Riley County restrictive movement order to be announced this evening, two new positive cases announced

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(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

Riley County reports two new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 51. One of the new infected individuals is receiving care at Ascension Via Christi.

The new patients are a 57-year-old female who is isolating at home and 38-year-old male isolating at Via Christi, local health officer Julie Gibbs said. Contact tracing is in progress.

Gibbs said the county is working on a finalized version of a restrictive movement order to be announced later today, May 1. Riley County is working with Geary County and Pottawattomie County officials to provide similar guidance. The guidelines are based on national sources and Gov. Laura Kelly’s reopening plan Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.

Gibbs added they are working to provide enough definitions within the plan so there may be less confusion in the community.

“The phases are very fluid, and we can go back to the previous phase if need be,” Gibbs said. “We are working hard as a community to keep everyone safe and informed.”

Gibbs emphasized Riley County’s reopening plan can be more strict than Gov. Laura Kelly’s, but not more lenient.

“I think it’s safe to say we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Gibbs said.

Kurt Moldrup, assistant director of the Riley County Police Department, said it is critical to ensure the reopening plan is finalized so there is no confusion. A previous version of the plan was released prematurely, Moldrup said, which caused confusion in the community.

“It’s important to come to this source [Riley County Health Department] to find what our orders are for Riley County,” Moldrup said.

Gibbs said the health department can revert to a previous phase or stay in a phase longer than the two week minimum if they see a spike in cases.

“We are still not at a point yet where we can congregate in groups or enjoy being around other people yet,” Gibbs said. “We need to make sure we are still practicing our social distancing.”

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My name is Bailey Britton and I am the managing editor for the Collegian. I grew up in Colby, Kansas. I am a sophomore studying journalism with minors in leadership studies and English. I value quality news coverage and believe that communication is a vital part of solving problems. When I have free time, I like to spend time with friends and family or be outdoors with a good book.