New local health order extends existing limitations to gathering size, business operations

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

Over the weekend, the Riley County Health Department released a new local health order that took effect Monday and will stay active for at least 10 days.

The new local order simply continues several of the existing policies established by the previous order, including gathering size limitations and business guidelines.

These measures, local health officer Julie Gibbs writes in the order, are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue the progress towards control of the illness.

Local Health Order No. 15 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 Monday, the county added 16 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the local total to 398. Recovered cases now surpass active cases with 281 recoveries and 114 current cases. The local death count remains at three.

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.