Some area hospitals are seeing a slight increase in COVID-19 patients during the past two to three weeks.
Doctors from area hospitals at the Tuesday morning media update at the University of Kansas Health System said they had seen a slight increase in COVID-19 patients. Typically, the patients are younger and nearly all are not vaccinated.
A few COVID-19 patients who have been vaccinated had other health problems beside COVID-19, according to the doctors.
Doctors think the Delta variant may be causing the slight increase.
Dr. Mark Steele of Truman Medical Center said the Delta variant has proven more transmissible, and the people who are at risk are those who are unvaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated need to be careful about masking and social distancing, and get vaccinated as soon as possible, he said.
In parts of rural Missouri, vaccination rates may be as low as 15 to 20 percent, which could be responsible for the surge in areas of Missouri, including Springfield, according to the doctors.
Dr. Larry Botts of AdventHealth said it would be very difficult to reinstate a mask mandate, and he did not see that happening in Kansas, although it’s a good idea to voluntarily wear a mask to protect oneself and others. Instead, the focus should be on getting people vaccinated, according to the doctors. One current problem is trying to get unvaccinated people to follow CDC guidelines and wear masks, according to the doctors.
One dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is only about 30 percent effective against the Delta variant, and it takes both doses to reach 90 percent effectiveness, according to the doctors.
A potential spike in patients from the Fourth of July weekend could mean problems for hospitals, as they are nearly full of other patients currently, according to the doctors.
Dr. Rahgu Adiga of Liberty Hospital said any spikes in COVID-19 patients from the Fourth of July weekend would be a concern. If most gatherings happen outside rather than indoors, that’s a plus, he said.
Typically, infections may take a week or two to show up, and hospitalizations a longer time, six to eight weeks, after an event, according to Dr. Adiga.
KU Health System had a total of 21 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday morning, as compared to single digits a few weeks ago, according to Amanda Cackler, director of quality and safety.
Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System, said they’re learning the hard way, especially in southern Missouri, that if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not safe. He said KU Health System and the other area hospitals were getting some COVID-19 patients from the Springfield area because those hospitals were full.
The vaccines are safe, one of the safest things you can do, and more than 2 billion doses have been given in the world, he said.
“It’s far safer than driving your car, it’s far safer than chemotherapy, it’s far cheaper than any other drug you’re going to take,” Dr. Stites said. “ The proof is in the pudding, folks, and the pudding clearly shows us after billions of doses of vaccination that it is clearly safe.”
KU Health System is giving COVID-19 vaccinations to those who make an appointment.People may make an appointment through MyChart, may call 913-688-1227 or may visit kansashealthsystem.com/vaccine.
Free COVID-19 vaccines available
The Unified Government Health Department’s east vaccine location at the Kansas National Guard Armory, 100 S. 20th, (near 18th and Ridge), Kansas City, Kansas, will be open to those age 12 and older from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1. Walk-ins will be accepted.
Hours now through July 2:
• Kmart site (7836 State Ave, Kansas City, Kansas)
o Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – vaccine and testing incentives available.
• Armory site (100 S. 20th St, Kansas City, Kansas)
o Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – vaccine and testing incentives available.
Hours beginning the week of July 5:
• Kmart site (7836 State Ave, Kansas City, Kansas)
o Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – vaccine and testing incentives available.
• Closed: Armory site (100 S. 20th St, Kansas City, Kansas
Mobile vaccines can still be requested online at WycoVaccines.org or by calling 3-1-1 (913-573-5311).
Other sites available for vaccinations
Vaccinations at KU Health System are open to the public. Current patients may use MyChart to make an appointment. Others may call 913-588-1227 or visit kansashealthsystem.com/vaccine to make an appointment to get vaccinated. KU Health System currently is vaccinating residents of Kansas and Missouri who are 12 or older, by appointment only. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the appointment.
There are also pharmacies giving free COVID-19 vaccinations in Wyandotte County by appointment, when available. These include Price Chopper and Hen House pharmacies, which are now also accepting walk-in vaccinations or appointments, and are starting vaccinations for age 12 and up at those pharmacies that are giving Pfizer vaccine (see https://www.ballsfoodspharmacy.com/).
CVS has announced walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccine at some of its stores. Those interested in getting a vaccination at a CVS pharmacy are asked to visit a CVS website in order to make sure there is vaccine available. The website is at www.cvs.com/. Walgreens and Walmart also were listed on www.vaccines.gov as giving vaccinations.
Other pharmacies and sites giving vaccines are listed at www.vaccines.gov. The website also tells whether vaccines are in stock at the locations.
Case numbers reported
There were 13 active COVID-19 patients on Wednesday morning at the University of Kansas Health System, the same as Tuesday, according to Amanda Cackler, director of quality and safety. Five patients were in the intensive care unit, the same as Tuesday. Four of those patients were on ventilators, the same as Tuesday. One remains on an ECMO device, which is similar to dialysis for the lungs. Eight other COVID-19 patients were still hospitalized but were out of the acute phase, the same as Tuesday. There were a total of 21 COVID patients, the same number as Tuesday. There was a wide range of ages.
Wyandotte County reported an increase of 15 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, June 30, for a cumulative 19,080 cases, according to the Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage. There was a cumulative total of 299 deaths reported, no change.
The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 177,327 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Wednesday in the Kansas City region. The daily average of new hospitalizations was 58.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 318,106 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Kansas on Wednesday, June 30, an increase of 455 cases since Monday. There was a total of 5,156 cumulative deaths reported statewide.
According to KDHE figures, Johnson County had a cumulative 59,916 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, June 30, an increase of 92 since Monday. Sedgwick County had a cumulative 58,027 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, June 30, an increase of 74.
The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday night 33,664,949 COVID-19 cases in the United States, with 604,714 total deaths reported nationwide. There were 11,596 new cases nationwide and 359 new deaths nationwide.
States with high numbers of new cases were Texas, 2,095; Missouri, 933; California, 931; Nevada, 625; and Arizona, 546.
Countries with high numbers of new cases were Brazil, 64,903; India, 45,951; Colombia, 25,880; Argentina, 24,065; and U.S., 11,596, according to Johns Hopkins information.
Free testing available
Free COVID-19 testing is available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1, at the Kansas National Guard Armory, 100 S. 20th (near 18th and Ridge, Kansas City, Kansas, through the UG Health Department.
Besides Health Department sites, free COVID-19 testing is available at several locations in Wyandotte County.
Visit gogettested.com/Kansas for more sites.
Wyandotte County residents may contact the Health Department at wycohelp.org to sign up for a test to be delivered to their home.
For more details about free COVID-19 testing offered by the UG Health Department, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19, https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept or call 3-1-1.
Testing sites are at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19. There are more test sites listed on this page.
Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/02042021-ugphd-saliva-testing-available.pdf.
The University of Kansas Health System morning media update is online at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/244221353805864.
The University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 update page is at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/330310795391910.
A vaccine report for the state of Kansas is at
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.
The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/20209.html.
The Johns Hopkins Data in Motion, a presentation on critical COVID-19 data in the past 24 hours, is at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/covid-19-daily-video.