‘Growing too fast’: Kansas City doctor says community choices have allowed the coronavirus to spread

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The executive dean of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences said that coronavirus cases in the city are growing too fast compared to other cities of similar size.

Dr. Darrin D’Agostino told FOX4 that past policies allowed for the coronavirus to spread throughout the city and state.

“Cities of similar size, we’re actually on the side of growing too fast,” he said. “We have, from only a few months ago… when you think about the growth and the increases and, quite frankly, some of the mistakes in allowing voluntarily people to not wear mask and not social distance and not do some of the vigilant things we’ve talked about, we’ve allowed growth to occur.”

D’Agostino said there were about 496,000 tests for the virus statewide, and almost 27,000 have been positive. That’s nearly a 6% positivity rate. That rate remains slightly under the U.S. national average of 6.28%, according to the Johns Hopkins University international comparison.

It’s also much lower than other states seeing major spikes. Texas made headlines after the governor ordered bars to close in late June. The state positivity rate among those tested spiked to more than 10%, and some hospitals reported being overwhelmed with patients.

Still, he said the state of Missouri as a whole have also seen a significant rise in hospitalizations.

“When we look at hospital rates, we actually are seeing [an increase] from one month ago… Only about 521 people in the hospitals across the state. Now we have about 932 people,” he said. “We actually know how to take care of people much better so that they are surviving better… Now with that said, the rates are still going up.”

He said that the majority of positive tests “were actually people less than 35 years old,” who are generally less affected by the disease. However, he said that population is walking around, going out and could give it to more vulnerable populations.

“The virus is still out there. It did not have seasonality and go away,” D’Agostino said, urging people to practice simple, potentially life-saving steps. “This is not about your liberties. This is about protecting the people around you.”

Regarding a vaccine, he said he was encouraged by the efforts, but he still doesn’t expect one in the near future.

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