(January 10, 2022 – Riley County, KS) The Riley County Health Department (RCHD) is no longer able to provide contact tracing for every person in the community who tests positive for COVID-19. Some cases are being referred directly to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for contact tracing, but that system is backlogged as well. The increase in positive cases is beyond what local and state staff can handle. Some people who test positive may not be contacted for contracting tracing by either agency.
“While we are doing everything we can to catch up, we know we will not be able to get to everyone,” said Julie Gibbs, Local health Officer and Director of Riley County Health Department. “Each individual must take responsibility to care for themselves and their families, and to notify people who are close contacts. We will share information with the public about care and treatment, and we will do everything we can to continue to help the community. The new case numbers are simply too high, and we don’t have the resources to keep up.”
If you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19:
Stay home from work, school, and other public places.
Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms are severe and you need medical care, contact a medical provider. If you have emergency symptoms, call 911. Emergency symptoms include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on skin tone) call 911.
Isolate for at least five days. Stay isolated longer if you still have symptoms. Avoid others in your home and wear a mask if you have to be near them.
Avoid sharing personal items like dishes, towels, bedding with others in your home.
Rest and stay hydrated.
Clean surfaces with disinfectant.
Make sure you have the supplies you need. Arrange for someone to pick up supplies for you or use a delivery service. Make sure to avoid direct contact with the person who delivers supplies.
A close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes when health and safety measures were not in place or were insufficient. If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or if you test positive, please call the people who have been your close contacts starting two days before symptoms began. If you test positive but do not have symptoms, call close contacts starting two days before you tested positive.
If you’re a close contact of someone who is sick or tests positive for COVID-19, follow quarantine guidelines based on your vaccination status. Find a PDF of the updated guidelines for close contacts at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/20843/2022-COVID-Guidelines
Please note, a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days is considered exempt from quarantine requirements if they do not have any symptoms. Anyone with symptoms is required to isolate for at least five days, or longer than five days if their symptoms continue. Find more information from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html#calculating-isolation.
The Riley County Health Department offers free testing for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms and would like to schedule a test with RCHD, call (785) 323-6400 Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
You may also contact your medical provider for testing, or visit the drive-through testing site provided by KDHE in the north parking lot of Manhattan Town Center open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weather permitting.
Please note, hospital emergency rooms treat emergency patients, they are not a location for COVID testing. There is also a very high patient cost for testing in an emergency room setting, and the patient will be billed. Hospital resources are needed to help patients who are very ill. Please do not visit an emergency room if you are just looking for a COVID test. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you have an emergency.
Contact Riley County Health Department
The next update will be published Wednesday, January 12.
Find statistics for Riley County, schedule a vaccine or testing appointment, and learn more about the local COVID-19 response at www.rileycountyks.gov/covid.