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KU health leaders call COVID situation a crisis as hospitals are again overwhelmed

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 1:28 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - Doctors with the University of Kansas Health System are warning that the current COVID situation is a crisis.

Physicians are urging school districts to reinstate mask mandates in order to keep schools open.

Dr. Steve Stites spoke on a call with media Tuesday morning expressing fear, anger and frustration at how overwhelmed health systems in Kansas and Missouri are.

He noted that daily new cases rose sharply starting in mid-December.

“This is a dangerous moment. We’re not trying to scare you. We’re just trying to be honest with you. Maybe, we are trying to scare you a little bit. Maybe we’re trying to get you to say, ‘You know what? Those rules of infectious control I sort of let go of? Maybe we need to take it a little more seriously. You wanna keep schools open? How are you going to do that if everybody is sick,” Stites exclaimed.

The physician stressed that the omicron variant is not just another cold, and hospitals are at a breaking point.

Wednesday, the University of Kansas will host another call with Community Medical Officers across Kansas.

Dr. Stites warned that “the gloves will come off” as they explain the current crisis.

Meanwhile, things got heated at the Shawnee Mission School District’s board meeting Monday night.

Twice the school board had to adjourn the meeting because of outbursts by the audience.

The first time was less than 15 minutes into the meeting.

the second time, the room was completely cleared for about 45 minutes into the three-hour meeting.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard says the board could not continue conducting business with the live audience present.

The district continued to livestream the meeting so the public would still have access.

Members ultimately voted 4-to-3 to continue universal masking in pre-k and elementary buildings, with masks optional in high schools and middle schools.

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