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Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: November 9, 2022

RCHD Encourages Vaccinations as 2022 Flu/COVID Season Begins

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(RILEY COUNTY, KS - November 9, 2022) The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) recorded 48 new COVID-19 cases for Riley County for the week of October 29 - November 4. The Incidence Rate is 64.7, placing Riley County in the SUBSTANTIAL incidence category with 50 - 100 cases per 100,000 people. This total does not include any at-home test results.

One COVID-19 patient is currently hospitalized at Ascension Via Christi in Manhattan. The patient is on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). No (0) additional COVID-related deaths have been reported. The death total for Riley County remains 97.

“Healthcare professionals everywhere are already seeing high numbers of flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) this year,” said Health Department Director Julie Gibbs. “I hope the COVID season will not be as severe as in years past, but I urge people to take precautions. We can all take action to keep ourselves and others safe from illness.”

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza should take precautions to avoid spreading illness to others. The same measures that reduce risk for COVID spread are effective at reducing flu transmission. The single best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and seasonal flu, and their potentially serious complications, is to get vaccinated.

“If you haven’t yet been vaccinated for the seasonal flu or received your COVID booster, you still have time,” said Gibbs. “Flu activity typically begins in October and lasts through May, with the peak of the season happening during the winter months.”

VACCINE INFO

Both influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are available at the Riley County Health Department Clinic. Walk-ins are welcome. People can also schedule vaccination appointments in advance by calling (785) 776-4779 ext. 7675.

Riley County Health Clinic Hours:

  • Mon-Wed: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thurs: noon – 6 p.m.
  • Fri: 8:30 - 11 a.m.

Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive vaccinations. The Health Department does not charge any fees for COVID-19 vaccines but there may be an out-of-pocket fee for flu vaccines. If applicable, patients should bring their health insurance card for flu vaccinations. Find more information about the flu and flu vaccines on the Riley County website at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/flu

FLU DATA

According to the CDC, influenza hospitalization rates nationally for children are more than 10X higher this year than they have been in the previous 10 years (2.1 per 100,000 this year; 0.0-0.2/100,000 for the prior 10 years). Adult hospitalizations are more than twice as high as rates over the previous ten years. As of mid-October, 360 deaths due to influenza, including one child, had been reported to the CDC and 80% of those who died were unvaccinated.

Despite the increases in hospital visits and hospitalizations for influenza, influenza vaccination rates remain low. According to the CDC, only 21% of adults and 22% of children have received a flu shot so far this year.

Read the Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

COVID-19 DATA

After this week, Riley County Health Department will no longer provide weekly COVID-19 data updates. Instead, people can find information about the incidence rate from KDHE and the community level from CDC.

“Information will still be available and the health department will continue to provide testing and vaccinations to help protect the community,” said Gibbs. "We are focused on all illnesses."

“Thankfully, the current COVID variants in the US have not led to major increases in severe endpoints, such as hospitalizations or deaths,” said Riley County Health Clinic Supervisor Dr. Jacob Clarke, MD. “Likewise, the CDC and KDHE remain vigilant, monitoring for changes in COVID activity. If the situation changes locally, we will resume weekly COVID updates in Riley County.”

The Riley County Health Department will resume regular COVID-19 updates if the community experiences:

  • High incidence rate indicated by KDHE report
  • High community level indicated by CDC report
  • Feedback from local hospitals and medical community regarding high numbers of severe cases

Find more information about Riley County Health Department at www.rileycountyks.gov/health

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