New local health order keeps gathering size limits at 50, offers business guidance

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

On Tuesday, the Riley County Health Department released a new local health order that will take effect July 8 and stay active for at least 12 days.

Earlier this week, the Riley County Commission decided against abiding by Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide mask order, but wearing coverings over the nose and mouth is still encouraged — especially where social distancing isn’t possible.

Local Health Order No. 14 requires:

  • Gatherings to be limited to 50 people
  • Large meeting spaces to remain closed
  • Employee screenings at the start of each shift
  • Bars and restaurants to close to the public at midnight

On Tuesday, the county added eight new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the local total to 317. Recovered cases now surpass active cases with 169 recoveries and 145 current cases. The local death toll remains at three.

Riley County City Commissioners will discuss mask requirements within the city of Manhattan at their meeting at 7 p.m. this evening.

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. People with non-emergent questions about COVID-19 in Riley County should send an email to

To be tested in Riley County, individuals must present at least two symptoms of COVID-19. The complete list of known symptoms is available on the health department website.

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.