Health official says September higher than any other month for cases
mong public health officials, the percent positive rate for COVID-19 is no longer the favored metric for gating criteria.
That’s the case in the Kansas City region, says Dan Luebbert, deputy director of the Platte County Health Department.
“The reason it has fallen out of favor is because enough testing is not occurring, particularly random testing,” Luebbert said. “With that being said, there remains a correlation between percent positive and case counts. Those two rise and fall together.”
Gating criteria are statistics often used to determine things such as recommendations for in-person school. Some area school districts in recent weeks have pushed back against using the positivity rate as the primary factor in that process.
The positivity rate is the percent of positive results among those taking a COVID-19 test.
Luebbert says a more favored criteria now is the number of cases diagnosed in the past two weeks per 100,000 population. This is a rolling 14-day average.
In either metric, Platte County’s numbers are high, health officials say. Platte County’s positivity rate is 24.81 as of Monday, Sept. 28.
Platte County’s “number of cases diagnosed in the past two weeks per 100,000 population” is also trending upward. That number is at its highest point at any time since the pandemic began.
As of Tuesday, Luebbert said the number is at 272 cases diagnosed in the past two weeks per 100,000 population.
It is up slightly from 267 the previous week.
“We were doing okay in June, then saw a dramatic increase in July. Unfortunately, the number of cases reported in September is higher than any other month since the pandemic began,” Luebbert told The Landmark on Tuesday.
An updated look at number of cases by zip code shows the heaviest zip code for COVID-19 cases is 64152, which generally serves Parkville and areas near Parkville. There have been a total of 520 cases in zip code 64152, with 320 of those within the Platte County Health Department’s jurisdiction and 200 coming in the city limits of Kansas City within the county.
Luebbert points out that the fact that 64152 leads in cases is not surprising, since that zip code is the largest populated zip code in the county.
The 64151 zip code in southern Platte County has had 375 COVID-19 cases, with 15 of those in the Platte County Health Department jurisdiction and 360 in Kansas City.
In 64079, which includes Platte City and unincorporated areas surrounding the city, there have been 220 cases.
In 64150, which is generally the Riverside area, there have been 111.