COVID-19 cases rise in KCMO, more contact tracing called for in KC Metro

KMBZ News Staff
June 25, 2020 - 11:07 am
Medical worker in full protective gear takes sample from patient at a COVID-19 drive-thru test site. Testing is done by throat swab.

bodnarchuk / Getty

Kansas City, MO - Are we still in a first wave of coronavirus? Or have we begun a second wave?  It depends on where you live, says KCMO's health director.

“There’s no question in Kansas City, Missouri we are clearly in the second wave," says Dr. Rex Archer. "We have equaled our cases back at the first of April, because we took precautions early in March to protect folks.”

Nationally, we've not seen the backside of a 'first' wave, no substantial drop of the number of cases found by expanding testing to indicate the wave has passed.
 


 

But now, after an initial rise and drop in the KC Metro, cases of COVID-19 are rising again, according to Archer. He attributes that to two things - reopening too soon, and the lack of universal wearing of masks and face coverings.

Mandating mask wearing by law, he says, would have saved thousands of lives.

“If we had done this nationwide in this country, we probably could have saved at least 90 percent of the deaths that occurred," says Archer. “I feel responsible for not having been able to convey why this is dangerous at this time.”

Archer believes Missouri and Kansas should still mandate the wearing of masks in public to help control the spread of the virus.

“Any place where anybody is within six feet of another person, both people need to be masked, in order to protect against the spread of disease," he says.

On the other side of stateline, health officials say contact tracing is more important than ever. 

Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, says the Metro needs more tracers.
 


 

He says with more cases being reported, many health departments find themselves spread thin trying to contact those who may have come in contact with an infected person.

Areola says health departments are pulling workers from other departments to help conduct contact tracing.

He also says if you are infected give as much information as possible. The more information you give, the easier it will be to slow the spread of the virus.

 

 

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