Riley County now reporting 14 cases of COVID-19, confirms evidence of community spread

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

As of April 6, the Riley County health department is reporting 14 cases of COVID-19 within the county.

One of the cases reported on Sunday, the health department says, has evidence of community spread — the individual was not in contact with another known sick person and had not recently traveled.

With evidence of community spread, local health officer Julie Gibbs stressed the importance of complying with the statewide stay at home order issued by Gov. Laura Kelly at the end of March.

“I know that these last few weeks have been rough,” Gibbs said.

The newest person to test positive for the virus is a male in his 50s who is isolating at home in Ogden, Kansas. No other information about the patient is available at this time.

Gibbs said the county is preparing an alternate care site for individuals who need to quarantine outside of their homes. Such individuals could include first responders who want to avoid exposing their family members, lead public information officer for the Riley County COVID-19 Response Vivienne Uccello said.

“We need to be prepared for that level of need in the future,” Gibbs said. “Via Christi Hospital is doing a great job providing care for patients who require hospitalization. Some people who do not require hospitalization, or have been released from the hospital, may still require some medical attention and a safe place to isolate. The ACS can provide that for Riley County residents. We are working to get it set up as quickly as possible.”

Two of the positive cases in Riley County have officially recovered from COVID-19. Furthermore, Gibbs said, several people who were being monitored with symptoms have reported that they have been symptom free for a number of days.

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.