COVID-19 Highlights for the Week of 10/4/21:
- The biggest limiting factor in the entire healthcare system continues to be unfilled staff positions and, in particular, Registered Nurses and Respiratory Therapists.
- Pediatric infections remain concerningly high. Studies and our experience show that masking in schools is an effective mitigation measure for pediatric COVID-19 as well as RSV and other respiratory infections.
- 327,883 children under the age of 12, because they are not yet eligible, remain unprotected by vaccine; this population is especially vulnerable where masking and distancing are not enforced and when exposed to others who are not vaccinated. FDA is currently reviewing vaccine trial data for ages 5-11.
- While the most recent wave of COVID-19 infection appears to be receding, mitigation measures are still necessary to prevent another wave. These practices also protect against the spread of flu in our community.
- Influenza season in Kansas City Region has begun and vaccinations are underway for all age groups and can be safely received regardless COVID vaccination timing or status.
What Can I Expect?
- Current mandates approaching review dates; determinations will impact risk of exposure to those living and working in affected communities.
- Longer wait times for both routine and emergent care at hospitals.
- Influenza has the potential to add an additional burden to healthcare facilities / hospitals on top of COVID.
- While monoclonal antibody treatment is not a substitute for vaccination; it is proving effective in reducing hospitalizations for COVID positive individuals. This treatment is available at a number of sites across the region.
What Can I Do?
- If you need COVID-19 testing performed, call your primary care physician or visit PrepareMetroKC to see testing locations near you. Emergency Rooms or Urgent Care should be reserved for those experiencing severe symptoms.
- Protect yourself, loved ones, and your community — get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay home and do not send students to school if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Talk with your doctor about approved treatments if needed; treatment may include Monoclonal Antibody Infusion.
- Be a workforce vaccination leader — see COVID Stops Here
- Get a flu shot because it can reduce illness and stem the burden on our healthcare system.