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COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Missouri reports that 7% of population has received COVID-19 vaccine [Video]

Kansas City metro area health officials are grappling with how to handle continuing case count increases after reopening businesses more than four months ago. What you need to know:The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Wednesday the state has 278,915 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 3,895 deaths since the outbreak started. Overall the state said 6.8% of the population has been vaccinated. Kansas is now only updating COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Wednesday there have been 461,720 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak and 7,098 deaths. Overall the state said 7.0% of the population has received at least one dose. WEDNESDAY7 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the UK variant of COVID-19 had been found in the state. A resident in Ellis County was found to have the United Kingdom, or UK, variant known as B.1.1.7. A case investigation is being conducted to determine how the person became infected, as well as if others may have been exposed. READ MORE.12:45 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 2,247 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Monday, pushing the statewide total to 278,915 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Wednesday the death total grew by 86 to 3,895 and hospitalizations increased by 89 to 8,578 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Monday that 41% (-3) of ICU beds are available and 83% (+3) of the states ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,186,849 people with 907,934 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 6.2% — the lowest its been in months. The state also said it has vaccinated 198,350 people, 249,724 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 6.8% of the population has been vaccinated.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 50,800. Johnson County is second with 50,392 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 18,309 cases. Leavenworth County has 6,304 cases, Douglas County reports 7,880 and Miami County has 2,510.Health officials they are monitoring 272 active outbreak clusters with 144 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.12:05 p.m. — A new task force in Kansas City, Missouri, will seek to ensure that Black and Hispanic residents have equal opportunities to get COVID-19 vaccinations, Mayor Quinton Lucas said Wednesday.The Democratic mayor announced the formation of Kansas Citys COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. Lucas said the rate of Hispanic residents in the city dying from the coronavirus is nearly three times that of white residents.Every loss is one too many and, with the vaccine, is preventable, Lucas said in a statement. Kansas Citys vaccine distribution will reflect where the most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred to as quickly as possible mitigate community spread,” and reduce the number of people in hospitals.Missouri is among the worst states in terms of vaccination rates. Republican Gov. Mike Parson has said the biggest issue slowing the rollout is lack of vaccine availability. Parson has directed the Missouri National Guard to operate mass vaccination sites across the state in an effort to boost vaccination rates.The state has seen improvement in some coronavirus metrics in recent weeks, including a drop in confirmed cases and hospitalizations. Missouri on Wednesday reported 1,233 new cases, bringing the pandemic total to 461,720. The state also cited 10 new deaths and 7,098 since the pandemic began. An Associated Press analysis published Jan. 30 found that Black Americans in many places lag behind whites in receiving coronavirus vaccinations. The look at 17 states and two cities that released racial breakdowns through Jan. 25 found that Black people are getting inoculated at levels below their share of the general population, in some cases significantly so.Missouri data shows that white residents are getting vaccinated at more than twice the pace of Black residents. It also shows that while 6% of non-Hispanic Missourians have been vaccinated, less than 1% of Hispanic residents have received a first shot.St. Louis-area officials also are pushing to increase vaccinations in underserved communities. St. Louis Countys health department last week began an outreach program using online promotional campaigns, flyers and even knocking on doors to urge people in north St. Louis County to get vaccinated.The county said last week that pre-registration for vaccinations was as low as 3% in some parts of north St. Louis County, which has a higher percentage of Black residents than elsewhere in the county. By comparison, around 40% of residents in the predominantly white central part of the county were pre-registered.The county on Wednesday opened a mass vaccination site at St. Louis Community Colleges Florissant Valley campus in the north St. Louis County town of Ferguson.10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 461,720 on Wednesday. The total was an increase of 1,233 from Tuesdays total.The state said there have now been 7,098 deaths since the start of the outbreak. The state added 10 new death reports on Wednesday.The state said it has administered 553,095 vaccine doses, 427,152 people have received at least one dose and 125,943 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 7.0% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,185,641 and 89,571 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 7,604 positive cases and an average of 1,086 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,799 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,660 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,543 cases in Clay County, 6,917 in Cass County and 2,956 in Platte County. 9:30 a.m. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the launch of the Find My Vaccine mapping tool, designed to help Kansans locate sites that are administering vaccines in their communities. The tool is available now on https://kansasvaccine.gov, Kansass COVID-19 vaccine website. Kelly said Kansans in vaccine Phase 1 and 2 are recommended to use this tool as a resource for finding providers who are or will be offering the vaccine. READ MORE9 a.m. — Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is 98 total COVID-19 patients with 41 acute cases, including nine that are in the ICU, six on ventilators and 57 are in the recovery phase.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ]TUESDAY4:30 p.m. — Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan said Tuesday afternoon the team is in talks to use Arrowhead Stadium as a mass vaccination site. READ MORE2 p.m. — Missouri continues to see declines in newly confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, but the death toll reached another sad milestone on Tuesday, topping 7,000.The state health department cited 340 additional deaths. All but two of those were the result of the Bureau of Vital Records weekly review of death certificates to include COVID-19-related deaths that were not previously reported by local health agencies. Spokeswoman Lisa Cox said 11 of the deaths reported Tuesday occurred in November, 190 in December, 138 in January and one this month.The states COVID-19 dashboard cited 890 new cases of the virus, bringing the total since the onset of the pandemic to 460,487. Over the past seven days, the state has averaged 1,056 cases per day, the lowest level since October. Experts correctly predicted cases and hospitalizations would spike due to holiday gatherings starting in November.Hospitalizations have also dipped sharply over the past couple of weeks. Still, in-patient bed capacity and intensive care unit bed capacity were both at just 24% statewide, according to the health department dashboard.Meanwhile, Missouri continues to lag behind most states in vaccinating residents, according to information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDCs website shows that while Missouri has received 835,400 doses of vaccine, just 462,200 have been administered.The CDC says 5.7% of Missourians have received at least one dose, which ranks ahead of only Idaho among the 50 states.Gov. Mike Parson has criticized the CDC data. Missouri last week launched its own vaccine site, and it tells a different story. According to the Missouri data, 6.7% of residents have received a first shot, a figure that would still put Missouri in the bottom 10 among state vaccination rates.It wasn’t clear why the two sites cited different percentages. Cox didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 460,487 on Tuesday. The total was an increase of 890 from Mondays total.The state said there have now been 7,088 deaths since the start of the outbreak. After reporting no new deaths for two days, the state added 340 new death reports on Tuesday.The state said it has administered 530,485 vaccine doses, 409,618 people have received at least one dose and 120,867 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 6.7% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,173,283 and 88,405 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 7,394 positive cases and an average of 1,056 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,760 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,573 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,522 cases in Clay County, 6,901 in Cass County and 2,937 in Platte County. 6 a.m. –Select hospitals across Missouri will receive just over half of the states weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccinations in February in an effort to achieve consistent and effective distribution, state health officials said Monday.The hospitals have the capacity to each administer 5,000 vaccine doses per week but the number of vaccines the hospitals receive will be determined by population in the region. Weekly vaccine delivery will rotate between the hospitals and their partners, according to a news release from the Missouri Hospital Association and the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services.The hospitals included in the first phase of this plan were selected for their ability to rapidly begin community vaccination efforts on a large scale, said Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the hospital association. Beginning (Monday) and continuing as vaccines arrive in the days and weeks ahead hospitals will be sharing how community members can sign up for their vaccine.The state will send 53% of its nearly 76,000 weekly vaccine doses to the hospitals. Another 23% will go to regional mass vaccination events in partnership with local groups and the Missouri National Guard. Another 8% will be allocated to local public health agencies, and another 8% will go to federally qualified health centers. The remaining 8% will go to any other enrolled providers, or community providers, asking for the vaccine. Hospitals not included on the list released Monday are considered community providers. The list of providers will expand as the state receives more vaccine.St. Louis officials are meanwhile looking into concerns raised after young and healthy people were invited to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, but older people with chronic health conditions were not.The clinic was set up Saturday at Union Station. Jessi Kniffen, a healthy 39-year-old who works from home, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch she was surprised when she got the invitation on Friday. Kniffen thought she would have a much longer wait, since the early shots are supposed to be for people age 65 or older, with chronic health conditions or with jobs that put them at high risk.I was surprised by it, but filled out the form and got vaccinated because weve been told that when you get a chance to be vaccinated that you should, Kniffen said. I didnt know if I turned down this opportunity, if I would get booted from the citys vaccination list.Others who are elderly or have underlying health conditions reported not getting an invitation despite registering with the city.Marva Borders, 68, has sarcoidosis, hypertension and heart issues. She lives within walking distance of Union Station but wasnt invited, said her daughter, Dorris Scott.Scott, 36, volunteered in the trial for the Pfizer vaccine.As a family, we have done all we can, and it is frustrating that our vulnerable groups are not getting the information that we need, Scott said.About 1,800 people were inoculated at Union Station, the site of the citys first large-scale vaccination event.Alderman Christine Ingrassia said she heard from 20 to 30 people who received vaccines at the event and later figured out they were not yet eligible under state guidelines.Mayor Lyda Krewsons spokesman, Jacob Long, said the city is looking into those concerns but that city leaders felt the event was a tremendous success. Aldermen said at least two city committees are investigating rollout problems.In St. Louis County, restaurants, bars and banquet centers can now stay open an hour later, until 11 p.m., due to a continued decline in cases, County Executive Sam Page announced Sunday.Establishments were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity earlier this month after being closed to indoor dining since mid-November. Until Monday, closing time was 10 p.m.As of Monday, Missouri has reported 459,597 confirmed cases of the virus, and 6,748 deaths.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ]MONDAY10:30 p.m. — Johnson County is moving forward with Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan.”It’s about getting the vaccine into the arms into as many people as possible,” said Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. READ MORE.4:10 p.m. — RideKC says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order requiring all operators and transit customers to wear face masks at transit stops and on board to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect late Monday. According to the order, customers must wear masks while waiting at transit stops, boarding, disembarking, and the whole time on board.RideKC transit partners have required face coverings since local governments issued emergency orders last year. The new CDC order requires transit riders to wear face masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Scarves and bandanas are no longer an acceptable face covering on RideKC transit. 12:45 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 1,983 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Friday, pushing the statewide total to 276,668 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Monday the death total grew by 30 to 3,809 and hospitalizations increased by 72 to 8,489 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Monday that 44% (+11) of ICU beds are available and 80% (-2) of the states ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,177,617 people with 900,949 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 8.6% — the lowest its been in weeks. The state also said it has vaccinated 185,010 people, 229,459 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 6.4% of the population has been vaccinated.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 50,270. Johnson County is second with 50,030 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 18,216 cases. Leavenworth County has 6,247 cases, Douglas County reports 7,832 and Miami County has 2,502.Health officials they are monitoring 301 active outbreak clusters with 170 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 459,597 on Monday. The total was an increase of 778 from Sundays total.The state said there have now been 6,748 deaths since the start of the outbreak. There were no new deaths reported on Monday.The state said it has administered 515,850 vaccine doses, 397,850 people have received at least one dose and 118,420 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 6.5% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,165,512 and 88,075 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 7,469 positive cases and an average of 1,067 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,700 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,474 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,502 cases in Clay County, 6,887 in Cass County and 2,932 in Platte County. 10:38 a.m. — Missouri officials say more COVID-19 vaccines are being allocated to specific hospitals in our area this month in a push to provide more of those vaccinations to the public. The hospitals chosen are facilities that can quickly communicate and implement a vaccination strategy. Click the link for more information on specific locations and when vaccinations are expected. READ MORE9 a.m. — Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 103 total COVID-19 patients with 43 acute cases, including 10 that are in the ICU, five on ventilators and 60 are in the recovery phase.8 a.m. — Joining Mondays University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 Panel are the Presidents and CEOs from the Kansas and Missouri Hospital Associations. Chad Austin and Herb Kuhn will share the pandemic impact on hospitals on both sides of the state line, the impact of President Biden’s health agenda on KS and MO, plus how COVID-19 is affecting the appetite and status of Medicaid expansion in both states. 5 a.m. — President Joe Biden is set to meet Monday afternoon with a group of 10 Republican senators who have proposed spending about one-third of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking in coronavirus aid, though congressional Democrats are poised to move ahead without Republican support.An invitation to the White House came hours after the lawmakers sent Biden a letter Sunday urging him to negotiate rather than try to ram through his relief package solely on Democratic votes. The House and Senate are on track to vote as soon as this week on a budget resolution, which would lay the groundwork for passing an aid package under rules requiring only a simple majority vote in the closely divided Senate.The goal is for passage by March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires. The meeting to be hosted by Biden would amount to the most public involvement for the president in the negotiations for the next round of virus relief. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are far apart in their proposals for assistance.White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that Biden had spoken with the leader of the group, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Though Biden is wanting a full exchange of views, Psaki reiterated that the president remains in favor of moving forward with a far-reaching relief package.With the virus posing a grave threat to the country, and economic conditions grim for so many, the need for action is urgent, and the scale of what must be done is large, Psaki said.In challenging Biden to fulfill his pledge of unity, the group said in its letter that its counterproposal will include $160 billion for vaccines, testing, treatment and personal protective equipment and call for more targeted relief than Bidens plan to issue $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans. Winning the support of 10 Republicans would be significant for Biden in the 50-50 Senate where Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaker. If all Democrats were to back an eventual compromise bill, the legislation would reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome potential blocking efforts and pass under regular Senate procedures.In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support, the Republican senators wrote. Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities, and with your support, we believe that this plan could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support.The plea for Biden to give bipartisan negotiations more time comes as the president has shown signs of impatience as the more liberal wing of his party considers passing the relief package through a process known as budget reconciliation. That would allow the bill to advance with only the backing of his Democratic majority.The Republicans did not provide many details of their proposal. One of the signatories, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, said that it would cost about $600 billion.If you cant find bipartisan compromise on COVID-19, I dont know where you can find it, said Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who also signed the letter.But even as Biden extended the invitation to the Republican lawmakers, Psaki said that $1,400 relief checks, substantial funding for reopening schools, aid to small businesses and hurting families, and more is badly needed.As leading economists have said, the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little, Psaki said. Americans of both parties are looking to their leaders to meet the moment. Biden also spoke on Sunday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who are facing a growing push from the more liberal Democratic members to move forward with Bidens legislation with or without Republican support.The other GOP senators invited to meet with Biden are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Brian Deese, the top White House economic adviser who is leading the administrations outreach to Congress, said earlier Sunday that administration officials were reviewing the letter. He did not immediately commit to a Biden meeting with the lawmakers.But Cedric Richmond, a senior Biden adviser, said the president is very willing to meet with anyone to advance the agenda. When asked about the senators plan, Richmond said, This is about seriousness of purpose.Deese indicated the White House could be open to negotiating on further limiting who would receive stimulus checks. Portman suggested the checks should go to individuals who make no more than $50,000 per year and families capped at $100,000 per year.Under the Biden plan, families with incomes up to $300,000 could receive some stimulus money.That is certainly a place that were willing to sit down and think about, are there ways to make the entire package more effective? Deese said.As a candidate, Biden predicted his decades in the Senate and his eight years as Barack Obamas vice president gave him credibility as a deal-maker and would help him bring Republicans and Democrats to consensus on the most important matters facing the country.But less than two weeks into his presidency, Biden showed frustration with the pace of negotiations at a time when the economy exhibited further evidence of wear from the pandemic. Last week, 847,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits, a sign that layoffs remain high as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But the COVID relief has to pass no ifs, ands or buts, Biden said on Friday.In the letter, the Republican lawmakers reminded Biden that in his inaugural address, he proclaimed that the challenges facing the nation require the most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. Cassidy separately criticized the current Biden plan as chock-full of handouts and payoffs to Democratic constituency groups.You want the patina of bipartisanship … so thats not unity, Cassidy said.Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said Biden remains willing to negotiate but that officials needed to see more details from Republicans. At the same time, Bernstein pressed the administrations argument that doing too little to stimulate the economy could have enormous impact on the economy in the near- and long-term.Look, the American people really couldnt care less about budget process, whether its regular order, bipartisanship, whether its filibuster, whether its reconciliation, Bernstein said. They need relief, and they need it now.Portman and Deese were on CNNs State of the Union, and Deese also was interviewed on NBCs Meet the Press. Cassidy and Bernstein appeared on Fox News Sunday and Richmond was on CBS Face the Nation.[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ]SUNDAY10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 458,819 on Saturday. The total was an increase of 1,040 from Saturdays total.The state said there have now been 6,748 deaths since the start of the outbreak. There were no new deaths reported on Sunday.The state said it has administered 511,657 vaccine doses, 394,065 people have received at least one dose and 117,592 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 6.4% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,156,792 and 92,743 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 7,913 positive cases and an average of 1,130 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,622 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,420 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,490 cases in Clay County, 6,874 in Cass County and 2,927 in Platte County. SATURDAY7:42 p.m. — The Jackson County Health Department says for the first time, it did not receive any first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week from the state of Missouri. Jackson County said that at the pace its receiving the vaccine, it could be several weeks until adequate supply is available. READ MORE.10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 457,779 on Saturday. The total was an increase of 1,249 from Fridays total.The state said there have now been 6,748 deaths since the start of the outbreak, which is an increase of nine from Friday.The state said it has administered 493,021 vaccine doses, 378,384 people have received at least one dose and 114,367 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 6.3% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,143,475 and 96,179 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 8,267 positive cases and an average of 1,187 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,521 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,363 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,469 cases in Clay County, 6,862 in Cass County and 2,912 in Platte County. [ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ]FRIDAY12:45 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 2,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Wednesday, pushing the statewide total to 274,685 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Friday the death total grew by 61 to 3,779 and hospitalizations increased by 149 to 8,417 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Friday that 33% (-3) of ICU beds are available and 82% (+3) of the states ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,168,723 people with 894,038 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 8.8% — the lowest its been in weeks. The state also said it has vaccinated 168,341 people, 205,114 total doses of the vaccine have been administered and 5.8% of the population has been vaccinated.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 49,884. Johnson County is second with 49,641 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 18,114 cases. Leavenworth County has 6,186 cases, Douglas County reports 7,771 and Miami County has 2,482.Health officials they are monitoring 301 active outbreak clusters with 170 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.12:30 p.m. — A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Labor says its leadership is receiving “credible death threats and threats of physical violence. The threats come just hours before the states unemployment system will go offline to handle security upgrades, delaying payments to thousands of Kansans until at least next Tuesday morning. READ MORE10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 456,530 on Friday. The total was an increase of 1,957 from Thursdays total.The state said there have now been 6,739 deaths since the start of the outbreak, which is an increase of 14 from Thursday.The state said it has administered 457,440 vaccine doses, 350,555 people have received at least one dose and 106,885 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 5.7% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,086,146 and 101,621 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 9,579 positive cases and an average of 1,368 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 35,440 confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 28,261 cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,456 cases in Clay County, 6,833 in Cass County and 2,896 in Platte County.9:55 a.m. — The Kansas City, Missouri, School District has set a date officials are making preparations to return to in-person learning in mid-March. The district said in a release Friday that school-based staff will begin working on-site on Monday, March 1. READ MORE8:03 a.m. — Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 105 total COVID-19 patients with 50 acute cases, including 10 that are in the ICU, eight on ventilators and 55 are in the recovery phase.6 a.m. — Kansas anticipates getting at least $1.1 billion from the latest federal coronavirus relief package and expects to spend about half of it on K-12 schools, higher education and grants for child care, state data shows.About $168 million is earmarked for testing, tracing and mitigation and another $26 million is planned for vaccine distribution, according to data provided by J.G. Scott, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department. How the money is spent is dictated by federal law. The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for all of us, but these funds are a step in the right direction by reinvesting in our states foundation to rebuild a healthier, stronger Kansas, said Gov. Laura Kelly in a news release.The new funding, which follows $1.03 billion in federal aid received last year, arrived as Kansas worked to speed up vaccinations. Kelly received her second dose Wednesday and used the occasion to urge continued caution, saying we all must remain vigilant.This week, the state moved beyond just vaccinating health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The second phase includes those 65 and older, prisoners and essential workers such as police and teachers, although individual counties get to decide who goes first within that group. Demand has been strong and who goes first has proved controversial. In Topeka, members of the Stormont Vail Health board and its fundraising board were allowed to receive vaccinations during the first phase, The Kansas News Service reported. Spokesman Matt Lara said board members received the shots because they govern the hospital and its daily operations, although he stressed that workers who see patients were vaccinated first.The good news is that hospital capacity and patient transfer times have been improving, said Dr. Richard Watson, of Cheyenne Mountain Software, whose software was used to help manage the transfers, The Wichita Eagle reports.One trouble spot has been Wichita, where overall COVID-19 patient numbers are down but ICUs remain under strain.I think this is because they ended up taking a lot more of the high-acuity patients, and theyve just hung on longer in the system, Watson said. Were still depending on the region to continue to utilize good practices to mitigate that.As numbers improve, the Shawnee County Health Department decided to loosen some COVID-19 restrictions and is allowing organized sports to practice and play games; high school athletics are not subject to this health order. The previous health order only allowed organized sports teams to practice, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.5 a.m. — Irritated by the sweeping use of executive orders during the COVID-19 crisis, state lawmakers around the U.S. are moving to curb the authority of governors and top health officials to impose emergency restrictions such as mask rules and business shutdowns.The push is underway in such states as Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania, where legislators are seeking a constitutional amendment to strip the governor of many of his emergency powers.Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Wayne Langerholc said the amendment would make it unequivocally clear that our General Assembly is a co-equal branch … that we are not a monarchy and that our voices matter.Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and some of his counterparts around the country have argued that they need authority to act quickly and decisively against the fast-changing threat. The coronavirus has killed an estimated 430,000 Americans and is going through its most lethal phase yet, despite the rollout of vaccines, with new and more contagious variants from abroad turning up in the U.S.State legislatures generally took on lesser roles after the pandemic hit, with many suspending work or adjourning. It has been governors or their top health officials who have set many of the policies imposing mask mandates, limiting public gatherings and shutting down dine-in restaurants, gyms, hair salons and other businesses.Lawmakers in more than half the states have filed bills this year to limit gubernatorial powers during the pandemic and other emergencies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most legislatures began their sessions this month.Kentuckys Republican-led Legislature could consider as soon as next week whether to override Democratic Gov. Andy Beshears vetoes of several bills that would rein in his emergency powers. Wisconsins GOP-controlled Senate voted earlier this week to repeal Democratic Gov. Tony Evers emergency health order, which would end the states mask mandate. The Republican-controlled Assembly called off a similar vote Thursday in the face of criticism from health, school and business leaders and concern that it could jeopardize more than $49 million in federal aid.Wisconsin Republicans have argued that Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple emergency declarations during the pandemic, which enabled him to extend the mask mandate beyond the 60 days allowed under the law without getting the Legislatures approval. Evers contends that the changing nature of the pandemic warranted new emergency declarations.The amendment Pennsylvania Republicans are seeking to place on the May ballot also would put a cap on the governors disaster declarations 21 days, unless lawmakers vote to extend them. The Legislature also could halt them at any time with a two-thirds vote.Wolf has said that prematurely ending his disaster declaration would itself be disastrous for the state and that requiring repeated legislative approval could slow down or halt emergency response when aid is most needed.In Michigan, House Republicans have threatened to withhold billions of dollars for schools unless Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cedes her administrations power to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments. Whitmer called the move cruel and reckless.Whitmer was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot last fall by anti-government extremists upset over her coronavirus restrictions.Though legislative resistance to executive coronavirus orders has fallen largely along partisan lines in some states, lawmakers elsewhere are pushing back against governors of their own parties. Republicans in the Arizona Senate want to end the broad emergency powers that GOP Gov. Doug Ducey has used to limit large gatherings and business capacities. Ohio Sen. Rob McColley introduced a bill this week that could rescind emergency health orders issued by Gov. Mike DeWine, a fellow Republican. It would create a committee to retroactively review them. DeWine vetoed a similar bill last year. McColley said the Legislature needs to take action when the relatively unfettered power of the executive branch during a time of emergency has lasted as long as it has.In Indiana, Republican Gov. Eric Holcombs executive orders have also stirred opposition from his own party. GOP-sponsored legislation would require lawmakers to be called into session to extend a governors emergency order beyond 60 days. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is supporting legislation that would give lawmakers greater opportunity to pass judgment on his emergency declarations. Under current law, McMaster can issue a declaration for just 15 days before the General Assembly has to weigh in. The Republican governor has skirted that by issuing 22 different declarations, with incremental changes, every two weeks or so. McMaster has said his goal wasnt to avoid legislative oversight; he said he couldnt wait for lawmakers to meet when they were trying to stay apart during the pandemic.Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly are pressing for more transparency from Republican Gov. Larry Hogans administration. One idea would require him to go through a state board or alert a legislative panel before making emergency coronavirus purchases. Hogan spent millions of dollars last year on a confidential deal to acquire COVID-19 testing supplies from South Korea that didnt initially meet federal requirements.A separate GOP-sponsored bill seeks to limit Hogans power by capping the number of times he could extend a state of emergency without legislative input. Hogan has denounced it as about probably the dumbest thing Ive ever heard in my life.Lawmakers are also seeking to rein in the emergency powers of local officials, especially in states such as Missouri, where the Republican governor has deferred most decisions on shutdowns and masks to cities and counties.St. Louis County, the states biggest jurisdiction, has imposed a variety of restrictions, including periodic prohibitions and capacity limits on indoor dining at restaurants. Jeff Fitter, the owner of Super Smokers BBQ, said his profits were cut in half last year. He is supporting a bill that would limit local emergency health orders to 14 days unless authorized for longer by the Legislature. It also would give tax breaks to businesses affected by occupancy limits imposed by cities and counties.One person, one pen, shouldnt be the difference between my business surviving or its demise, Fitter said. That should be something that is ran through a legislative body. [ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ]THURSDAY9:25 p.m. — The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said Thursday it will begin the process of vaccinating K-12 teachers starting next week.The health department is working with Children’s Mercy to start vaccinating school employees. The school districts are in charge of identifying staff members to be immunized in waves. READ MORE.2:15 p.m. — Anyone visiting Tampas popular outdoor destinations for the Super Bowl will be required to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. READ MORE11:15 a.m. — The Johnson County Board of Commissioners extended its COVID-19 emergency declaration on Thursday. The extended order means the county will continue to follow the statewide mask mandate through the end of March. The new declaration in Johnson County coincides with the state emergency order that was recently extended by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. READ MORE10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 454,573 on Thursday. The total was an increase of 1,636 from Wednesdays total.The state said there have now been 6,725 deaths since the start of the outbreak, which is an increase of 16 from Wednesday.The state said it has administered 423,839 vaccine doses, 326,272 people have received at least one dose and 97,567 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 5.3% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,086,146 and 101,621 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 9,579 positive cases and an average of 1,368 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 34,888 (+171) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 27,751 (+250) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,343 (+47) cases in Clay County, 6,707 (+72) in Cass County and 2,847 (+30) in Platte County.10:20 a.m. — Missouri legislators and members of their staffs have received initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine that were intended for other state employees, a mistake that one lawmaker called emblematic of the problems that have dogged the vaccine rollout. READ MORE9:45 a.m. — Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 105 total COVID-19 patients with 54 acute cases, including 11 that are in the ICU, nine on ventilators and 51 are in the recovery phase.9:30 a.m. — The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners is meeting to discuss the COVID-19 emergency order that requires masks throughout the county. The current order is set to expire on Sunday. 6:30 a.m. –Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in his State of the State speech Wednesday touted his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, even as an outbreak among lawmakers forced him to break tradition and switch the venue for his address.Time and time again, our administration has addressed the challenges of our communities and our state head on rather than leaving them for another day, another administration, or another generation, Parson said. READ MORE [ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ] WEDNESDAY6:28 p.m. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has received her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, her office said.”Tonight, I was pleased to receive the second dose of the COVID vaccine,” Kelly said. “I am extremely thankful for all of our public health workers who are working around the clock to administer these crucial vaccinations and protect Kansans. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we all must remain vigilant by wearing a mask, social distancing, and following the public health guidance to slow the spread of the virus.”4 p.m. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly holds a briefing Wednesday on the state’s latest COVID-19 data.12:45 p.m. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 3,262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Monday, pushing the statewide total to 272,517 since the outbreak started.KDHE officials said Wednesday the death total grew by 96 to 3,718 and hospitalizations increased by 151 to 8,268 since the outbreak started.Health officials said Wednesday that 36% (+2) of ICU beds are available and 79% (-2) of the states ventilators are available.The state said it has tested 1,159,776 people with 887,259 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 9.1% — the lowest its been in weeks. The state also said it has vaccinated 149,078 people and 177,350 total doses of the vaccine have been administered.[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]Sedgwick County has the highest total of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak with 49,435. Johnson County is second with 49,248 cases. Wyandotte County is third with 18,044 cases. Leavenworth County has 6,121 cases, Douglas County reports 7,729 and Miami County has 2,452.Health officials they are monitoring 301 active outbreak clusters with 170 clusters reported in long-term care facilities.10:45 a.m. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the states total of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 452,937 on Wednesday. The total was an increase of 1,444 from Tuesdays total.The state said there have now been 6,709 deaths since the start of the outbreak, which is an increase of 23 from Tuesday.The state said it has administered 374,742 vaccine dosesand 290,134 people have received at least one dose, and 84,604 people have received a second dose. Overall the state said 4.7% of the population has received at least one dose.[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.The state said it has tested a total of 4,086,146 and 101,621 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 9,579 positive cases and an average of 1,368 cases a day in the last week.Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 34,888 (+63) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 27,751 (+135) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 7,343 (+19) cases in Clay County, 6,707 (+44) in Cass County and 2,847 (+18) in Platte County.10 a.m. — Public health officials are trying to determine whether a coronavirus variant is fueling a new outbreak at a Kansas prison.Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said there had been no cases for weeks at Winfield Correctional Facility before a whole cluster of cases broke out.We did the epidemiologic tracking and found it came in through the community through the food service workers, and then went from there to some other places., Norman said Tuesday during a virtual media briefing hosted by the University of Kansas Health System. But it was very fast spread, and were going to test every one of those positive individuals with genomic sequencing.The Kansas Department of Corrections reported that Winfields prison currently had eight staff cases and 69 inmates cases as of Monday. Statewide, there have been 5,628 inmates and 1,174 staff members infected since the pandemic began.Norman said the outbreak shows why it is important to vaccinate inmates early. They are part of the second phase, along with those over the age of 65 and essential workers.But that has been controversial, with the Kansas Republican Party tweeting earlier this month: Prioritize law-abiding Kansans first!9 a.m. — Officials with the University of Kansas Health System said the hospital is treating 112 total COVID-19 patients with 60 acute cases, including 11 that are in the ICU, 10 on ventilators and 52 are in the recovery phase. 6 a.m. — Republican legislators suggested Tuesday that mistakes by Democratic Gov. Laura Kellys administration are making it more difficult for older Kansas residents to get COVID-19 vaccine shots.But Dr. Lee Norman, the head of the state health department and Kellys top public health administrator, said the biggest problem Kansas faces in administering the vaccines is theres just not enough. He acknowledged during a joint meeting of the House and Senate health committees that he cant predict how long it will take for the state to inoculate enough people to say it no longer faces a pandemic emergency. READ MORE[ COVID-19 IN KC: TRACKING CASES, DEATHS AND LATEST RESTRICTIONS ][ FAQ ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN KANSAS, MISSOURI ] [ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT THE VACCINE ] The Associated Press contributed to this story.