KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Kansas City area has reached an unwanted milestone: Coronavirus deaths in the region have now topped 1,000.
Nine new deaths cited Thursday brought the total since the onset of the pandemic to 1,003. The number includes Kansas City, Missouri, as well as its suburbs in Missouri and Kansas.
“My heart breaks for the thousand from Kansas City and the region who have lost their lives and the tens of thousands more — relatives; coworkers; and friends — whose lives will be touched forever by this terrible disease,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement.
The University of Kansas Health System said its hospital has had 119 deaths, with the average age of the victims 64. David Wild, vice president of performance improvement at the health system, said 16% had no underlying conditions.
“Our neighbors died because of bureaucratic red tape, bravado, ill preparation, and our own communal self-interest favoring normalcy over safety of others,” Lucas said in his statement. “In the long term, may we learn tough lessons from COVID so that we never repeat these mistakes again. In the short term, may people resolve to chip in even in modest ways by wearing masks, washing their hands, and protecting others by staying at home and away from large gatherings.”