Coronavirus in KC: Here’s where things stand right now (updating)
There’s a lot going on right now, as fallout from the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation.
Much of the state of California has been ordered to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, in New York salons, barbershops and other like establishments have been ordered to close.
Meanwhile, a lot is going on in Kansas City. So much that it can be hard to keep track of it all.
Here’s our running update of the most important and interesting news for Kansas City residents.
Monday, March 30
- Jackson County officials order Bass Pro Shop to close its store in Independence.
- Missouri tops one thousand COVID-19 cases.
- Kansas City cites two hundred businesses in violation of stay-at-home orders.
- President Trump has approved a federal disaster relief case for Kansas.
Sunday, March 29
- Country music star Joe Diffie, who was a scheduled 2020 Kansas State Fair Performer, dies of COVID-19 complications.
- Missouri’s Henry County Democratic Chairman Al Grimes dies of COVID-19.
Saturday, March 28
- Gov. Laura Kelly declares statewide stay-at-home order in Kansas until April 19. The order will still allow gun sales and religious worship.
Friday, March 27
- Two Kansas City hotels have temporarily closed to the public, laying off nearly three-hundred employees
Thursday, March 26
- Federal data shows that 40,508 Missourians filed for unemployment during the week ending on March 21. Kansas is tallied at 11,355 so far. 3.28 million people across America filed for unemployment.
Wednesday, March 25
- AMC Theatres to furlough all corporate staff including CEO at their Kansas City headquarters.
- After facing criticism for declaring itself an “essential business,” Nebraska Furniture Mart plans to close its four retail stores.
Tuesday, March 24
- A man in Warrenton, MO was charged with making a terrorist threat after he filmed himself licking multiple items at a Walmart.
- The first death of a child from COVID-19 was reported in Los Angeles.
- Kansas City Public Schools are preparing meals for students who might otherwise miss out on breakfast and lunch during the closing of schools. There are four locations where families can pick up food: Northeast High School, East High School, Central High School and African Centered College Prep Academy.
- The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have officially been postponed to summer of 2021.
Monday, March 23
- Mayor Quinton Lucas proposes $500k for Small Business Emergency Relief Fund.
- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has not issued a statewide stay-at-home order but said it might become “unavoidable” as more cases are reported.
- Interim City Manager Earnest Rouse announced that KCMO City Hall and other city facilities have been ordered to close to the public.
- The Missouri State Medical Association wrote a letter to Missouri Governer Kelly to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.
— MO State Medical Assn (@MOMedicalAssn) March 23, 2020
- Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that he is seeking to create a $500,000 small business emergency relief fund to fit in the city’s budget.
Sunday, March 22
- Johnson County logs first COVID-19 death, retired biology teacher-turned superintendent Dennis Wilson of Lenexa. He was in his ’70s.
- Char Bar in Westport provides a “Sunday Service” and serves three hundred meals to service workers.
- Fourteen Northland teenagers and five adult chaperones make it back to Kansas City after being stuck in Guatemala for a mission trip.
Saturday, March 21
- The CORE 4—Jackson County, MO; Johnson County, KS; Wyandotte County, KS; KCMO—enforce a thirty-day stay-at-home order effective 12:01 am on Tuesday. Essential business to stay open include “critical government services, infrastructure projects, childcare, healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, and delivery/carry-out/drive-through services from restaurants,” said a release from Core 4.
- Hurts Donuts has an “emergency” donut delivery vehicle doing routes around Kansas City. To get on the list, just drop them a DM on Facebook.
- Coronavirus is now making its way into rural Kansas and Missouri—a big problem as some of the towns affected don’t have a single hospital bed.
Friday, March 20
- Kansas City magazine spoke to a coronavirus in Lawrence who is among a tiny handful of scientists that were working on these viruses before the latest epidemic. You can read our lengthy interview here.
- Missouri’s coronavirus cases doubled overnight as the result of new testing.
- A Manhattan Kansas lawmaker is under fire for saying that COVID-19 is not common in rural Kansas because there aren’t many Chinese people. (There is no scientific support for his position.)
Thursday, March 19
- Freshman Kansas U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids will self-quarantine for two weeks after possibly being exposed to the virus by a fellow member of Congress.
- The MLS announced that it has extended the suspension of all matches.
- There are now twenty-eight confirmed cases of the virus in Kansas—sixteen in Johnson County and six in Wyandotte County.
- Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner announced that she will self-quarantine after reports that Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams have tested positive for COVID-19.
Wednesday, March 18:
- Eric Stonestreet tweeted that he will donate 200,000 meals to Kansas City’s Harvesters Community Food Network.
I am donating 200,000 meals to @HarvestersORG in Kansas City. Lindsay and I love our hometown and want to help do what we can. I’m only posting this to maybe motivate you to do what you can, when you can, if you can, to help vulnerable families in our community during this time.
— Eric Stonestreet (@ericstonestreet) March 19, 2020
- Local grocery stores and other retail shops have started changing their policies to limit the number of shoppers in a store at once.
- Missouri has its first confirmed coronavirus death, a person in their sixties who had traveled overseas.
- Johnson County reports its eleventh and twelfth cases of the virus. This brings the Kansas case count to twenty-one.
- A veteran in Wyandotte County has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is self-isolating, according to the Kansas City Star. The patient visited the hospital six days ago with symptoms and is “doing well.” The county now has five confirmed cases.
- Children’s Mercy Hospital announced that a patient at their downtown Adele Hall Campus tested positive for the virus.
A patient seen in our Emergency Department at Adele Hall Campus on March 15, tested positive for #COVID19 and is being self-quarantined at home. Learn what we are doing to protect our patients, families and staff from the spread of the disease. https://t.co/W26V6zghX4 pic.twitter.com/1Gxu6F3nAQ
— Children’s Mercy (@ChildrensMercy) March 18, 2020
- The Kansas City Star reported that the Hospital Committee states that the region has enough hospital beds and staff to accommodate a handful of serious patients right now. However, if the city was to end up in a state as serious as Italy, physicians will be “faced with tough choices of who to treat with limited resources and who would be left to die.”
Tuesday, March 17:
- The governor of Kansas has ordered all schools closed for the remainder of the school year.
- Cerner told workers that an employee at the corporation’s Realizations campus in South KC tested positive for coronavirus.
- Jackson County has its first confirmed case of coronavirus. The case was diagnosed through a private lab and was found in a woman in her eighties from eastern Jackson County who has not recently traveled.
- KU students have been ordered out of their dorms, as the school closes starting March 20. This will affect 28,000 students.
- Five new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state of Kansas, which now has ten cases, most of them in Johnson County.
- Meanwhile, Missouri has seven cases, including the first known one in St. Louis. According to the Associated Press, the St. Louis case is someone who has “traveled to a country where COVID-19 is spreading, landed at an out-of-state airport and then drove to St. Louis.”
- Missouri casinos are following the lead set by Las Vegas and closing at midnight on Tuesday. The gaming commission says that the casinos will be closed through March 30.
I have consulted with the Chairman of the Gaming Commission, and Missouri casinos will be closed at midnight tonight through March 30 in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) March 17, 2020
- This move came after KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas asked for the closure—as a mayor, he did not have the authority to close the riverboat casinos in the city on his own.
I think Missouri should follow by closing its riverboat casinos. We’re studying, but not sure cities have the power to regulate on the river. Disappointing… because we should close for public health. https://t.co/t8gC0FeHG5
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) March 17, 2020
- KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas is encouraging residents to support local businesses when they can.
Got an outstanding take out dinner from Tacos el Gallo on the Boulevard tonight. It’s important to still support local businesses as much as you can during this time! We’ll get through this together. #KCMO #Chorizo pic.twitter.com/yshPG862xv
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) March 17, 2020
Monday, March 16