• Coronavirus cases rising rapidly in Kansas, Missouri
  • Kansas cuts back on county using too many test kits
  • Kansas City financial outlook is uncertain

Missouri reported 146 new cases of coronavirus infection Thursday, taking the total number to 502, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Kansas has at least 168 confirmed  cases, an increase of 42 since Wednesday alone.

Eight people died of Covid-19 in Missouri. There have been three deaths in Kansas since March 11.

Among those testing positive on Thursday was a Kansas City firefighter. The firefighter and seven other fire department personnel are in self-quarantine, Fire Chief Donna Maize said. She added local health department officials don’t believe anyone else was in contact with the firefighter.

The Kansas City Council voted 12-1 on Thursday in favor of a $1.7 billion budget even as they acknowledged the spread of the novel coronavirus means the city’s financial outlook is uncertain at best, the Kansas City Star reported.

The budget added another $100,000 for Children’s Mercy Hospital, $125,000 in emergency funds to help reStart maintain bed space for homeless adults and promised up to another $125,000 in the coming months. And it approved $500,000 to support small businesses harmed by stay-at-home orders issued to combat  the virus.

With rising coronavirus cases in Johnson County, Kansas, and a clampdown on who can get tested, officials on Thursday called for more funds to pay private labs to step up testing.

The new director of the Johnson County Department of Public Health and Environment, Sanmi Areola, wants more tests, even on people not showing symptoms. Fifty people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county. The Johnson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday voted to have staff study how much increased testing at private labs would cost.

The move came after Kansas Secretary of Health and Education Lee Norman announced tests would be reduced in the county so the state won’t run out.

The county now only tests people who need to be hospitalized, which drew an outcry from several elected officials, according to the Kansas City Star.

The county is south of Kansas City and Leavenworth and east of Topeka. It has a population of around 600,000, according to the 2016 Census estimate.