This week, Riley County added 29 new positives to its COVID-19 case totals, bringing the local count up to 103 confirmed positive cases.
On Wednesday, the county recorded the most new cases in a day since the start of the pandemic when it added 10 cases, but that record was knocked out of the water two days later.
There is a known outbreak at a local extended care facility that resulted in two deaths, but none of the new cases this week are associated with that facility. In fact, at least eight of the new cases are in athletes who have returned for voluntary practices at Kansas State.
“Young people are not immune to the disease,” emergency preparedness coordinator for public health Andrew Adams said in a press release. “We all need to take personal responsibility for the health and safety of our community by following good hygiene practices and limiting contact with the public. This could be the new normal for a long time to come. The old way of doing things is gone, at least for now.”
Riley County is now one of a handful of counties in Kansas where the rate of new infections is increasing, but the reopening process is still expected to progress as planned.
“I think we can all agree that Riley County has done a great job of flattening the curve so far,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said in a Facebook Live video on Thursday. “However, our work is not over — the virus is still a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
She urged locals to take “personal responsibility for the health and safety of the whole community” by limiting activities as much as possible and wearing face coverings in public.
“If we all do our part, and take action to make safety a priority in our daily lives, we can avoid going back to a stay-at-home order,” Gibbs said. “Please continue to follow the guidelines, and look out for yourself and for others.”
The county COVID-19 hotline will remain available for symptom screening at 785-323-6400 through the end of this month.