Health leaders concerned Thanksgiving weekend could compound coronavirus problems

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With only days left until Thanksgiving, the University of Kansas Health System says it’s seeing its highest number of patients hospitalized at one time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Monday there were 100 COVID-19 patients at its hospital, with 46 in intensive care, 26 who are on ventilators.

“It’s tough out there right now, and I think we have to get the message that there’s nothing more important out there than trying to follow the rules so infection control can keep yourself safe,” Dr. Steve Stites said.

“I think we’re all worried. We are scared about the Thanksgiving weekend because people go inside and are in large group gatherings.”

FOX4 talked to people about the rise in cases within the last seven days. Some said they are not surprised.

“They predicted that this might happen, so we’re being very careful,” Kansas City resident Sue Giles said

According to the Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard, last week there was an average of nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases daily across the metro.

St. Luke’s Hospital said as of Monday morning it was treating 199 COVID-19 cases, the highest number it’s seen.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to do this,” Giles said. “Do what we can to curve it.”

The growing numbers are why people like Giles and her husband said they will be having Thanksgiving alone.
 
“Just the two of us will have Thanksgiving together and missing our kids,” said Giles. “We’ll have a Zoom meeting afterwards.”

Dr. Stites said one of the main things people can do to stop the surge is wearing a mask.

“There are 100 patients with active COVID disease,” said Stites. “How many of our staff are getting sick directly from the patients they take care of and the answer is they’re not. The reason is because they wear a mask. Anybody that tells you that mask don’t work, or they don’t believe the evidence is following a fool’s wisdom.”

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