KC COVID-19 cases increase; Data does not tell the whole story
KC COVID-19 cases increase;  Data does not tell the whole story

KC COVID-19 cases increase; Data does not tell the whole story

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The number of COVID-19 cases is starting to increase in certain areas of the Kansas City subway, and in all regions of the countryaccording to experts.

Although the increase is not similar to the omicron increase, the Johnson County Health Department said it sees one increase in COVID-19 clusters in companies, day care centers and schools.

The Shawnee Mission School Board plans to hold a special meeting Monday night to discuss masks in schools again.

Even with hospitalization rates currently some of the lowest in the pandemic, experts warn that the numbers are unlikely to tell the entire COVID-19 story in the subway.

“It’s a murky time for data. Many people are not being tested in a way that we can see. They are performing the home-based tests that are not reported to the state or the federal government. We also have a challenge where the government is no longer pay for the free test for the poor and uninsured, and so it is possible that we do not see a complete picture right now, ”Amber Schmidtke, chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics at the University of Saint Mary, said during a COVID-19 update provided by University of Kansas Health System.

As tests at home depend on people reporting their results themselves, doctors and other health experts say that while part of the metro is experiencing a slight increase, the cases are likely to be much higher than what we are aware of.

They are now relying on information from other sources.

“We are a place where we do not quite know what is going on, and therefore we often have to look at proxy data. Things like sewage monitoring tests, ”Schmidtke said.

Wastewater test nor will it provide a complete picture of COVID-19 in the United States because some states have no test sites. Missouri is one of the exceptions. It has a network that tests wastewater that represents about 50% of the population.

A laboratory at the University of Missouri is testing the water for the entire state.

The lab is also responsible for testing sewer houses for New York City, an area in the northeastern part of the country that is experiencing an increase in cases right now. The good news is that testing shows one big difference between what’s happening in the Northeast and the Midwest right now.

“One difference I can point out is that there is a new pedigree of BA.2 which is becoming very widespread in the northeast, which is BA12.1. It’s 15% patient sequences right now in New York, but if it’s 15% now, it means it’s actually significantly higher because it’s increased steadily over the last three weeks, ”said Dr. Marc Johnson, Lead Researcher, University of Missouri. .

So what does it all mean? Is Kansas City on the brink of yet another rise?

“We’ll just have to see. Hopefully this does not come to the Midwest, but I’ve never learned to put COVID-19 in a box. We’ve been surprised several times by what it can do, and so I think it does. is important for all of us to be careful, Schmidtke said.

The Johnson County Health Department said being careful means taking precautions, including wearing a mask when around a large crowd and staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

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