K-State faculty member has first positive case of COVID-19 in Riley County

Kedzie Hall is home to the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. (File photo by Dene Dryden | Collegian Media Group)

Andrew Smith, professor of practice in the A.Q Miller School and chairman of the Collegian Media Group board of directors, is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Riley County.

“He is in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia that is not improving and is on oxygen. There are wonderful medical professionals helping,” a Facebook post made by his wife on Saturday says.

Smith shared the post to his own timeline.

Smith recently traveled to London with his family and seven students in the journalism school for a spring break study abroad trip for the digital journalism sequence. Those students and his family are currently in quarantine in their respective homes.

“When the group returned on Monday, Andrew did not feel well, and his condition rapidly worsened,” Steve Smethers, interim director of the journalism and mass communications department, said in an email sent to faculty on Saturday.

Smith was not immediately available for comment.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.