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The original item was published from 2/24/2021 8:35:56 PM to 2/26/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: February 24, 2021

[ARCHIVED] 02-24-21: Riley County Local Health Order 20 Ends Some COVID-19 Restrictions


(RILEY COUNTY, KS – February 24, 2021) After careful consideration Riley County Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs has issued Health Order No. 20.

The new Local Health Order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday February 28, 2021. This Order shall remain in effect until amended, superseded, or rescinded in writing, by the Riley County Local Health Officer or the Riley County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Health.

Health Order 20 rescinds all parts of Order 19 EXCEPT: masks and face coverings must still be worn in any public space in Riley County.  A “public space” means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public; this does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or public visitors. Masks are not required in outdoor public spaces if a distance of 6 ft can be maintained.

A “mask or other face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears, or is simply wrapped around the lower face.

Individuals are also strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing and follow health and safety guidelines from Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This decision was made after looking at several factors. For the past four weeks the number of cases has continued to decline and we have not seen any new outbreaks. Additionally, there is minimal strain on local and regional health structures. We’ve also been able to ramp up our vaccination efforts”, explained Julie Gibbs, Director of Riley County Health Department.  

The Emergency Operations Center’s Command Staff created criteria to relax limitations and feel many of them have been met. To include: 

  • Riley County percent positive under 7% for 4 weeks 
  • Hospital and healthcare system not overwhelmed
  • Riley County maintains less than 5 active outbreaks for 6 weeks
  • Declining trends in percent positives

The EOC Command Staff will review the mask ordinance in a month. In the meantime, residents of Riley County are encouraged to be vaccinated, social distance when possible, and practice good handwashing. 

“It’s important to be safe so we can continue to work through this and do not have to take steps backward. We need to start working towards what this new normalcy looks like, " said Riley County Board of County Commission Chairman John Ford.  

Read the complete text of Local Health Order No. 20 on the Riley County website at

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

For general questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine timelines and availability, members of the public can check the FAQ information online at  

Questions can also be emailed to [email protected]

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