Sep 12, 2020 4:05 AM

Riley County Health officials provide a COVID-19 update

Posted Sep 12, 2020 4:05 AM

 Riley County has 37 new positive cases and 14 additional recoveries since Wednesday’s report. The Riley County Health Department is transitioning to a new infectious-disease reporting system as new staff come on board. Additional information, such as the age group summary, will be included in the report on Monday, September 14.

The new Emergency Preparedness Manager is scheduled to start the week of September 21. Contact tracing staff will continue to call any new positive patients. Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is caring for 3 positive patients and 1 Person Under Investigation (PUI) at this time. A PUI is someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 and is waiting for test results. The patients have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization.

 “Information gathered from patients in Riley County indicates that the three most common symptoms have been cough, headache, and loss of taste and smell,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “The majority of patients have been younger, and have tended to have milder cases of the disease.” Data also indicates that 42% of recent patients do not know where they contracted the virus. Contact with positive patients living in the same household represents 27% and close contact with known positive patients outside the household represents another 27%. Only 4% of positive patients in the county are linked to travel outside the area. 

Testing continues to be one of the most important resources for the response. Test results indicate when positive patients need to isolate or when close contacts should remain in quarantine. These measures can help slow the spread of the disease. “The free testing events were very successful and we plan to work with KDHE and the Kansas National Guard again to offer additional events in the Manhattan area,” said Gibbs. “Giving people access to testing resources is an important tool and allows us to gather more data about how the virus is spreading in the community.” 

A total of 567 people were tested at the free events this week: 310 in Manhattan, 76 in Randolph, and 81 in Ogden. When the testing schedule is finalized for future events, information will be posted on the Riley County Coronavirus website at www.rileycountyks.gov/coronavirus, as well as the Riley County Health Department’s Facebook page at /Rileycountyhealthdepartment/.  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. Riley County Statistics for Wednesday, September 11, 2020:

  1. Total number of positive cases: 1,347
  2. Total active: 623
  3. Total recovered: 728
  4. Total deaths: 6

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 http://rileycountyks.gov/coronavirus