Sep 16, 2020 6:27 PM

Positive COVID-19 cases surge upward

Posted Sep 16, 2020 6:27 PM

Riley County has 111 new positive cases and 2 additional recoveries since Monday’s report.The large increase in positive cases is due to a delay in reporting from the state electronic disease surveillance system, EpiTrax. The majority of new positives included in today’s report reflect data from tests collected up to two weeks ago. Recent problems with the state’s software have included reporting delays, software crashes, and incomplete information.During a normal year, the EpiTrax system typically handles 15,000 messages per month. Since the pandemic began, the message volume has increased to more than 118,000 messages per month.

RCHD staff are exploring ways to gather data directly from local providers in order to prevent future delays in reporting and case information sharing.“We’re doing our best, and this is the data we have at this point. We are working to get the information straightened out,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “Thankfully, healthcare providers receive test results directly from labs and are able to notify patients right away. We’re going to work with local providers to try and streamline the communication process and ensure that contact tracing can take place quickly.”

An additional outbreak has been declared at Hylton Heights KinderCare in Manhattan. One staff member tested positive on September 3 and the facility closed voluntarily at that time. Since the initial exposure, six other people associated with the center, who had close contact with the positive staff member, have also tested positive. Three tests are still pending. The facility remains closed at this time.  There are currently 15 active outbreaks in Riley County. The outbreak at Delta Theta has expired. 

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is currently caring for 3 positive patients. The patients have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization.Instead of a Facebook Live update today, Julie Gibbs will record a video statement to post on Facebook talking about the current situation in Riley County. Riley County Statistics for Monday, September 14, 2020:

  1. Total positive cases in Riley County Residents: 1,501
  2. Total active: 772
  3. Total recovered: 721
  4. Total deaths: 8

*Please note: some category changes are due to recent patient birthdays.

Case counts are preliminary and subject to verification.

Percent positive information is updated each Monday and is also posted online in the Data & Info section of the Riley County Coronavirus web page at

Anyone who has symptoms, is a close contact of a positive patient, or would like information about how to get tested should contact their health care provider or call the Riley County Screening Line at 785-323-6400. The Screening Line is staffed by nurses and is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.