COVID Omnicron Surge Threatens Kansas City NYE Party Time

Once again the pandemic plays party pooper and locals just can't seem to comprehend that global events have a way of impacting their personal lives.

Accordingly . . .

We share this TKC roundup of recent COVID news that has already put a damper on New Year's Eve celebrations . . .

Health officials caution against attending large gatherings for New Year's Eve

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Doctors and public health officials are asking people to avoid large gatherings this New Year's Eve as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the metro. This comes as there are several large-scale NYE events planned in and around the city. The Power and Light District will bring back its NYE Live!

Kansas City-area hospitals say emergency rooms almost full as omicron spreads

As the new omicron COVID-19 variant spreads, Kansas City-area hospitals say their emergency rooms are packed.The University of Kansas Health Systems said it saw its highest volume in the emergency room ever."Having people on stretchers in hallways," said Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer for the University of Kansas Health System.That's what doctors say area ERs are looking like right now.

Missouri out of free mail-in COVID tests

MISSOURI (KCTV) -- Missouri residents are out of another option when it comes to COVID testing. Free online kits through Missouri's Department of Health are no longer available. KCTV5 morning Anchor Gina Bullard discovered they were gone when she logged on to get herself a kit.

Walmart, Sam's Club pharmacies in Kansas to dispense COVID-19 pills

Walmart said its pharmacies and Sam's Club pharmacies in Kansas will begin dispensing the authorized COVID-19 antiviral medication, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir starting Thursday.The company said in a news release that select Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies are receiving limited supplies of the oral COVID-19 medication.

Missouri could see record-breaking case numbers as omicron variant spreads

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the omicron variant is spreading rapidly in the state. Some experts are predicting record-high cases within weeks.Statewide, there are only 13 lab-confirmed cases of omicron, but one researcher said that is likely a gross underestimation of how widespread the variant is."Omicron should be feared.

Local doctors encourage vaccinations, boosters and masks as cases of omicron rise in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Rising cases of COVID-19 and longer lines at testing sites are worrying many healthcare workers as the Kansas City area continues through the holiday season. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Stites, at the the University of Kansas Health System, the new omicron variant may not be as dangerous as other variants, but it is certainly more transmissible.

Beloved Avila University baseball coach dies from COVID-19, remembered for kindness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Family and friends are remembering 46-year-old coach Daryl Cronk. The Avila University baseball coach died from COVID-19 the day after Christmas. For 10 years Avila's Athletic Director Shawn Summe said Cronk inspired a generation of men on their field. His sister said his memory will stay with players for years to come.

Developing . . .