The Kansas City metropolitan area added 1,115 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a startling number that illustrates the explosive spread of the delta variant in the region.
The metro has not added more than 1,000 new cases in one day since Jan. 9.
Testing does not capture the full picture of the spread of the virus in the community. There are likely five to 10 times that many cases, said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at The University of Kansas Health System.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases rose from 618 on Tuesday to 681, according to data tracked by The Star. One week ago, the average sat at 483, and two weeks ago it was 327.
Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the health system, said the rising number of cases and hospitalizations was concerning. He also noted many patients are younger.
“The risks are much higher with the delta variant, I think for young people — not clear if that’s just because that’s who’s not vaccinated or because delta actually does something to the young folks that the original strains did not,” Stites said.
The hospital had 40 patients being treated for COVID-19, up from 37 on Tuesday. Thirteen of those were in the intensive care unit, with nine on ventilators.
The area encompassing Kansas City and Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas has recorded a total of 163,634 cases to date.
The metro added two deaths, raising the total to 2,355 since the pandemic began.
Missouri has recorded a total of 577,809 cases including 9,777 deaths. The seven-day positive test rate was 15%, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Across the state, 41.6% of residents are fully inoculated.
Kansas reported 337,350 total cases including 5,286 deaths. The monthly positive test rate was 8.8%, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said.
In Kansas, 42.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Across the country, 49.7% of the population is fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.