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Local health departments discuss great accomplishment fighting COVID-19 ahead of new year – fox4kc.com

Posted: January 1, 2021 at 4:50 am


KANSAS CITY, Mo. COVID-19 changed the world as we knew it in 2020. From health to finances, education and sports.

What a year it has been. Multiple things that people have to endure. Stay at home order, wearing masks and lots of things that have been part of us for a long time, Johnson County Director of Health and Environment, Dr. Sanmi Areola said.

According to the CDC, more than 19 million Americans tested positive for the virus this year. Over 340,000 died.

In our region, as of Dec. 31, 2,741 Kansans suffered COVID-related deaths. In Missouri, 5,874 died.

Dr. Rex Archer at the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department said the new coronavirus vaccine is a game changer. However, theres still a lot of kinks to work out in the distribution process.

The other problem is, its one thing to deliver vaccine, but if you havent paid for anybody to put it into peoples arms, then thats a problem also, Archer said.

Local health directors said they know people are fatigued.

I want to combat that narrative that everybodys just taking off their masks and running into the streets. There are a lot of people doing the right thing. I want those folks to know theyre not alone, Unified Government Public Health Department Director Juliann Van Lieu said.

Health officials are optimistic about the new year and new COVID-19 vaccines set for approval. But some are concerned about the new coronavirus variant which they said is more contagious.

Even though were fatigued, well not only all have to continue to wear masks and do the social distancing. But the six feet may not be enough, Archer said.

Directors said were not as far along as they hoped. But we are heading in the right direction.

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Local health departments discuss great accomplishment fighting COVID-19 ahead of new year - fox4kc.com

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