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Delta Variant Still Spreading | Vultures Overtaking Salina

 Ventilators, used for treating COVID-19 patients, are in short supply in southwest Missouri.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Ventilators used for treating COVID-19 patients are in short supply in southwest Missouri.

Southwest Missouri hospitals are strained because of the Delta variant, and unwelcomed turkey vultures inundate Salina, Kansas.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Hospitals in southwest Missouri are seeing a major increase in Covid-19 patients as the Delta variant expands in the state and the number of vaccinated people remains low.

Low vaccination rates in southwest Missouri are fueling the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. Hospitals at or near capacity are sending patients to other parts of the state for treatment. "It really should be a warning sign for other communities," Dr. Nancy Yoon says. "Even if we're not seeing hotspots in other areas of Missouri or even the country right now, it's really just a matter of time."

Segment 2, beginning at 26:16: Vultures fulfill an integral job in the ecosystem. Still, a number of residents in Salina, Kansas would rather not have the scavenging birds roosting in their trees.

Cars painted white over night and feathers strewn about lawns are the calling cards turkey vultures leave behind in Salina, Kansas. Many residents have seen them roosting on their garages and roofs. Senator Randall Hardy of Selina says, "We've had at various times 20 to 30 birds at one time sitting on [our] tree."

  • Chuck Otte, Kansas State University agriculture and natural resources agent for Geary County
  • Randall Hardy, state senator for Kansas' 24th District and Salina resident
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.