Wyandotte County reported an additional 51 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, for a cumulative total of 7,234, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths reported; the total remained the same at 134. (From UG COVID-19 website)
Anil Gharmalker of Parsons, Kansas, who survived COVID-19 but has had some health problems as after-effects, described his trachea operation during a news conference on Tuesday morning at the University of Kansas Health System.
Gharmalker was a truck driver who believes he got the virus while out on the road. He has been hospitalized several times with severe effects from COVID-19.
This holiday season, Gharmalker said he knows his family will not be part of any large gatherings. They will just have their immediate family for dinner, and masks will be mandatory if anyone visits.
Gharmalker and the doctors reacted on Tuesday to statements from the national level about not being afraid of COVID-19. He said being cautious is not being afraid.
“If I could go back in history and go back to April and figure out where I got it, I would definitely do things differently,” Gharmalker said. “I would not live in fear, but be safe going forward.
“It’s more frightening to stare down your own mortality in minutes and hours than trying to avoid being a vector or having contact with one,” Gharmalker said.
Also at the news conference Tuesday, Linda Bunten, a nurse practitioner with KU Health System, discussed how her entire family got COVID-19 this summer.
During the news conference, she described a family social event, a graduation party, which they held outside, wearing masks and distancing, but she believes the next day the virus was spread through their family. She thinks a family member went to another event where people were not wearing masks, then returned home. Although they all got COVID-19, fortunately, her family did not experience severe illness, she said.
Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System, said people soon will be thinking about how to celebrate Thanksgiving. He said he won’t be able to invite 30 people over this year as he has in the past. Those events could become “super spreaders,” he said.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, said any group meetings should be less than 10. He also said that it’s possible to have virtual meetings.
Another option is for everyone who will attend to quarantine 14 days before Thanksiginv Day, not going out and not meeting in groups, he said.
If the weather is nice, perhaps the gathering could be held outdoors with social distancing, Bunten said. And she advised people not to be cavalier about COVID-19.
Dr. Hawkinson encouraged people to continue being cautious, wear masks and social distance.
The University of Kansas Health System reported 31 acute COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Tuesday morning, compared to 32 on Monday, including nine in the intensive care unit, down from 11 on Monday, and six on ventilators, down from eight on Monday, according to Dr. Hawkinson. There were another 32 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were in the recovery phase, up from 30 on Monday.
The daily numbers don’t tell the whole story, he said. While the numbers were similar to Monday, there were eight discharges and 10 admissions in the last 24 hours, which the doctors are concerned about. HaysMed in Hays, Kansas, reported 19 active COVID-19 patients, with three deaths in the past week.
Wyandotte County reported an additional 51 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, for a cumulative total of 7,234, according to the Unified Government COVID-19 webpage. There were no additional deaths reported; the total remained the same at 134.
Free testing available on Wednesday
Free COVID-19 testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Faith Deliverance Family Worship Center, 3043 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.
The pop-up tests are through the Health Equity Task Force and Vibrant Health.
Free tests also are at the UG Health Department parking lot, 619 Ann Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. They are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is needed.
The tests are for those who live or work in Wyandotte County. Participants should bring something that shows their address or their work place, such as a piece of mail or a work badge.
The pop-up tests and the Health Department tests now open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. People now can be tested without any symptoms. 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.
More 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 Health System doctors’ news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/937412353433546/.
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 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.