RCHD confirms third case of COVID-19 in Riley County


UPDATE: 7:45 a.m. Tuesday

A third person in Riley County has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Riley County Health Department received information late Monday night that a 57-year-old man tested positive. He presented to Ascension Via Christi Hospital Friday, March 27 and was tested the same day.

The man is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at Via Christi and is considered an imported case, and not an instance of community spread. The patient had recently traveled to a church meeting in the Kansas City area. His family members are currently in quarantine at their home in Riley County.

The man’s wife is a Marlatt Elementary employee who was last in the building on March 25. She and her daughter are currently not showing any symptoms. Currently the health department is in contact with school officials to make sure everyone is aware and monitoring. The health department is completing contact tracing and will notify anyone who may have had close contact with them.

While the patient will be added to the Riley County total positive case list, the health department says it appears he was exposed to the virus elsewhere in Kansas.

Original story: 7 a.m. Tuesday

Health Department Director Julie Gibbs said Monday they were awaiting a test result on one patient and monitoring close to two dozen other individuals. Results could be shared as early as Tuesday. Gibbs has said the turnaround to get test results is about 4 to 5 days. She says statewide the numbers continued to climb to 368 positive cases by late Monday, with nine deaths reported.

“KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman’s prediction has stayed pretty much the same saying we’ll be close to 400 by the end of the month,” Gibbs said.

The numbers have spiked since the first reported case in Johnson County on March 7. Riley County and the entire state remain in a stay-at-home order until April 19, but she says there are some safe activities the public can partake in.

“It’s still ok to go golfing according to the governor’s order that went into effect Monday. Fishing and going to the dog park are also exempt. It really comes down to adequate social distancing,” Gibbs said.

The K-State students who traveled to Italy are no longer under quarantine. Students who went on the London trip with Drew Smith, the first Pottawatomie County positive patient, remain under observation but so far have shown no symptoms.


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Brandon Peoples

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

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