KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Wyandotte County, Kansas is just past the highest peak it has ever had of COVID-19 cases, according to the Unified Government Health Department.

The health department gave an update at Thursday night’s commissioners meeting saying the number of cases are still very high but are better than last week and that we still need to be cautious.

“The situation at our hospitals is a big problem,” the health department reported. “The impact on hospitals can sometimes lag from a peak, it may take a couple weeks before you go to the hospital with COVID.”

Hospitals are currently in a crisis situation, according to the health department, with hospitalizations at its highest point of the entire pandemic.

Overwhelmed hospitals are battling short staffing, burnout, shortages on medications and supplies creating a serious impact on the community.

The health department said the average age among the deaths from COVID-19 in Wyandotte County is 64 years old.

“That means half of the deaths are among people younger than 64 years old,” the health department said. “This will have an impact on our community for years to come.”

The health department reports that 60.3% of people in Wyandotte County have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 49.7% have had a completed vaccine and just 16.3% have received a booster dose.

“Vaccination significantly reduces hospitalizations and deaths,” the health departmetn stated. “Modeling shows that in the U.S., vaccination prevented just over one million deaths and 10 million hospitalizations. Unvaccinated adults had 68x higher risk of dying compared to vaccinated and boosted adults.”

Doctors say key things in moving forward are increase vaccination rates, improving availability of treatments and masks and being responsive to new variants.

The health department recommends for people to continue and wear a mask in indoor settings. Higher quality masks are better better such as KN95, N95.