Health Department Reiterates Vaccines Best Defense Against COVID

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After new information from the Centers for Disease Control labeled Riley County an emerging hotspot for COVID-19 cases, officials with the Health Department addressed their concerns while making the pitch for those unvaccinated to change that.

In the past week, more than 60 new cases have been identified, bringing the total number of active cases to 108. Nine patients are being treated for the virus at Ascension Via Christi, one of whom is in the ICU.

Riley County Health Department Director Julie Gibbs says the top issue being identified in surveys of those who are unvaccinated is that there is a view the vaccines aren’t safe.

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Gibbs says they are attempting to boost their outreach in hopes of increasing the numbers of those vaccinated.

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Part of that outreach is working to ensure credible information is getting to those who haven’t gotten the vaccine to date.

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Gibbs noted implementing mask mandates is not under consideration currently, but the option remains possible if numbers continue to climb.

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The Health Department will be holding a vaccination and testing clinic Friday in Redbud Estates. They’re hoping to entice those who have not gotten the vaccine by giving away 25-dollar grocery gift cards for adults and school supplies for children who are 12 or older.

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Troy returns to Manhattan after spending the last 20 years in Greeley, CO. He served as the "Voice of the UNC Bears" while serving as the news & sports director for a local station. Troy is a ' 93 K-State grad and grew up near Circleville.

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