KC Metro Health Departments Issue Public Health Advisory
In consultation with area hospitals’ Chief Medical Officers, the region’s public health departments are issuing a Public Health Advisory in response to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the Kansas City metro related to the emergence of the delta variant.
At this time, unvaccinated residents of all ages who have resumed normal activities without adequate protection are most at risk, particularly immune-compromised individuals.
The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to significantly reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death.
The region’s public health departments strongly recommend that residents take the following precautions to protect themselves and others in their community:
Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Anyone 12 and older should seek vaccination immediately.
- Help protect children younger than 12 by ensuring the adults around them are vaccinated.
- Individuals who have initiated 2-dose vaccination should get their second dose to ensure maximum protection against all COVID-19 strains, including delta.
- Talk with your friends and family about the importance of getting vaccinated.
- If you have specific concerns about whether you should get the vaccine, consult your physician.
Unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask while visiting indoor public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
- Be aware that people with underlying medical conditions may not be able to receive full protection from the vaccine and that children younger than 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination. These populations are vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents should exercise caution.
- Currently, only 40% of Missourians are fully vaccinated. Please assume that 1 in 2 people in any crowd or gathering may be unvaccinated. If you do not know the vaccination status of those around you, resume social distancing of at least 6 feet.
- If unvaccinated, being in crowds like restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at a higher risk for COVID-19. Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
- Additionally, continue practicing good hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
Stay home if you’re sick.
- Seek testing if you develop or have any symptoms of COVID-19, including mild symptoms similar to a cold or allergies.
Individuals with underlying medical conditions should get fully vaccinated as soon as possible and wear masks when around persons of unknown vaccination status.
- The following conditions are associated with increased risk of death from COVID-19:
- Age above 65, organ transplant recipient, cancer, diabetes, obesity, chronic heart/lung/kidney/neurologic conditions, rheumatologic conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, use of immunosuppressive medications, AIDS, and other immunosuppressive conditions or neurological diseases.
- Having more than one of these conditions may significantly increase the risk of hospitalization or death. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
To find information about vaccination locations and updated guidance, please visit your local health department’s website.