Open Mics With Doctor Stites 7-27-22

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


    The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 43 COVID patients today, up from 49 Monday. Other significant numbers:

  • 28 with the active virus today, 37 Monday
  • 3 in ICU, 4 Monday
  • 2 on ventilators, 2 Monday
  • 15 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 12 Monday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Michael Lewis, medical director of Inpatient Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care

  • The C-D-C has issued a health alert for new parents about a dangerous pathogen circulating around the U-S called Parechovirus
  • It can cause serious illness in babies and young children including fever, meningitis, seizures
  • There is no specific test or treatment
  • Parents can help by observing good hand hygiene

Dr. Joseph LeMaster, Medical Director and Local Health Officer, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

  • COVID numbers in Johnson County are getting to the same level as with the delta and omicron viruses
  • When national figures said the pandemic was over, people began to relax and return to previous practices. This has led to the rise in the B.A 2 variant.
  • He believes actual infections are higher than current reported numbers since wastewater testing shows very high viral presence
  • Vaccination is still our number one protection. Wearing a mask when you’re going to be indoors with other people is also important
  • Doesn’t know if there will be a return to mask mandates in schools since all kids can now be vaccinated. It’s up to the board of commissioners

Patrick Sallee, president and CEO, Vibrant Health

  • COVID numbers are higher in Wyandotte County than they’ve been in a long time.
  • Concerning that vaccination rates in Wyandotte County are not at the levels of Johnson County
  • Feels like we’re repeating many of the same things experienced when the pandemic began in March, 2020, and COVID is now impacting under-resourced communities faster and harder again
  • It’s concerning that there is not as much demand for vaccine from parents for kids in the youngest age range

Dr. Carlton Abner, associate provost of Campus Health and Wellness at Kansas City University

  • In all lab and clinical settings at the university, masks are required
  • Convincing people to get vaccinated requires restoring and continuing the trust that public health officials have established in underserved communities
  • Says one of the most striking things about the current cases and hospitalizations is the lack of conversation about going back to masks

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director Infection Prevention and Control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Many states say COVID is no longer a health emergency, but without full vaccinations and boosters we are setting ourselves up for problems
  • Monkeypox is not a new problem and can be controlled with vaccination
  • COVID variants will continue as long as we continue to transmit the virus to one another
  • Polio cases are on the rise in other countries where the vaccine is not as widely used

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer, The University of Kansas Health System

  • With higher community spread of the B.A. 5 variant, you are at risk of more severe illness or hospitalization if you are not fully vaccinated and boosted
  • CDC numbers show hospital admissions are up across the country, including Kansas
  • Wastewater testing confirms COVID is back on the rise in our region
  • Current pandemic not much different from other severe pandemics in history. Flu pandemic of the early 1920’s ran 4-5 years.

Friday, July 29 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. A mother facing her toughest battle yet uses CrossFit to fight back. It's been more than two years since Lisa Fosnough was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. We’ll show you how she beat sarcoma and inspired so many others.          

ATTENTION: media procedure for joining:

Zoom link:

Telephone Zoom link: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID: 782 897 8628

TVU Grid link: UoK_Health_SDI

Restream links:

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