The plauge numbers don't look good for this cowtown and what's worse is taht the local discourse is even more divided as pleas for greater vaccinations and public health precautions are confronted with widespread culture war political push back.

Here's an apt summary of the sitch so far and a highlight we thought was important . . .

Chief medical officers said the vast majority of the patients in local hospitals have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

At a briefing for reporters and the public, they urged people to roll up their sleeves for a shot that shields themselves and their loved ones.

“For the past couple of weeks, all 100% (of people) in ICU, all 100% on ventilators have been unvaccinated people,” Raghu Adiga, chief medical officer at Liberty Hospital in Missouri, said of the situation at his facility. “We just want people to help us take better care of them.”

The delta variant continues to fuel most cases locally, but omicron has joined the mix in Kansas and Missouri. Doctors fear the swift surge of hospitalizations in recent weeks could set the stage for numbers in January and February that will surpass last winter’s crisis.

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says vaccines and booster shots protect most people against landing in the hospital with the omicron variant.

Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com news links . . .

Kansas City hospitals are full again, omicron has arrived and doctors are begging for your help

Doctors across Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka banded together Friday to offer a sobering public message: They've seen COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations double, triple and continue to get worse in a matter of weeks. Some hospitals are once again postponing non-emergency, non-coronavirus care to free up beds and health care workers for the region's second dramatic surge in hospitalizations since the delta variant arrived last summer.

'We are in trouble': KC area chief medical officers sound the alarm on rising COVID numbers

KANSAS CITY METRO (KCTV) -- Nine chief medical officers from hospitals around the Kansas City metro area joined the University of Kansas Health System coronavirus briefing Friday morning to sound the alarm not just on rising COVID-19 case numbers, but rising hospitalizations.

'This is a tornado warning to our community,' Dr. Steven Stites warns of rising COVID-19 cases

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City-area medical chiefs are sounding the alarm as COVID-19 cases rise in the metro. The University of Kansas Health System hosted the Kansas City area top medical officers during their Morning Medical Call on Friday.

Kansas's second case of Omicron variant found in Douglas Co.

LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - A second case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been found in Kansas, this time in Douglas County. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health says it was notified on Friday, Dec. 17, of its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Missouri identifies Omicron variant in wastewater samples - Newstalk KZRG

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) continues to partner with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the University of Missouri - Columbia, wastewater operators, and others to monitor COVID-19 trends by testing wastewater in communities throughout the state.

Kansas City, Kansas, ends its mask mandate early despite growing COVID-19 cases

Despite pleas from public health experts, elected officials in Kansas City, Kansas, decided Thursday night to end the city's mask mandate early. It's the latest municipality in the metropolitan area to repeal the requirement that people wear masks in indoor public places.

Missouri treasurer cracks down on schools with mask mandates

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's treasurer no longer will help schools refinance bond debt unless superintendents promise not to enforce face mask requirements and other COVID-19 safety measures issued by local officials. Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick this month began requiring school districts trying to refinance bond debt to certify that they'll obey Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt's warning against coronavirus mandates, Missourinet first reported.

Family advocates for more resources after father dies of COVID-19 complications

More than 62,000 Americans are currently hospitalized, with over 15,000 in the ICU, as the country battles another surge of COVID-19 cases. Some hospitals are being pushed to their limits with the number of beds and resources to help.Sister station WBAL spoke with the family of Tim Wickstrom, a Maryland man who was battling COVID-19 at Johns Hopkins since September.On Tuesday, his family said he died of COVID-19 complications.

Federal appeals court allows Biden vaccine mandate for large companies to resume

A federal appeals court Friday reinstated the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for large companies, dissolving a stay by a separate court that had suspended the mandate. The decision is the latest event in a continuing battle that will likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

Developing . . .