not wearing masks.
The CDC recently recommended celebrating Thanksgiving only with people in their bubble.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, said the CDC is saying that because they know there is so much spread in the community.
In answering a question, Dr. Hawkinson said caution was needed at any Thanksgiving gatherings. One person wanted to know if it would be safe for their relatives to come over, since the relatives all tested positive in October for COVID-19. Dr. Hawkinson said it might still be possible for them to be a coronavirus carrier.
Also during the Wednesday KU Health System news conference, Dr. John Alley, a KU Health System surgeon who is a major in the Army Medical Corps, discussed working with the Kansas National Guard. Among their tasks was delivering more than 8 million meals throughout the state,he said.
Justin Hoover, founder of The Battle Within, described how COVID-19 has affected veterans, who are reaching out for more medical and mental health services. His organization now offers services to first responders and front-line medical workers, along with veterans.
Craig Crumpton, a firefighter who has gone through The Battle Within program, talked about having COVID-19. He said he liked the way people hold each other accountable in The Battle Within.
He suggested that people could connect with elderly veterans and friends who are in nursing homes through technology, such as video connections on social media. Others on the program encouraged letter writing and other ways of keeping in communication.
Dr. Hawkinson reported 78 active COVID-19 patients at KU Health System on Wednesday morning, an increase from 72 on Tuesday. It is a record high for the hospital. There were 22 patients in the intensive care unit, a decrease from 25 on Tuesday, and 14 patients on ventilators, a decrease from 16 on Tuesday.
There were an additional 36 COVID-19 patients still in the hospital in the recovery phase. The total number of COVID-19 patients was 114 on Wednesday, an increase from 108 on Tuesday.
HaysMed reported 21 total COVID-19 patients, an increase from 16 on Tuesday, and two of those patients were in the recovery phase.
On Wednesday, Wyandotte County reported an additional 71 COVID-19 cases, for a cumulative total of 9,035, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths, for a cumulative total of 167.
The state of Kansas reported an increase of 5,692 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, for a cumulative total of 109,225, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There were an additional 34 deaths in the two days.
The Greater Kansas City area, including nine counties, reported 66,174 total cumulative cases on Wednesday, according to MARC’s regional COVID-19 hub. It was an increase of 855 cases since Tuesday.
The average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the nine-county metro area was 617 on Wednesday, an increase of 142 since last week, according to the MARC regional COVID-19 resource hub.
Free COVID-19 testing available on Thursday
A free COVID-19 pop-up test will continue from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at Vibrant Health Argentine location, 1428 S. 32nd St., Kansas City, Kansas.
The pop-up test is through Vibrant Health and the Wyandotte County Health Equity Task Force.
UG Health Department COVID-19 tests will be available on Thursday at 7836 State Ave.
The Unified Government Health Department has moved its COVID-19 testing 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 are now saliva COVID-19 tests.
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. 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 online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/406349237121276.
The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
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.