By VIevienne Uccello
Public Information Officer - Riley County Operations Center
(RILEY COUNTY, KS – December 14, 2020) Two Riley County residents died over the weekend, marking the 17th and 18th Covid-related deaths in the county since the start of the pandemic. One patient was a 76 year-old male who tested positive on November 28. He was admitted to Ascension Via Christi hospital for treatment the same day and passed away on December 12. The second patient was a 102 year-old female who tested positive on December 1, and was also admitted to the hospital for care. She passed away December 13. No further information will be released about the patients.
Riley County has identified 71 new positive cases and 229 additional recoveries since the last report on Friday, December 11.
Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is caring for nine positive patients at this time. Four of those patients are in the ICU.
Almost all of the test results from last Thursday’s free testing event have been received. Contact tracing staff started contacting participants on Sunday. It will likely take a few days to notify all 558 people who were tested.
Any person who is sick or would like more information about how to get tested, should 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. Any person experiencing life-threatening symptoms should call 911.
Riley County Statistics for Monday, December 14, 2020:
- Total positive cases in Riley County Residents: 4,341
- Total active: 341
- Total recovered: 3,982
- Total deaths: 18
Case counts are preliminary and subject to verification.
Statement from the Riley County Health Department:
Consistent with the practice of other counties in Kansas, the Riley County Health Department will no longer share outbreak data. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve so do our practices and procedures to meet the needs of the public and to best serve them.
Our staff spends a great deal of time and effort keeping people informed with factual information, educating on proper health-related actions, and contact tracing, all in an effort to contain the spread of the virus in Riley County. As the number of positive coronavirus cases increases, we will focus our limited time and resources on actions that we believe will reduce the spread and discontinue other time-intensive tasks that may not produce the same results. We will also be shifting some staff time to planning and preparation for vaccine distribution.
At the beginning of the pandemic when there were fewer cases and less data to compile, our team was able to provide more detailed information and specifics to the public. We previously reported the decision to stop identifying the location of outbreaks in an effort to encourage people’s willingness to report their location information to contact tracers. That effort has not been successful. A number of people we spoke to during contact tracing have been unable to accurately determine where they came into contact with the virus due to widespread community spread — limiting our ability to factually record the data. Many also do not remember or know if they have had contact with any positive patients.
To remain consistent in recording data and present people with the most factual information as we know it, outbreak information will no longer be reported as of today, Monday, December 14, for the reasons listed above. All case information will continue to be shared with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Information requests about outbreaks in Riley County should be addressed to KDHE.
The next written update will be published Wednesday December 16. The next video update will be Wednesday, December 16 at 4:15 p.m. on the RCHD Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rileycountyhealthdepartment/.
Drive-up flu shots are available at the health department. Please make an appointment by calling 785-776-4779 ext. 7675 or schedule an appointment online at http://www.rileycountyks.gov/flu.