(RILEY COUNTY, KS – January 12, 2022) Two additional Riley County residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19. A 40 year-old unvaccinated male tested positive on December 21, 2021 and died January 7, 2022 at Ascension Via Christi hospital in Manhattan. An 86 year-old fully vaccinated male tested positive for COVID-19 on January 8 and passed away January 10 at Ascension Via Christi.
Riley County has identified 1,202 new COVID cases and 389 additional recoveries since the last report on January 5. There are currently 1,017 active cases in Riley County and the percent of positive test results rose to 20.19% for the last two-week period. This is the highest increase in case numbers in Riley County since the start of the pandemic. The next highest increase was in November of 2020 with 469 new cases identified in a single report. Please note, this week’s total also includes patients who tested positive over the holidays, as reporting of results from some facilities was delayed. No at-home test results are included in official reports from the county or the state.
Ascension Via Christi is currently caring for 18 COVID-positive patients. Six patients, all unvaccinated, are currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), four of whom are on ventilators. Out of the 12 additional patients on the medical floor, 9 are unvaccinated.
“We have to hope that this surge will pass quickly and that the health system holds,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “What people can do now is stay home if they are sick, get medical care if they need help, and rely on information from medical professionals, health departments, and the CDC if they have questions. It is not too late to get vaccinated. Vaccines are your best resource to avoid serious illness.”
There have been at least five cases of the Omicron variant in Riley County as identified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). KDHE tests roughly 2% of positive cases for variants of concern, such as Omicron.
“Thankfully, most people who get the Omicron variant have mild symptoms, but the hospitals in Kansas are facing serious challenges as case numbers soar,” said Gibbs.
At 1:15 p.m. this Thursday, January 13 Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs and Ascension Via Christi President and CEO Robert Copple will appear live on the Riley County Health Department’s Facebook page to provide an update and answer questions. The video will be shared live with the public at https://www.facebook.com/Rileycountyhealthdepartment/ and saved to the page so people can watch it later.
The next written update will be published Wednesday, January 19.
Find statistics for Riley County and learn more about the local COVID-19 response at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/1857/Novel-Coronavirus-2019-nCoV
Riley County Statistics for January 12, 2022:
Two-Week Average: 20.19%
Week 1 (January 2 - 8) 19.99%
Week 52 (December 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022) 20.58%
Contact Riley County Health Department