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COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Wichita State drops mask rule after state order is toppled

KMBC Kansas City logo KMBC Kansas City 4/4/2021
logo, company name: COVID-19 live updates © Provided by KMBC Kansas City COVID-19 live updates

The Kansas City metro area continues to reopen as more and more of the population gets the COVID-19 vaccine.

What you need to know:

  • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday the state has 302,873 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 4,932 deaths since the outbreak started. Overall the state said 29.8% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose. Kansas is now only updating COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Saturday there have been 490,927 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak and 8,504 deaths. Overall the state said 27.9% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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SUNDAY8 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 490,981 on Sunday, which is an increase of 279 cases. The state also reported there have been 88,609 (+284) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,504 (+0) deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.5%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,703,098 vaccine doses, 1,709,982 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 1,053,940 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 27.9% of the population has received at least one dose and 17.2% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 26.7% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 25.5%, Clay County is at 22.5%, Platte County is at 19.1% and Cass County is at 22.7%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,119 positive cases and an average of 303 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,566 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,898 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,107 cases in Clay County, 7,463 in Cass County and 3,216 in Platte County.

6 a.m. --Wichita State University has announced it’s dropping its coronavirus restrictions after GOP lawmakers overrode Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s newly reissued mask order.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Friday’s announcement means masks are no longer required at the school and that there will be no limits on mass gatherings. In a letter posted on its website, the university encouraged persons on campus to “engage in these practices when possible” and encouraged “everyone to get the vaccine when eligible.”

Interim President Dr. Rick Muma said in a virtual town hall meeting that the school had followed orders issued by the state.

“We are also going to have to fall under those guidelines, so we are not going to be able to require masks, social distancing, mass gathering limitations,” he said.

Last week, Sedgwick County dropped its COVID-19 restrictions in anticipation of the Kansas legislature solidifying the law that entitles objectors of COVID-19 mandates to a lightning-fast 72-hour review by a judge. The statewide mask order was overturned by a the Legislative Coordinating Council on Thursday.

Health officials have cautioned it’s too early for people to let down their guards, noting that a fourth wave of the virus could be close despite rising vaccination rates.

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

SATURDAY

8:45 a.m.

The state said there have now been 8,504 (+3) deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.4%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,658,351 vaccine doses, 1,683,011 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 1,034,982 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 27.4% of the population has received at least one dose and 16.9% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 26.3% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 25.2%, Clay County is at 22.2%, Platte County is at 18.7% and Cass County is at 22.6%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,162 positive cases and an average of 309 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,548 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,888 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,107 cases in Clay County, 7,461 in Cass County and 3,215 in Platte County.

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

FRIDAY

9:50 p.m. -- Johnson County officials said the Olathe Motor Vehicle Office at 782 N. Ridgeview Road will remain closed through the week of April 5. County officials said there are staffing shortages because of a COVID-19 outbreak. READ MORE.

3 p.m. -- Balls Food Stores’ Price Chopper location at 4820 North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City, Missouri, will open a COVID-19 vaccination clinic with appointments for 1,200 vaccinations per week beginning Monday, April 5. This site will be administering Pfizer vaccinations, customers 16 years and older who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine can register for a time slot using the Balls Food Pharmacy website.

2:45 p.m. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an emerging COVID-19 variant known as the South African variant has been identified in Kansas. At this point, it is not known to cause more severe disease, and it is not clear whether it spreads more readily than other strains. READ MORE

2:30 p.m. -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Wednesday, pushing the statewide total to 302,873 since the outbreak started.

KDHE reported 19 new deaths, pushing the total since the start of the outbreak to 4,932. The state reported hospitalizations increased by 25 to 9,753 since the start of the outbreak.

The overall monthly positivity remained at 2.7%, for April 2021 to date, slightly up from earlier this month according to the KDHE. That number is still down from a high of 16.5% in November.

The state also said it has vaccinated 868,292 people, 1,323,890 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 29.8% of the population has been vaccinated with one dose.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Johnson County is the county with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the outbreak with 56,299 cases. Sedgwick County is second with 54,861. Wyandotte County is third with 19,709 cases. Leavenworth County has 7,069 cases, Douglas County reports 8,559 and Miami County has 2,670.

Health officials said they are still monitoring 39 active outbreak clusters.

1 p.m. -- The Blue Valley School District said it will hold a special hearing next week to review its mask mandate after a parent challenged the district’s face covering requirement. READ MORE

11:15 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 490,321 on Friday, which is an increase of 540 cases. The state also reported there have been 87,914 (+203) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,501 (+2) deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.3%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,597,781 vaccine doses, 1,651,494 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 1,004,724 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 26.9% of the population has received at least one dose and 16.4% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 25.6% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 24.6%, Clay County is at 21.5%, Platte County is at 18.4% and Cass County is at 22.3%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,158 positive cases and an average of 308 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,503 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,870 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,099 cases in Clay County, 7,456 in Cass County and 3,213 in Platte County.

10:45 a.m. -- The Jackson County Health Department said Friday it is phasing out its vaccine survey and transitioning to adding vaccine clinics to its community calendar.

10 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a second mass vaccination clinic is coming to Arrowhead Stadium in late April. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday there will be another mass vaccination clinic in Kansas City this month, and the MDHSS confirmed Friday the event will take place on Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30 at Arrowhead. READ MORE

9 a.m. -- Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital are currently treating 10 active COVID-19 infections. Of those 10, five patients are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator. In addition, 16 more patients remain in the hospital in the recovery phase.

8 a.m. -- Sunday is Easter, our second in this COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends outdoor celebrations and church services, rather than observing indoors. The CDC also recommends that online worship remains the safest option and families should limit holiday meals to immediate family members.

6 a.m. -- The vaccine rollout is picking up steam in our area. More people will get their doses this weekend in a two-day mass vaccination clinic that starts Friday at Raymore-Peculiar High School.

This will be a drive-thru vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, where people will be getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

It's for Missourians eligible under the first two phases of the state's vaccination plan. Appointments are required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. You can get signed up online at CassCounty.com, or if you don't have internet access, you can call 816-380-8425.

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

THURSDAY8:45 p.m. -- Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday said he won't require so-called vaccine passports in Missouri but is comfortable with private companies adopting them.

Vaccine passports, also known as health certificates or travel passes, are documents that show a traveler has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative for the coronavirus.

“If the private sector wants to do that, I'm fine with that,” Parson told reporters. “As far as the state goes, we won't mandate vaccine passports.” READ MORE

6:10 p.m. -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that there will be another mass vaccination clinic in Kansas City this month. The governor did not detail when that would happen. READ MORE

3:30 p.m. -- Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s new executive order aimed at encouraging Kansas counties to keep COVID-19 mask mandates has been revoked by the Republican-controlled Legislative Coordinating Council.

The move by the LLC was widely expected and anticipated. Eight top legislators have the power to revoke an order issued by the governor because of a pandemic.

Those lawmakers met Thursday afternoon, and the vote went 5-2 on party lines to revoke the mask policy. READ MORE

11:15 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 489,781 on Thursday, which is an increase of 814 cases. The state also reported there have been 87,914 (+280) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,499 (+1) deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.3%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,522,050 vaccine doses, 1,602,608 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 975,639 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 26.1% of the population has received at least one dose and 15.9% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 24.3% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 23.8%, Clay County is at 20.4%, Platte County is at 16.8% and Cass County is at 22%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,145 positive cases and an average of 306 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,465 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,843 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,096 cases in Clay County, 7,449 in Cass County and 3,208 in Platte County.

11 a.m. -- Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has issued an order aimed at encouraging Kansas counties to keep COVID-19 mask mandates. However, the policy seemed unlikely to survive Thursday. Kelly’s order requires people to wear masks in indoor businesses and public spaces and outdoors when they can’t socially distance.

Counties have the final say, but her order means that county commissions must take a specific vote to opt out. Eight top legislators have the power to revoke an order issued by the governor because of a pandemic.

Those lawmakers planned to meet Thursday afternoon, and the six Republicans in the group have signaled they will revoke the mask policy. READ MORE

10:30 a.m. -- Gov. Laura Kelly re-issued several COVID-19 related executive orders on Thursday to “ensure Kansas can maintain critical pandemic response efforts to keep Kansans healthy, keep businesses open, and keep kids in school.”

The orders Kelly re-issued Thursday extend provisions put in place by previous executive orders and included some updated provisions.

One of the highlights of the new order includes the continuation of the face coverings protocol for Kansans, except in local jurisdictions with their own mask orders in place or in communities that have opted out of the mask mandate. READ MORE

10 a.m. --Republican lawmakers argue that a pandemic justifies special rules in Kansas for protecting the privacy of people exposed to COVID-19 and on Wednesday advanced a proposal to preserve those rules over public health groups’ objections.

The Senate approved, 26-14, a bill that would make contact tracing rules for the coronavirus permanent, setting COVID-19 apart from other infectious diseases, such as syphilis or hepatitis. The GOP-controlled Legislature enacted the special rules at Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s urging, but they are set to expire May 1.

Key provisions in the rules prevent people exposed to the COVID-19 virus from being forced to disclose their close contacts and say people can’t face criminal charges or civil lawsuits for refusing. The Senate’s vote sends the measure to the House.

Schmidt, a Republican, argued that the special rules are necessary to protect people’s privacy. Senate Judiciary Chair Kellie Warren, a Leawood Republican, argued during a debate Tuesday that public health officials are collecting massive amounts of data because COVID-19 is so widespread, and contact tracing for it represents a bigger threat to privacy than it does with other diseases.

Dr. Lee Norman, the head of the state health department, touched off a debate over privacy in April 2020 by citing data gleaned from people’s cellphones about their travel activities to publicly scold people to take social distancing more seriously. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly deemed the data collection “harmless.”

Schmidt said in an interview Wednesday that a pandemic of such a “widespread nature” in a digital age raised compelling questions about protecting the privacy of people’s data.

“In the important rush to deal with public health issues, privacy concerns, data protection concerns and other important issues are sometimes given a back seat, and this law ensures that, that’s not the case,” he said.

Public health officials, including Norman, have said the rules make it harder to track the contacts of people infected with or exposed to the COVID-19 virus, hindering efforts to learn where cases originated.

Republicans have criticized Kelly’s handling of the pandemic, and that’s also led to questioning of Norman’s actions by GOP conservatives.

Schmidt also is running for governor in 2022, when Kelly is seeking a second term. None of the Senate’s 11 Democrats supported the bill.

“We have been doing contact tracing in our state for quite some time,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat. “We have not had concerns.”

Two public health associations told the Senate committee that it makes no sense to have different rules for COVID-19, particularly when it’s likely eventually to be managed with vaccines like other infectious diseases.

“Emergency response is complicated enough,” said Brandon Skidmore, president of the Kansas Public Health Association, told the Judiciary Committee in written testimony. “Creating rules and systems unique to one disease/virus creates confusion for those tasked with implementing a response.”

But Warren cited the “unique set of circumstances” in the coronavirus pandemic. She said an outbreak of syphilis, for example, “is not affecting such a big population.”

9 a.m. -- Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital are currently treating 11 active COVID-19 infections. Of those 11, five patients are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator. In addition, 15 more patients remain in the hospital in the recovery phase.

8:30 a.m. -- The Kansas City Royals, like every other Major League team, will have safety precautions in place this year. The Royals social media team had some fun in explaining their changes with some help from a cardboard cutout of a locally-loved Avenger. READ MORE

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

WEDNESDAY5:02 p.m. -- Johnson County's motor vehicle office in Olathe at 782 N. Ridgeview Road will be closed Thursday and Friday. The county said several staff members have been affected by COVID-19.

The county said that it has determined that there is no reason to believe any customers were directly exposed. Officials said the office has undergone deep cleaning and disinfection.

The Mission Motor Vehicle Office at 6000 Lamar Avenue will remain open with a limited capacity for customers in the queue.

4:15 p.m. -- Students lined up outside schools in Kansas City, Kansas, for the first time in more than a year Wednesday as in-person classes resumed in one of the last districts in the state still learning mostly virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday is the date lawmakers set for public schools to begin offering in-person classes in a bill that is awaiting Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's signature. Most Kansas schools already returned to in-person classes, but the Kansas City, Kansas, area was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and that district had allowed only a small number of students to return to classrooms before now. READ MORE

3 p.m. -- French President Emmanuel Macron announced a three-week nationwide school closure and a one-month domestic travel ban to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

In a televised address to the nation Wednesday night, Macron says efforts are needed as "the epidemic is accelerating." The move is a departure from the government's policy in recent months, which has focused on regionalized restrictions. School closures were seen as a last resort. READ MORE

2 p.m. -- Republican lawmakers argue that a pandemic justifies special rules in Kansas for protecting the privacy of people exposed to COVID-19. They have advanced a proposal to preserve them over public health groups’ objections.

The Senate voted 26-14 Wednesday to approve a bill that would make contact tracing rules for the novel coronavirus permanent. That sets COVID-19 apart from other infectious diseases, such as syphilis or hepatitis.

The GOP-controlled Legislature enacted the special rules at Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s urging, but they are set to expire May 1. Critics say it makes little sense to have different rules for different diseases. The measure went to the House.

1:30 p.m. -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 510 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Monday, pushing the statewide total to 302,372 since the outbreak started.

KDHE reported 11 new deaths, pushing the total since the start of the outbreak to 4,913. The state reported hospitalizations increased by 31 to 9,728 since the start of the outbreak.

The overall monthly positivity remained at 2.8%, for March 2021 to date, slightly up from earlier this month according to the KDHE. That number is still down from a high of 16.5% in November.

The state also said it has vaccinated 801,925 people, 1,229,509 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 27.5% of the population has been vaccinated with one dose.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Johnson County is the county with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the outbreak with 56,159 cases. Sedgwick County is second with 54,799. Wyandotte County is third with 19,663 cases. Leavenworth County has 7,051 cases, Douglas County reports 8,514 and Miami County has 2,666.

Health officials said they are still monitoring 39 active outbreak clusters.

1 p.m. -- A federal lawsuit seeks a return of the 1% St. Louis earnings tax paid by people who normally work in the city but instead worked from their suburban homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of three suburban St. Louis residents seeks class action status, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. If successful, the lawsuit could cost the city millions of dollars.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Bevis Schock, said last year that he planned to file a class-action lawsuit after St. Louis Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daily issued a policy barring city earnings tax refunds for employees working outside city limits.

Thousands of people who work in St. Louis but live outside the city have worked from home since March 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, particularly white-collar office workers.

“The way we view it, you and your company have agreed (to have you) work at home. You’re still utilizing all the computer software that your company provides” from its base in the city," Daly told the Post-Dispatch in June.

More than one-third of the city’s general revenue comes from the tax, or about $180 million last year.

A city spokesman declined to comment.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Wednesday reported 406 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths. The state has reported 489,374 confirmed cases and 8,498 deaths since the pandemic began.

11:15 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 488,967 on Wednesday, which is an increase of 407 cases. The state also reported there have been 87,634 (+291) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,498 (+3) deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.2%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,432,437 vaccine doses, 1,547,052 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 931,235 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 25.2% of the population has received at least one dose and 15.2% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 23.4% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 22.8%, Clay County is at 20.1%, Platte County is at 16.2% and Cass County is at 21.7%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,175 positive cases and an average of 311 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,437 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,805 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,095 cases in Clay County, 7,445 in Cass County and 3,205 in Platte County.

11 a.m. -- Balls Food Stores’ Price Chopper location at 4820 North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City, Missouri, will open a COVID-19 vaccination clinic with appointments for 1,200 vaccinations beginning April 5, 2021. According to a news release, this site will be administering Pfizer vaccinations, customers 16 years and older who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine can register for a time slot beginning at 10 a.m. April 2 using the Balls Food Pharmacy website (ballsfoodspharmacy.com).

9:30 a.m. -- As Wyandotte County, along with the rest of Kansas, enters Phase 5 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Plan, the Unified Government Public Health Department said Wednesday it has launched a new online tool that allows people to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination at their convenience. READ MORE

9 a.m. -- Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital are currently treating 10 active COVID-19 infections. Of those 10, two patients are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator. In addition, 13 more patients remain in the hospital in the recovery phase.

7 a.m. -- Nearly 25% of Missouri’s residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, state health officials said Tuesday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ COVID-19 dashboard reported Tuesday that 1.5 million Missourians have begun the vaccination process, and 902,026 are fully vaccinated.

One of the highest vaccination rates is in Joplin, where officials say 31.4% of the city’s 51,000 citizens received at least one shot. Atchison County in northwest Missouri reported a 31.1% vaccination rate, according to the dashboard.

Ryan Talken, director of the Joplin Health Department, credited the high vaccination rate to the city having two large hospitals — Freeman Health System and Mercy Hospital Joplin — and medical community that works well together to distribute vaccines, The Joplin Globe reported.

Nationally, 28.2% of the population has received at least one dose, ranking Missouri in the bottom 10 among states, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

As of Tuesday, the state confirmed 488,968 cases of COVID-19, and 8,498 deaths — an increase of 320 cases and 58 deaths. The deaths were the result of a weekly review by health department officials of death certificates that had not already been reported to the state.

6 a.m. -- Republicans in the GOP-controlled Kansas House are formally registering their opposition to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's plan for encouraging counties to keep mask mandates in place.

They're doing it as a potentially more infectious strain of coronavirus becomes more widespread in the state. The House gave first-round approval Tuesday a resolution telling legislative leaders to use their power under a new law to revoke any order from Kelly for a statewide mask policy. Kelly has said she will issue such an order Thursday, though counties will be able to opt out. READ MORE

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

TUESDAY7:40 p.m.-- Republicans in the GOP-controlled Kansas House are formally registering their opposition to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's plan for encouraging counties to keep mask mandates in place. READ MORE.

11 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 488,967 on Tuesday, which is an increase of 319 cases. The state also reported there have been 87,343 (+224) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,495 (+55) deaths since the start of the outbreak. The state reported no new deaths Monday, however, a reason for Tuesday’s spike was not provided.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.2%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,381,779 vaccine doses, 1,523,244 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 902,026 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 24.8% of the population has received at least one dose and 14.7% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 22.9% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 22.5%, Clay County is at 19.8%, Platte County is at 15.8% and Cass County is at 21.5%.

8 a.m. -- Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital say there are only seven active coronavirus cases in treatment at the hospital as of Tuesday morning. Of those cases, two patients are in the ICU, and one is on a ventilator.

The hospital is also down to just 15 patients needing treatment during the recovery period.

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

MONDAY

3:35 p.m. -- Cass County health officials say they will hold two drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination events on Friday and Saturday. The clinics will be held at Raymore-Peculiar High School at 20801 S. School Rd. in Peculiar from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Appointments are required. READ MORE.

1 p.m. -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 429 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Friday, pushing the statewide total to 301,862 since the outbreak started.

KDHE reported 11 new deaths, pushing the total since the start of the outbreak to 4,902. The state reported hospitalizations increased by 18 to 9,697 since the start of the outbreak.

The overall monthly positivity remained at 2.8%, for March 2021 to date, slightly up from earlier this month according to the KDHE. That number is still down from a high of 16.5% in November.

The state also said it has vaccinated 777,311 people, 1,189,911 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 26.7% of the population has been vaccinated with one dose.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

Johnson County is the county with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the outbreak with 56,029 cases. Sedgwick County is second with 54,705. Wyandotte County is third with 19,634 cases. Leavenworth County has 7,039 cases, Douglas County reports 8,514 and Miami County has 2,666.

Health officials said they are still monitoring 48 active outbreak clusters.

11 a.m. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 488,648 on Monday, which is an increase of 193 cases. The state also reported there have been 87,119 (+142) possible antigen cases to date.

The state said there have now been 8,440 (+0) deaths since the start of the outbreak. Monday is the second update in a row where no new deaths were reported.

The overall positivity rate for the state is at 4.2%, according to the MDHSS. That number is down from a high of 23.1% in November.

The state said it has administered 2,340,469 vaccine doses, 1,505,818 people have initiated vaccination (or received one dose) and 877,461 people have received a second dose. Overall, the state said 24.5% of the population has received at least one dose and 14.3% have completed vaccination.

An estimated 22.6% of Kansas City residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while Jackson County is at 22.2%, Clay County is at 19.5%, Platte County is at 15.6% and Cass County is at 21.3%.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state there have been 2,055 positive cases and an average of 294 cases a day in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 37,393 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 30,760 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 8,088 cases in Clay County, 7,433 in Cass County and 3,204 in Platte County.

9 a.m. -- Both Missouri and Kansas entered new phases for vaccine eligibility Monday.

Missouri activated Phase 2 -- which opens up an estimated 800,000 additional residents for vaccination, including those in critical manufacturing, defense industrial base, food services, government, disproportionately affected populations, homeless, and more. Click here for Missouri's phase definitions.

Kansas entered Phase 5 -- meaning all adults age 16+ are now eligible to receive a vaccine in the state.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said while adults are eligible, actual appointment availability will depend on the federal supply. Scheduling for vaccinations happens at a local level.

8 a.m. -- Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital are currently treating 8 active COVID-19 infections. Of those eight, two patients are in the ICU, and one is on a ventilator.

In addition, 15 more patients remain in the hospital in the recovery phase.

[ HOW TO GET THE VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ][ WHERE WE STAND: MAPS, CHARTS SHOW COVID-19 CASES, VACCINATION RATES ]

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

READ THE FULL STORY:COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Wichita State drops mask rule after state order is toppled

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