New data model shows exact dates Kansas and Missouri should reopen — they’re not in May

Mask
A masked Kansas Citian/Photo by Jeremey Theron Kirby

A new data model from the leading coronavirus number crunchers projects the dates various states would be ease restrictions on businesses that promote social distancing.

Those projections are not in line with the scheduled opening dates in the Kansas City area or the states it straddles.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has been the leading source of pandemic projections, plotting graphs that contrast each state’s available resources and the projected need for them in the form of total COVID-19 cases and critical cases.

The new projections show that if there is just one new infection per one million people in any given state the virus could be contained. And in order to reach that threshold, states would have to stay shuttered longer than they’re planning.

First, here’s when things in this region are reopening:

Both Kansas and Missouri have statewide stay-at-home provisions set to expire at midnight on May 3, meaning businesses can reopen on May 4. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has indicated that she might extend the order while Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has faced intense political pressure to reopen even sooner.

Neither statewide order preempts local jurisdictions that want to extend their order. In the metro area, the outlying counties are set to follow the state.

Cass, Clay, Ray and Platte Counties in Missouri end their orders on May 3.

Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas are likewise set to reopen on May 3.

Kansas City proper and Jackson County will extend through May 15.

But according to the researchers, Missouri should keep its stay-at-home orders in place through June 15 and Kansas should stay shuttered through June 27.

The earliest projected safe reopening is West Virginia on May 10.

Plague-stricken North Dakota should not re-open until July 20—but is fully reopening this week. The tiny Plains state had fifty new cases just yesterday.

It’s also worth noting that experts say states shouldn’t open up until they have enough testing and tracing to stop any flare-ups by identifying those who’ve fallen ill and alerting anyone who has been in contact with them to self-quarantine.