As Kansas nears virus peak weeks, Riley County case numbers stay steady, health officer says

(Infographic by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

There are now 20 cases of COVID-19 documented in Riley County, up one case from Wednesday. Five previous positive cases have been declared recovered.

The most recent case is travel-related and has close contact with a previous case, local health officer Julie Gibbs said. He is a 63-year-old male patient from Manhattan and is not hospitalized.

The state of Kansas is entering what is projected to be the worst few weeks as the novel coronavirus spreads across the state. Case numbers are supposed to peak toward the end of April or early May.

Gibbs said Riley County isn’t seeing the same influx of cases expected from these models.

“I don’t know that we are necessarily seeing that in our numbers here in the county, but we are certainly feeling it,” Gibbs said.

However, now that there is community spread in the county, Gibbs said people “should assume everyone has [the novel coronavirus].” That guideline goes beyond Manhattan, Gibbs said. That outlook should be applied to all communities within the county.

Capt. Erin Freidline said Riley County Police Department is still focusing on voluntary compliance with social distancing guidelines. Officers, she said, will continue to remind people about the guidelines. That being said, RCPD is able to issue citations for failed compliance with social distancing guidelines ordered by state officials.

“Overall the community is following these executive orders,” Freidline said.

Officers are responding to social gatherings, several of which are concerned calls about groups at Pillsbury Crossing. Freidline said people concerned about social gathering sizes should report to the RCPD nonemergency line at 785-537-2112.

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.