(RILEY COUNTY, KS – August 28, 2020) Riley County has 136 new positive cases and 15 more recoveries since Wednesday’s report. The totals are now 411 active, 394 recovered, and 5 deaths. This is the biggest two-day increase in local cases since the start of the pandemic. A total of 128, or 94%, of the new patients are in the 18-24 age group and have had mild symptoms.
“I am encouraged by the fact that we are not seeing significantly ill patients at this point,” said Kyle Goerl, MD, CAQSM, Medical Director for K-State’s Lafene Health Center.
Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is caring for 1 positive patient and zero PUI* patients at this time. The patient has symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization.
New areas of outbreak have been declared in Riley County. The four new outbreaks are associated with the following sororities: Alpha Delta Pi (6), Alpha Xi Delta (6), Chi Omega (5), and Kappa Delta (5). All residents of any Greek house where an outbreak has been declared should quarantine for 14 days. Residents may return to their permanent homes to complete the quarantine period if they prefer. The quarantine time period begins for all of the residents on the date when the outbreak is declared.
“The leaders of local fraternities and sororities are cooperating with health department staff, but we have concerns that the safety messages are not reaching all of the members,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “It is imperative that anyone who has had close contact with a positive patient, or who is sick, remains in quarantine or isolation and takes personal responsibility for their actions.”
In effort to slow the spread of the virus among this population, all event permits associated with any fraternity and sorority organizations between August 27 and September 10 were canceled or revoked. It is no longer deemed safe to hold these events in person and they may not take place.
“Fraternity and sorority members must take individual responsibility to assure the health of their community and Manhattan,” said Jordan Kocher, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at K-State. “While our chapters have their health and safety protocols, now is the time for individuals to mirror their behavior to their values. It is our expectation that members participate in contact tracing, stay in quarantine or isolation when instructed to do so, and obtain testing if recommended. Action will be taken should chapters ignore local health orders and community policies; individual member action will be reported to chapter leadership and/or their international organizations. Any questions or concerns can be filtered through the accountability form on our website, www.fslatkstate.com.”
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.
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.
Case counts are preliminary and subject to verification.
*A PUI is a Person Under Investigation; a patient who has symptoms of COVID-19 and is waiting for test results.
The next video update will be Wednesday, September 2 at 4:15 p.m. on the Riley County Health Department’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rileycountyhealthdepartment/.
For more information about Riley County’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the Riley County website at www.rileycountyks.gov/coronavirus, follow RCHD on Facebook at /Rileycountyhealthdepartment/ and Twitter @RileyCoHealth.