US/World

Kansas, Missouri Report Declining Coronavirus Positivity, Hospitalization Rates

Concern on the effects of reopening states remains but the issue may not be affecting most of the numbers. Over in Kansas and Missouri, a decline in numbers in positivity rate and hospitalizations provides a bit of relief, indicating that regions are adopting the right measures to curb down COVID-19 numbers.

In Kansas, the positive testing rate based on a seven-day average noticeably declined to 3.31 percent from a high of 12.42 percent, according to the latest figures handed out Monday. Missouri also showed a decline from 6.63 percent to 3.59 percent. These are handy figures that would help in determining the trajectory of the coronavirus, especially with states starting to reopen economies. But while these are great numbers, they are still far from the ideal rate of 3 percent.

According to Jennifer Tolbert, the director of state health reform of the Kaiser Family Foundation, COVID-19 testing remains the key. For as long as tests are not administered to a wider reach, the overall number of cases is expected to increase. Expanded testing is ideal since it helps determine people dealing with the coronavirus. That includes asymptomatic individuals who may have no clue that they are carriers and one of the reasons behind the virus spread.

However, the notable decline in COVID-19 numbers does indicate that the virus is now spreading slowly. Like in Kansas, the seven-day average has dropped from 284 to 80. In Missouri, the average dipped from 216 to 173.

Individuals who have been hospitalized are also another deriving factor. The number of hospitalizations in Missouri has been dropping. From a high of 876 in May, June 2 figures show only 666 hospitalizations. Kansas returned 936 hospitalizations, although it would be best to note that the state does not provide daily numbers but rather tracks them cumulatively.

coronavirus-testing-ap More testing is needed in the United States before the country can reopen, according to a study from Harvard Matthias Schrader/AP

Though the positive rate and hospitalization numbers are good news, COVID-19 numbers could increase in the coming months. A reason for this is that weekly testing is expected to increase moving forward. In Kansas, testing capacity has been increased by more than 220 percent to properly identify people who may be afflicted with the coronavirus strain, according to Director of the state's Department of Social Services Todd Richardson.

Missouri is doing the same. Governor Mike Parson is aiming to have 7,500 tests administered daily to help the most vulnerable. The state started with 5,000 PCR tests on May 19. Since then, testing capacity has been doubled.

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