COVID-19 highlights for the week of 12/20/21:

COVID-19 highlights for the week of 12/20/21:

What’s Happening?

  • In a news briefing last Friday, regional hospitals’ Chief Medical Officers said that this winter could be worse for COVID than the last.
  • The region’s public health directors followed with a news release: ‘It’s critical we bend the curve to keep hospital space available’.
  • Community prevalence of COVID-19 continues to grow throughout the Kansas City Metro Region and surrounding counties, as indicated by increases in cases and a significant increase in new COVID hospital admissions.
  • The holiday season will continue to impact testing and reporting. Numerous factors impact these numbers including:
    • Lower rates of testing over the holiday weekends due to:
      • Less procedures happening over the holiday weekends, resulting in less pre-procedure testing
      • Less people seeking testing during the holiday weekends
      • Less testing opportunities over the holiday weekends
      • Many others
    • Lower rates of reporting over the holiday weekends due to:
      • Hospital and public health professionals taking much deserved time off, resulting in delayed hospital reporting due to the holidays
  • New cases of COVID-19 continue to be a majority people who have not been vaccinated. Cases are often less severe among vaccinated individuals who do become infected.
  • All communities within our region remained at a high level of transmission as defined by the CDC (see below).

What Can I Expect?

  • High overall hospital volume may lead to longer wait times for emergency services and a decreased availability of local hospital beds.
  • Challenges in the hospital system are expected to continue to worsen due to the compounding effects of:
    • The ongoing holiday season leading to more gatherings, crowds and travel
    • Relaxed masking requirements in certain jurisdictions
    • Low vaccination rates
    • Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and other Influenza Like Illnesses (ILI)

Given our experience from last year, challenges could continue well into 2022.

  • Continued reporting irregularities due to the ongoing holiday season.

What Can I Do?

  • Seek Appropriate Care: Use your Primary Care Physician or an Urgent Care Facility as an alternative to Emergency Rooms when appropriate. Do not use ERs for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. Visit PrepareMetroKC to see testing locations near you.
  • Minimize Risk: As community prevalence of COVID-19 continues to climb, it may be time to re-evaluate your activities, particularly in advance of being in close quarters with more vulnerable loved ones during holiday gatherings.
  • Use Proven Best Practices: See CDC’s “Safer Ways to Celebrate Holidays” on other ways to mitigate risk and stay safe.
  • Mask Up: CDC guidance recommends that everyone in communities with high or substantial levels of community transmission wear a mask in public indoor settings (CDC). You can check the transmission status of your community or those you intend to visit on the CDC Covid Data Tracker.
  • Get tested: If you have travel plans for the holidays, make sure to include a COVID-19 test prior to travel as part of those plans and added caution upon return, including monitoring for symptoms and testing if symptoms arise. Get tested after potential exposures and before gathering with vulnerable loved ones.
  • Get vaccinated or get your vaccine booster: Check with your primary care physician or pediatrician’s office on where to find a vaccine near you. You may also visit; text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233; or visit Prepare Metro KC (
  • Follow Guidance: Continue to follow your local public health guidance regarding isolation and quarantine.
Phone: 816-474-4240
600 Broadway, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64105
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