Johnson County COVID-19 cases spike ahead of Thanksgiving — ‘Time to be a little bit nervous’

Johnson County is seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases — and University of Kansas Health Systems Chief Medical Officer Steve Stites warns that as mask mandates end and people return to indoor gatherings, the community needs to be "cognizant" of what is happening. Above, students at Leawood Middle School in Blue Valley. Unlike high schoolers in the district, students in elementary and middle schools in Blue Valley will still be required to wear masks after Thanksgiving break. File image.

Johnson County and the greater Kansas City region are seeing yet another spike in COVID-19 cases heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, prompting local health officials to issue renewed calls for safety when gathering indoors with friends and family.

The incidence rate in the county is now up to 226 new cases per 100,000 persons, according to Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s COVID-19 dashboard. That’s compared to 108 per 100,000 at the start of November.