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The original item was published from 1/4/2021 12:54:00 PM to 1/4/2021 10:01:00 PM.

News Flash

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: January 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] 1-4-21 Update: 2 additional deaths and 116 new positive cases

1-4-21 update graphic

(RILEY COUNTY, KS – January 4, 2021) A 79-year-old male and an 82-year-old male died last week at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan after testing positive for COVID-19. The 79-year-old man tested positive on December 16th and passed away on December 30th. The 82-year-old man tested positive on December 30th and passed away on January 2nd. No further information will be released about the patients. 

Riley County has identified 116 new positive cases and 184 additional recoveries since the last report on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. 

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is caring for 14 positive patients and 1 PUI patient at this time. A Person Under Investigation is someone experiencing symptoms who is waiting for test results. Four of the positive patients are in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Nearly 500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered by the Riley County Health Department to medical staff and those who are critical to public safety. 

“I wish we could give one to everyone who wants a vaccine right now,” Director Julie Gibbs said. “But we have a limited supply and have worked diligently using a systematic approach to determine those most at risk of catching or spreading the virus to protect the health and safety of Riley County.” 

We continue work each week to determine how to distribute the vaccines to best fit the needs of our community. Below is the current phases we are working on in accordance with guidance from KDHE. We hope to be finished vaccinating those in Phase 1 near the end of January. We do not know when Phase 2 will begin because we do not know when additional shipments of vaccine will be distributed to Riley County. Vaccines are not yet available for the public. As soon as we know when vaccines will be available to the public, we will publicize that information widely and often. 

Phase 1:

  • Hospitals and Long-term care facilities
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Health Department Staff Most at Risk of Catching or Spreading the Virus (swab site/vaccination site workers)
  • Urgent Care Services

Phase 2:

  • Healthcare, first responders, and critical infrastructure
  • Priority 1 - Primary Care Offices and Respiratory Therapy
  • Priority 2: Surgical and Radiological
  • Priority 3: Physical Therapy
  • Priority 4: Optometrist and Dental
  • Priority 5: Pediatric, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and other
  • K-12 Education (teachers, bus drivers, staff members)
  • Licensed Child Care providers and preschools, RCHD home visitors, etc.
  • Frontline Behavioral Health and Social Services
  • Public Transportation

FAQ information about the COVID-19 vaccine is posted on the Riley County Coronavirus website at 

Riley County Statistics for Monday, January 4th:

  • Total positive cases in Riley County Residents: 5033
  • Total active: 283
  • Total recovered: 4728
  • Total deaths: 22

Case counts are preliminary and subject to verification.

1-4-21 age breakdown

The next written update will be published Wednesday, January 6th. The next video update will also be on the 6th at 4:15 p.m. on the RCHD Facebook page at 

KDHE continues to provide testing for all Kansans with no out of pocket fees through January 31, 2021. As part of the Kansas Unified Testing Strategy, WellHealth will continue to provide free saliva-based testing today and every day, except Sundays, holidays, and severe weather days from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at CiCo Park in Manhattan through the end of January. Appointments are recommended and can be made online at 

Drive-up flu shots are available at the health department. Please make an appointment by calling 785-776-4779 ext. 7675 or schedule an appointment online at  

For more information about Riley County’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the Riley County website at, follow RCHD on Facebook at /Rileycountyhealthdepartment/ and Twitter @RileyCoHealth.

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