‘We cannot let our guard down,’ says local health officer as schools, officials plan for fall semester

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

Local health officer Julie Gibbs said that health officials have been in contact with schools to determine what education at all levels will look like this fall, which will depend on how the next few months go.

We cannot let our guard down,” Gibbs said.We need to continue on with the safety methods we know are proven to work — that is social distancing, wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene, staying home when you’re sick and avoiding large crowds. We continue to do these things, [then] our children will be able to go back to school, and our K State students can return to campus.”

Gov. Laura Kelly is planning to release an order pushing back K-12 school start dates until after Labor Day. Gibbs said this will allow schools to have more time to plan.

Additionally, Kansas State students traveling back to Kansas from out of state for the fall semester should quarantine for 14 days per Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidelines guidelines, Gibbs said.

“But more or less we really want to just again reiterate those common practices that we all should be doing, and that is, of course, to wear a mask,” she said.All the students are required to wear a mask on campus, who have the new mask ordinance with the city just came out last week so we are required to wear it now in public places and outside when you’re unable to maintain six feet of social distanceso just making sure that we practice those safety methods that we should be doing already.”

Riley County added 16 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 30 recovered cases since Monday. The current total is now 371.

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

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 5 p.m. People with non-emergent questions about COVID-19 in Riley County should send an email to rileycountycovid19@gmail.com.

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.

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat and I'm a copy chief and an assistant news editor for the Collegian. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.