Kansas City area health departments concerned about rise in COVID-19 cases this winter


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the holidays draw closer, both the Johnson County, Kansas and Jackson County health departments are noticing an upward trend of COVID-19 cases. Both health departments expressed concern in a possible surge of cases this winter.

Nationally, COVID-19 numbers are rising and the trend is the same for Jackson County.

“Over the last five weeks we have seen a 25% increase in cases, Chip Cohlmia, with the Jackson County Health Department said.

Right now the county remains at a high level of community transmission. According to the health department’s data, it’s had an average of 53 new COVID-19 cases a day.

“It will usually starts with a slight increase and then keep going,” Cohlmia said.

Over in Johnson County, Kansas, community transmission is also high.

“We have seen an increase in cases in the past couple of weeks,” Dr. Sanmi Areola, with the Johnson County Health Department, said.

Samnii said COVID-19 cases were down to 90 cases per 100,000 people but it has since increased to 144 cases.

While this doesn’t seem like a big jump, health experts are nervous as we approach the holidays and winter because there’s more traveling and gatherings indoors.

Plus, cities and counties have dropped mask orders. Jackson County dropped its mask mandate last Friday.
Health experts say with all those variables, there’s more opportunity for spreading the virus.

“We do expect some form of surge this winter,” Sanmi said.

Health officials suggest getting vaccinated or a booster. It is also recommended if you decide to go to holiday parties or flying to see family to get tested for COVID-19. That way you know if you are safe. Plus, it is recommended you continue to wear your masks.

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