Metro business owners worried as Jackson and Cass counties become COVID-19 hot spots


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Froman is a co-owner of Fetch, a store located in the West Bottoms with eclectic knick-knacks and vintage clothing.

Froman said the start of the pandemic hit them hard and things were just starting to get back to normal.

“This could be worse than what we saw in 2020,” he said.

Froman said tourists who typically visit the store may fear coming into the county, now that it has been deemed a hot spot.

“Now we are seeing a downward spiral in traffic and footsteps because of the new insurgency,” Froman said.

Both Jackson and Cass counties have been dubbed a “hot spot” by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

COVID-19 Hotspot: Missouri issues advisories for Jackson, Cass counties

With only a little over 40% of people vaccinated in both Kansas City and Jackson County, Froman and his co-owner fearing for the worst.

“It sucks because if we got this right the first time, we wouldn’t be in this problem again,” he said.

Cass County Health Director Andrew Warlen said COVID-19 cases now are almost double from what they saw this time last year.

“The Delta variant has seemed to change things quite a bit,” Warlen said. “We have gotten more loose with our social distancing, gotten back to normal with activities, not wearing a mask.”

Cass County records show that data is not the worse it’s been throughout the pandemic, there were about 234 confirmed cases as of Tuesday. That’s down from 301 cases a week before.

But county leaders say they are still on edge.

COVID-19 cases rapidly on the rise in Cass County, health department says

“Just because we have a decline doesn’t mean we are anywhere out of the woods,” Warlen said.

As both counties work to handle the new threat of the delta variant, Froman is hoping the danger stops here.

“I just hope we don’t get back into the lockdown situation, the closure situation, but we will have to be prepared like we were before,” he said.

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