BREAKING: Community spread now suspected in Riley County

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

Two new cases of COVID-19 in Riley County bring the total number of positive cases to 13. One of the new cases is likely the first documented case of community spread in the county, the health department says.

“One of the recent positive cases did not travel outside of the community. The source of the patient’s exposure is unknown,” a Facebook post from the health department said.

Community spread occurs in when new cases cannot be traced to recent travel or direct exposure to another person with the virus.

The patient who is likely the first case of community spread has been self-isolating since they began showing symptoms, the post says. However, in the days before they were displaying symptoms, they had been to two grocery stores in the area.

“Staying home is the best weapon we have to stop the spread of the disease,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said. “Everyone who complies with the order doing their part to help save lives. We need everyone to take this seriously.”

The county has now administered 79 negative tests, has 18 tests pending and is monitoring 34 people for possible exposure. There are no patients in Riley County currently hospitalized.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the 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.