Update: Two Riley County residents test positive for COVID-19


UPDATE AS OF 4:30 PM (3/26/2020):

Riley County now has two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

The first patient is a 57 year-old Manhattan woman who visited the Kansas City area last weekend and returned to her private residence in Topeka, where she remains in home isolation.

“She was tested in Topeka on Monday and has been in isolation in that location ever since. She did not travel anywhere in the Manhattan area since being exposed,” Riley County Health Department Director Julie Gibbs said Thursday at her daily news conference.

The second patient is a Fort Riley soldier who resides in Manhattan and contracted the virus while on vacation in California over Spring Break. That individual is in isolation at his home where he has been self-quarantined in accordance with KDHE guidelines. Fort Riley requires a 14-day quarantine for service members who have traveled outside the region, have been in close contact with confirmed cases and those being treated.

“We are still looking into if there is community spread, that is still to be determined. We are currently looking into a stay-at-home order,” she said.

The health department will send out a notice prior to issuing any stay-at-home order. Riley County Police Department Assistant Director Kurt Moldrup says if and when that happens, essential services will still be available.

“The stores will continue to remain open. The grocery stores and pharmacies will be open so avoid panic buying, even with the thought that we may be moving toward a stay-at-home order,” he said.

There are currently six pending cases in Riley County and 19 patients under quarantine.

UPDATE  2 p.m.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported the first confirmed Riley County resident to test positive for COVID-19.

The patient is a 57-year-old female resident of Manhattan who is currently in home isolation. The health department says the woman traveled to the Kansas City area last weekend, then returned to a private residence in Topeka. She was tested in Topeka on Monday and has been in isolation there ever since. She did not travel anywhere in the Manhattan area since being exposed.

This marks the second confirmed-positive case of COVID-19 in the Manhattan area.

Andrew Smith, a journalism professor at Kansas State University, was confirmed as the first confirmed-positive case in Pottawatomie County last Friday after having recently traveled on a study-abroad trip to London with students and family.

The Riley County Health Department will provide an update on the situation live on their Facebook page today at 4:15 p.m.

RCHD Director Julie Gibbs joins News Radio KMAN daily at 5 p.m. with updates local COVID-19 developments.

This story has been contributed to by Brandon Peoples and Steven Shaffur.


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