Two more people died from the coronavirus in the Kansas City metro area Monday as the number of cases rose by nearly 200, according to data tracked by The Star.
The area encompassing Kansas City and Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas added 192 new cases for a total of 145,907 cases to date.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases rose to 162.4, according to data tracked by The Star. One week ago, the average was 131.1 and two weeks ago, it was 115.3. The seven-day rolling average reached 162.6 on Sunday, the highest it’s been since Feb. 27 when it was 164.
Johnson County reported two more people have died from COVID-19, raising the metro’s total to 2,140.
The number of COVID-19 patients at The University of Kansas Health System continued to rise Monday. There were 25 people being treated for the virus, up from 17 on Friday, according to the health system. Seven of those patients were in the ICU with six on ventilators.
Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at The University of Kansas Health System, noted that while COVID-19 testing is down, the number of hospitalizations is rising, especially with younger patients. The increase may be due to variants and a drop off in vaccinations. As The New York Times reported Monday, medical professionals across the country worry about the impact the two may have on the U.S. reaching “herd immunity.”
“We have to be very careful because we also know that the mask mandate went away in Johnson County,” said Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System.
Johnson County officials decided last week to drop the mask mandate and instead strongly recommending that people get vaccinated, continue to wear masks and social distance.
On Friday, Kansas confirmed 309,645 total cases including 4,985 deaths. The monthly positive test rate was 3.6%.
The state has distributed 2,588,320 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 1,930,872 have been administered, with 38.6% of the population initiating vaccination.
Missouri reported 503,303 total cases including 8,745 deaths. The seven-day positive test rate was 5.1%.
The state has administered 3,954,014 doses of vaccine, with 37.7% of the population initiating vaccination. The state has received 5,355,995 doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Across the country, more than 32.5 million people have contracted the virus and 575,384 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.