Manhattan hospital president confirms two additional COVID related deaths

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Two additional COVID-19 related deaths have been confirmed by Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan.

Hospital president Bob Copple says one patient was a resident of Riley County and the other a resident of Pottawatomie County. The hospital continues to care for 15 positive patients as of Thursday. As the year draws to a close, Riley County has seen 4,917 positive cases to date, since March 20 when Drew Smith became the first Manhattan resident to test positive. There are 353 active cases.

Pottawatomie County has totaled 1,097 cases overall according to the health department, including 22 additional cases since its previous report. There are currently 110 active cases and the health department has confirmed three total deaths. KMAN can confirm that number to be four deaths after Thursday morning’s COVID update with Copple. There have been 21 COVID-19 related deaths in Riley County.

Questions have been received at the Pottawatomie County Health Department about rumors or additional deaths in the county being “hidden” by the commission or the health department, which neither says is true. The Health Department says it does not release any information about deaths until it is confirmed on the death certificate and says it would be irresponsible to report information before it is official.

Following a second round of vaccinations Wednesday, roughly 500 vaccines have now been administered to local health officials in Riley County. Vaccines are also now being distributed to front line workers in Pottawatomie County.

The free saliva-based testing held at CiCo park continues through January, though won’t be offered New Year’s Day or Sundays.

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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