(RILEY COUNTY, KS – March 31, 2020) The Riley County Health Department was notified late last night that another local resident has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The patient, a 57 year old male, presented with symptoms at the Emergency Room at Ascension Via Christi Hospital on March 27 and was tested the same day. The results of the test were just released from the Oklahoma facility where the sample was sent.The 57 year old male is currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Via Christi Hospital. He is considered an imported case, and not an instance of community spread. The patient had recently traveled with his family to a church meeting in the Kansas City area. His family members are currently in quarantine at their home in Riley County. The Riley County Health Department is completing contact tracing for the family and will notify anyone who may have had close contact with them. While this patient will be added to Riley County’s list, it appears he was exposed to the virus elsewhere in Kansas.“This is a difficult time for the patients, families, and for the community,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “It is essential that people do everything they can to abide by the Governor’s Stay Home Order. Only go out for essential needs, avoid contact with others, and stay home if you are sick; this is the only way we will stop the spread.”As a part of public health monitoring activities statewide, patients who have, or are suspected to have, an illness that requires investigation by public health officials are routed to their county of residence. This is so that local public health officials can ensure the safety and health of all residents within their jurisdiction.
The same process applies to COVID-19; when a specimen is collected, patient’s information is included on the sample and sent to the lab for analysis. After the sample is tested, the local health departments are notified so the appropriate actions at the local level can be taken, including following up with the patient and contact tracing.Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, should call a medical professional immediately. A screening hotline staffed by medical personnel is available every day from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to provide guidance for anyone who has symptoms. The screening hotline number is 785-323-6400.The Q&A hotline at 785-587-4526 will remain active for voicemail only. Please email general questions about the coronavirus response in Riley County to [email protected].Please refer to the Kansas Essential Function Framework (KEFF) for information and guidance about what businesses remain open to the public. That information is available online at https://governor.kansas.gov/keff/.For more information about Riley County’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, visit the Riley County website at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/covid19, follow RCHD on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Rileycountyhealthdepartment/ and Twitter @RileyCoHealth.