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Dr. Sanmi Areola

JCDHE director provides COVID-19 update to BOCC

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Sanmi Areola provided a written update on the pandemic to the Board of County Commissioners. 

Highlights from the briefing include:

  • There were 2,285 new infections last week. This is down from 2,555 the week prior. This translates to an average of 326 new infections per day. This is more than twice what was our highest number for three months.
  • When calculated as a rate, we are at 381 cases per 100,000 residents per week. Our goal is <50 new infections per 100,000 residents.
  • The positivity rate is 12.5%. Our goal is 5%.
  • The primary measure/criteria for schools is the incidence rate. Our recommended phase for school gating criteria is the Red Zone.
  • If you must travel during this holiday season, driving is much safer than flying.
  • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has stood up additional testing sites throughout Johnson County at Church of the Resurrection, Shawnee Mission North, Johnson County Community College, College Boulevard Activity Center and Mercy and Truth. This will eventually allow for up to 3,500 additional tests a week throughout the county.
  • Appointments at state-sponsored locations can be scheduled at www.gogettested.com.
  • Pfizer’s vaccine has been distributed across the state. The first priorities, determined by the state, are health care-associated workers and long-term care facility residents and staff.
  • JCDHE has received the Moderna vaccine. The first doses were given yesterday, Dec. 21, to public health nurses.
  • These doses are for JCDHE workers and EMS staff as part of health care-associated workers. The state’s definition of EMS workers is strictly those who transport patients and does not include those who are cross trained (i.e. firefighters or first responders.)


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