KANSAS CITY (AP) — Health department officials in Kansas City and its surrounding three counties are pleading with residents to follow safety precautions amid an increase of coronavirus cases that they say could lead to further shutdowns and overwhelmed hospitals.
The officials from Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri, and from Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas issued a letter saying it is important to wear masks, social distance and limit group gatherings to slow the virus’ spread.
“We are extremely concerned that hospitalizations will continue to escalate in the coming weeks and months,” officials said, “and that the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 will lead to increasing ventilator use and deaths. Despite hoping this would not occur, we predicted that this was a possibility at some point after the relaxation of the stay-at-home orders.”
On Sunday, Missouri reported 15 more deaths from coronavirus, according the state department of health and senior services and over 2400 new positive cases of the virus since Friday.
The Kansas Department of Health reported over 1000 new cases Friday and 18 additional deaths.
According to the letter, "If we do not act quickly as a community and region, future shutdowns will be inevitable."
"It may be important in the coming days to limit the interactions of individuals in bars, restaurants, and other indoor shopping venues – particularly where masks cannot be worn when eating and drinking. We prefer these businesses provide patrons with curbside or outdoor service whenever and wherever possible as they have done before. We support creative ideas such as serving patrons in new outdoor spaces such as car-side in parking lots, or on sidewalks wherever possible."
"Research from Goldman Sachs suggests a national mask mandate would slow the growth rate of new COVID-19 infections and prevent a 5% GDP loss caused by additional lockdown measures.
The researchers go on to estimate that a national mandate would increase the portion of people wearing masks by 15 percentage points and cut the daily growth of new cases by 1.0 percentage point to 0.6%. Reducing the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, the analysts found, could be a substitute for strict lockdown measures that would otherwise shave $1 trillion off the U.S. GDP.