New COVID-19 cases in Johnson County rising rapidly — what we know

Johnson County COVID-19

New COVID-19 case numbers in Johnson County are peaking at levels not seen since January, when mass vaccinations were just getting underway. Still, there is optimism that the county's relatively high vaccination rate now will help blunt the impacts of a fourth wave of cases. Above, a young patient receives a COVID-19 shot. Image via Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

New COVID-19 cases in Johnson County have increased dramatically in the last week following the Thanksgiving holiday, once again straining local hospitals’ capacity and prompting renewed pleas from health officials for residents to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: Local health officials worry this could be the beginning of a fourth surge of cases in the Kansas City region, an ominous sign going into winter when people tend to stay indoors and respiratory ailments spread more easily.