(RILEY COUNTY, KANSAS – August 18, 2020) The Riley County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment have identified two additional outbreaks in Riley County. An outbreak is declared if five or more cases are associated with a specific place and time. There are currently two active outbreaks in Riley County, and seven outbreaks which have been closed.
The first outbreak is associated with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in Manhattan. A total of 13 fraternity members have tested positive. The Riley County Health Department has been in contact with the fraternity and has shared information with K-State and Greek Life.
Fraternity members and managers have been instructed to follow procedures for outbreaks in group living quarters. These procedures include deep cleaning and disinfection as well as quarantine for anyone who had been in close contact with positive patients. Close contact is defined as more than 10 minutes of time spent less than 6 feet apart.
Guidance for people living in group quarters is available on the Riley County website at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/19211/Group-Housing-Guidance. More advice and information for people in shared or congregate housing is available from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/shared-congregate-house/guidance-shared-congregate-housing.html.
The second outbreak is associated with the Blue Valley USD 384 School District Office in Randolph. A total of seven people including staff members and school board members have tested positive. Six of those patients are Riley County residents.
Several USD 384 buildings and common areas have been closed so those areas can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Staff members who work in school buildings which remain open have been asked to stay in their rooms and continue to follow health safety practices.
“Because we can isolate locations where staff have been, we can deep clean those areas,” said Blue Valley Superintendent John Cox. “We will continue to have athletic practices as long as it is safe to do so. Coaches are asked to continue with the safety protocols and procedures they have been using.”
Classes have not started at USD 384 yet.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with a positive patient should contact a medical professional. The Riley County Screening phone line 785-323-6400 is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone line is staffed by nurses who can help provide information about testing options.