New local ‘restricted activities’ order to take effect Wednesday

(Illustration by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

The Riley County Health Department issued a new “restricted activities” order to take effect on Wednesday.

The return to more strict guidelines comes on the heels of a recent climb in local COVID-19 cases. In one week, the rate of positive cases went from two percent to 14 percent in the testing volume.

On Friday last week, Riley County passed the triple-digit case threshold. That record-breaking increase in cases was knocked out of the water just days later when the total rose to 132 with the addition of nearly 30 cases over the weekend.

Additionally, the rate of severe infection increased following an outbreak at a local nursing home. Two deaths have been associated with that outbreak.

In the new order, local health officer Julie Gibbs said these measures are essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Riley County.

“With full community cooperation, this proactive public health Order No. 13 may minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our Riley County community,” Gibbs said.

The new order states:

  • Gatherings are to be limited to 50 people
  • Restaurants and bars are limited to 75 percent occupancy
  • Food service employees must be screened at the start of each shift
  • Businesses are “to take proactive measures to ensure compliance”
  • Any business not in compliance will be shut down
  • Local law enforcement will lead the enforcement efforts
  • Individuals found out of compliance shall be fined $100 “for each offense”

Businesses with questions about best practices should call the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce at 785-776-8829 or email Additional resources for reopening local businesses are available at

Individuals with symptoms are encouraged to call the screening line at 785-323-6400. The screening line is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the end of June. People with non-emergent questions about COVID-19 in Riley County should send an email to

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.