News to Know: Mercy cares for 62 covid patients, KDHE sets date to end contact tracing

The news you need to know before you head out the door

JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy hospital announces it’s currently caring for 62 covid patients, the most they’ve seen in weeks. Eight of those patients require ventilators. Michael Herr, Vice President of Operations at Mercy Joplin says while the high number isn’t affecting areas of the hospital like operating rooms, it has slowed down the emergency room.

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says contact tracing has become futile and they’re ending the practice next month. They say it’s pointless because of increased covid-19 cases and the public’s declining interest in participating. The change means people who test positive for the virus will be responsible for notifying their close contacts about possible exposure. If the person has been exposed at high-risk settings such as schools or daycares, state or local health departments will notify the setting, which will be responsible for notifying close contacts about the potential exposure. The change takes effect February first.

NEOSHO, Mo. – As companies struggle to recruit and retain employees, Neosho’s crowder college hosted an event to address the issue. On Tuesday the summit focused on using apprenticeship programs to address staffing shortfalls.

PARSONS, Kan. – There’s apparently a lot to learn about corn. For area farmers, the K-State Extension Office on Tuesday provided the school in Parsons, Kansas. The Kansas Corn School covers issues facing corn producers tailored to each region. Things such as weed control and insect resistance.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: An Ontario woman takes a selfie moments before her car sinks into an icy river. Don’t worry she was saved, but her rescuers were in disbelief about the timing of her mini-photo shoot. This morning we are asking have you ever taken a selfie you regret? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion below and cast your vote on koamnewsnow.com/vote.