(RILEY COUNTY, KS – November 18, 2020) As COVID-19 cases increase in Kansas, Riley County is launching a 14-day challenge to support front-line workers and health care providers. If everyone does their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, we can prevent hospitals and medical staff from being overwhelmed. Please join the fight for front line workers and prevent the shortage of hospital beds, doctors, and nurses. For the next 14 days, everyone is asked to commit to:
- Consistently and correctly wearing a mask and keeping at least 6 ft apart at all times in indoor and outdoor spaces (other than at home with the people in your immediate household)
- Washing and sanitizing hands frequently
- Working from home if possible and holding meetings online rather than in person
- Avoiding being indoors with non-household members except for school, work that cannot be done from home, and activities deemed essential
- Supporting local businesses by consistently and correctly wearing a mask, maintaining distance, and ordering online or by phone, with curbside pickup or delivery
- Supporting local restaurants by maintaining at least 6 ft of distance, consistently and correctly wearing a mask, and by ordering food to go
- Staying home if experiencing any symptoms of illness, and Remaining in isolation or quarantine for the recommended period if positive for COVID-19 or if identified as a close contact
- Calling the Riley County Screening Line 785-323-6400 or your doctor for advice about testing if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
- Practicing healthy habits: eating healthy food, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep
The challenge is based on health guidelines and modeled after initiatives in other Kansas communities.
“The rapid increase of COVID cases poses a real threat to the medical community,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “If the hospital becomes overwhelmed with severe cases, they lose the ability to care for other patients. We have to take action now to prevent that from happening.”
K-State’s commencement ceremonies originally scheduled to take place November 20-22 have been canceled due to the rapid, uncontrolled increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the campus communities throughout the state. Instead, virtual recognitions will take place in December.
"With hundreds of new cases announced in our host communities in the past few days, the trend line is absolutely going in the wrong direction," said Richard B. Myers, university president. "Concerns have been expressed by our students, faculty and staff not only for their personal health, but with a willingness to look out for the health of fellow K-Staters."
Community partners endorsing this initiative include: Riley County, Riley County Health Department, Riley County Emergency Operations Center, City of Manhattan, Kansas State University, Ascension Via Christi Hospital of Manhattan, and the MHK Clinical Task Force.
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.