Kansas City area leaders stress importance of taking steps to stop COVID-19

Feb 04, 2022
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Artistic enlargement of COVID-19 virus

The region remains in a surge primarily driven by the omicron variant of COVID-19. Cases and hospitalizations remain higher than any previous wave in the pandemic, according to the Kansas City COVID-19 Region Data Hub.

Regional leaders are asking residents to remain vigilant and protect vulnerable neighbors, including young children not yet eligible for the vaccination.

“COVID-19 is still here. The communities surrounding the Kansas City metropolitan region are continuing to see increases in cases and hospitalizations,” said County Executive Frank White Jr., Jackson County. “The entire health care system remains under great stress due to the prolonged period of high transmission and staff shortages. We’re asking residents in the Kansas City region to prioritize protecting one another.”

“Everyone wants to get back to normal, but we can’t let our guard down,” said Mayor Tyrone Garner, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. “If you’re tired of COVID-19, here’s what you can do: get vaccinated and get your booster, wear a mask, stay away from crowds, wash hands frequently and stay home if sick. This is about your safety, your loved one’s safety and the safety of our entire community.”

“Hospital leaders have described January as ‘hands-down the toughest surge the medical community has had to face’ since the start of the pandemic,” said Commission Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County, Kansas. “We need to reduce the pressure on our health care system to ensure hospital beds are available for those who need them. A lack of hospital space affects everyone, no matter their vaccination status.”

“Our communities’ safety is our top priority. Regional leaders continue to meet frequently, share information and monitor public health trends,” said Commissioner Harold Johnson Jr., Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, and MARC Board of Directors chair. “The metro has strong relationships and plans in place to continue responding to COVID-19. We’re committed to working together to get through this pandemic and come out stronger as a region.”

The steps to stopping COVID-19 are easy to follow:

  • Wear a mask: Masks are proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wear a tight-fitting mask consistently and correctly to protect yourself and others.
  • Get vaccinated or get your booster: The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and free. Millions of Americans have been vaccinated and the number is growing. The COVID-19 vaccines offer the best protection against severe illness and death. Find a vaccination clinic near you.
  • Get tested: Getting tested for COVID-19 is important for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals because it’s the only way to know for sure who has the virus and who doesn’t. If you have the virus but don’t know it, you could unintentionally spread it to loved ones and across your community. Find a testing site near you.

Residents should also remember to avoid crowdsmaintain social distance and get a flu shot to further protect themselves and their families.

If you are sick or caring for someone, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to learn how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine or testing location near you, visit PrepareMetroKC.org.


About the Mid-America Regional Council
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) serves as the nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. Governed by a board of 33 local elected officials, MARC provides a forum for the nine counties and 119 cities in the region to work together to advance social, economic and environmental progress throughout the region.


Kristin Johnson-Waggoner, Public Affairs Program Director, kjohnsonwaggoner@marc.org, 816-701-8219
Lauren Palmer, Director of Local Government Services, lpalmer@marc.org, 816-701-8207