UG’s public health department says mask warrant needed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Unified Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas Department of Public Health shared alarming COVID-19 statistics Thursday night and strongly recommended the return of a mask warrant.

Medical experts shared the figures at a special session of the county commissioners’ council.

Commissioners voted 6-4 last month to end the mask’s tenure.

It was due to expire on January 6.

According to Elizabeth Groenweghe, chief epidemiologist in the UG public health department, only 48.5% of residents in Wyandotte County are fully vaccinated, which means a person has two injections of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 1 injection. of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

And just over 13% of residents in Wyandotte County have received a recall, according to Groenweghe.

She also told commissioners that 306 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, a number the department has never seen before, with 62% of those people testing positive for COVID.

In addition, the department is concerned about the rapid increase in cases as schools return from winter vacation.

Dr Allen Greiner, of the University of Kansas Health System, told the commission anything that can be done should be done to slow the pandemic.

He pointed out that while the omicron variant may result in slightly lower hospitalizations, it could cause long-term COVID.

Greiner said about 60% of cases are the omicron variant while 40% are cases caused by the delta variant.

The transmission rate of the omicron variant is much higher than the other variants, up to two to three times more transmissible, Greiner said.

Experts have agreed that the masks work.

Greiner cited a study in Kansas schools last year in which 24 schools had children wearing masks and 81 did not.

There was a significant difference in the higher number of cases in schools that did not wear masks, he said.

Commissioners took no action on the recommendation to reinstate a mask warrant.


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