COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Missouri and Kansas City are on the rise once again due to the delta variant.

As of July 15, the University of Kansas Health System reported they have 37 patients being treated for COVID-19, nine are in the intensive care unit and four are on ventilators.

Of those hospitalized, the majority are unvaccinated and local medical professionals say they are starting to get concerned.

Medical Director of Infection and Prevention and Control at the University of Kansas Health System Dana Hawkinson said for those unvaccinated people who are hospitalized, it’s completely preventable.

“We do continue to have concern and frustration because we know that these vaccines right now continue to be a miracle of modern science and medicine,” Hawkinson said. “They are life-saving and preventative measures that people still don’t want to take for one reason or another.”

The six patients who are hospitalized and vaccinated have significant comorbidities like obesity, cancer, lung disease or heart disease.

“Whether it’s politicized, whether it’s still feeling like an experiment, whether there’s those misinformation campaigns about infertility, which are completely false — none of those reasons are good enough to override the general fact that these vaccines prevent you from going to the hospital,” Hawkinson said.

All area hospitals are also seeing a rise of unvaccinated patients, Hawkinson added.

Metro-area health departments released a public health advisory July 16 in response to “rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the Kansas City metro related to the emergence of the delta variant.”

The health departments strongly recommend that Kansas City residents get fully vaccinated and that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear masks. They also said those who are unvaccinated and resuming normal activities are the most at risk.

Statewide, the seven-day average of reported cases was 1,607 on July 14, up from 886 per day on June 30, according to data by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Statewide, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are at their highest since February. There were 1,284 inpatients being treated on July 11, increasing at an average of 35 each day.

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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