COVID-19 and diabetes discussed

Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System on Monday discussed an uptick in diabetes cases among people who have had COVID-19.

Dr. David Robbins, director of the KU Diabetes Institute, said they don’t have the answer yet to whether the coronavirus causes diabetes. They have seen up to 14.5 percent of severe COVID-19 cases also developing diabetes.

One possible explanation has been that those who became sick with COVID-19 already had a tendency to be prediabetic, and they would have gotten diabetes anyway, according to Dr. Robbins.

Another theory is that diabetics may already have a high level of inflammation, which is why they may be hit harder by COVID-19.

Dr. Robbins said the coronavirus affects people of color and minorities more often than Caucasians, but he doesn’t know why.

Most of the diabetes patients in America have Type 2, with an onset at middle age, he said. The disease slowly comes on, and sometimes is not discovered until the patient has a routine checkup.

Dr. Robbins said while you can’t change your genetics and the fact you’re getting older, you can stay thin and exercise. Doing that will reduce the risk of getting diabetes as much as tenfold, he said.

He tells patients to stay away from processed foods when they shop, and to eat vegetables and lean meats.

COVID-19 patients who come into the hospital with low blood sugar are less likely to have complications and have a shorter stay, Dr. Robbins said.

“Any exercise is helpful,” he said. “Walk a little, eat a little less, to reduce your risk.”

“The vaccine works extremely well with diabetes, so we’re encouraging all patients to get that as well,” he said.

To see more information about COVID-19 and diabetes, visit

COVID-19 case numbers reported

The University of Kansas Health System reported eight active COVID-19 patients on Monday morning, a decrease of five from Friday, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control. Of the eight patients, two were in the intensive care unit, a decrease of two since Friday. One patient was on a ventilator, a decrease of two since Friday. There were another 15 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized but are out of the acute infection phase, a decrease of two since Friday. There is a total 23 patients, a decrease of seven since Friday.

Wyandotte County reported an increase of 38 COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 29, from Friday, March 26, for a cumulative 18,057 cases. There was a cumulative total of 285 deaths reported, no change since Friday.

The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 163,868 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Monday. The daily average of new hospitalizations was 60. The number of cumulative deaths was 2,327.

The state of Kansas reported 301,862 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 29, an increase of 429 cases since Friday. There were a total cumulative 4,902 deaths reported, an increase of 11 deaths.

The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Monday night reported 30,331,794 cases in the United States, with 550,036 total deaths reported nationwide.

Vaccinations available Tuesday

On Monday, Wyandotte County started Phase 5 in the state’s vaccination plan, that allows everyone 16 and older to get a vaccination. Wyandotte County residents may walk in to the three vaccination centers or may make an appointment. Visit or call 3-1-1.

The vaccination sites are open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the former Kmart store at 7836 State Ave., the former Best Buy store at 10500 Parallel Parkway and the Kansas National Guard Armory at 100 S. 20th (near 18th and Ridge).

Those Wyandotte County residents in Phases 1 to 4 also may walk in to a Health Department vaccination site, or may sign up for a vaccination at or call 3-1-1.

Those who walk in to get vaccines should bring an ID and something showing their Wyandotte County address, such as mail. For more information about vaccines at the UG Health Department, visit

There are also pharmacies giving COVID-19 vaccinations in Wyandotte County by appointment, when available. These include Price Chopper and Hen House pharmacy at 76th and State Avenue, and 81st and State Avenue (see, and Medicine Shoppe pharmacy at 65th and Parallel by appointment when available (see CVS pharmacy also has announced that it will offer COVID-19 vaccines at one of its stores in Kansas City, Kansas. Registration is at

COVID-19 tests scheduled

Free COVID-19 tests are available from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 30, at All Saints parish, 811 Vermont, Kansas City, Kansas. Appointments are not needed. This is part of the Wyandotte County Health Care Task Force initiative. People may get tested whether or not they have symptoms. Free groceries are given to those who get tested, while supplies last.

Unified Government Health Department COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites are scheduled to be open on Tuesday, March 30. For more information, visit To see if there is any change to the schedule, visit

The Health Department is offering saliva COVID-19 tests to the public. Tests from the Health Department are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County.

The tests 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.

COVID-19 testing also is available at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Lowe’s, 6920 State Ave.,, by appointment. The tests are listed on the Go Get Tested site at The WellHealth tests need appointments., which can be made at the website.

The Health Department’s general contact page is at Their Facebook page is at

Testing sites are at

Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit

The University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 update page is at

A weekly vaccine report for the state of Kansas is at

The UG COVID-19 webpage is at

The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at

The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at

The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at

The Johns Hopkins Data in Motion, a presentation on critical COVID-19 data in the past 24 hours, is at