Riley County changes quarantine requirement to 10 days

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

Effective immediately, the Riley County Health Department will change its quarantine length requirement for COVID-19 exposures from 14 days to 10 days. This decision falls in line with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just a week ago, the local health department indicated they would not make the shift to the shortened quarantine length at the time, but local health officer Julie Gibbs said in a press release officials in Riley County and neighboring counties would be “reviewing the new alternatives.”

Riley County will not adopt the shorter, seven-day quarantine period option, which would be allowed by the CDC if individuals test negative and do not show symptoms.

“To reduce the personal burden on patients and gain more compliance with quarantine, we will adopt the new 10-day alternative,” Gibbs said in a press release Wednesday. “Symptoms may appear after day 10, but the likelihood decreases significantly. RCHD continues to recommend a quarantine period of 14 days for anyone exposed to COVID-19 if they have the ability to do so.”

A release from the county cites a decreased likelihood of symptom development after 10 days from the exposure with an individual who has COVID-19. The chance of showing symptoms after that period is between one and 10 percent, per CDC data.

The list of exposures that require someone to quarantine have not changed. According to the local health department, people are still required to quarantine if:

  • Share a household with a known positive
  • Stayed in a house with a known positive
  • Spent more at least 10 minutes within six feet of a known positive
  • Came in contact with respiratory droplets or other fluids from a known positive (i.e. kissing, sharing food, coughed on, etc.)

COVID-19 symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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.

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

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.