With about a week and a half left in the in-person portion of the fall semester, the campus positivity rate is surging. For two consecutive weeks, the positivity rate doubled, leaving Riley County and Kansas State health officials warning people to take the COVID-19 pandemic more seriously.
“It is essential that you follow health guidelines, wear a mask, maintain distance and stay home if you are sick,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said in a press release. “With the increase in cases we are seeing, it serves as a call to action for all of us to do our part so we can get through this. The more contact you have with people outside your home, the greater your risk for catching or spreading the virus.”
For the week of Nov. 2, K-State reported a positivity rate of 10.05 percent. The week before, it was below five percent.
The positivity rate in the community, though near 10 percent as well, actually fell slightly from the previous week.
As of Wednesday, the county added 250 new COVID-19 cases this week. In the 10 days between Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, Riley County added 257 cases.
Of the eight active COVID-19 outbreaks in the county right now, four are K-State related. The list of ongoing outbreaks are as follows:
- Alpha of Clovia – seven cases, no recoveries, no deaths
- Beta Sigma Psi – five cases, no recoveries, no deaths
- Creche Daycare – six cases, no recoveries, no deaths
- K-State football – 10 cases, 66 recoveries, no deaths
- K-State track and field – 27 cases, no recoveries, no deaths
- Leonardville Nursing Home – 12 cases, no recoveries, one death
- Via Christi Village – five cases, no recoveries, one death
- 10/17 Wedding – 10 cases, 32 recoveries, no deaths
It takes 28 days without a new positive test associated with the outbreak for it to be declared finished.
This recent spike in new cases isn’t just isolated to Riley County or even to the state of Kansas. In fact, the U.S. is adding more than 100,000 new cases every day, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker map.
“We’re a small part of a much larger issue right now, and that’s the surge that’s being felt really across the country and, I mean, even worldwide,” Dr. Kyle Goerl, Lafene Health Center’s medical director, said previously.
Additionally, the Riley County Health Department added another death to the local COVID-19 count on Wednesday after 63-year-old male resident of Via Christi Village died at at Ascension Via Christi hospital in Manhattan. His is the thirteenth COVID-19 related death in Riley County and the second announced this month.
The rate of hospitalizations is also up in Riley County, with 10 current COVID-19 patients at Ascension Via Christi, four of which are in the Intensive Care Unit.