Health Department announces one new death related to COVID-19, 230 new cases

(Graphic by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

In the latest COVID-19 update released on February 16, the Riley County Health Department announced one new death attributed to COVID-19. A 59-year-old unvaccinated woman died on January 11 after testing positive on January 5. The death brings the county to 74 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Since the previous report on February 6, the health department has identified 230 new cases and 374 additional recoveries, indicating a further decrease in numbers since last week’s report.

According to director Julie Gibbs, the demand for tests has also decreased.

“The health department now receives as few as 10 test requests a day,” Gibbs said in the weekly report. “We hope to move towards a better situation.”

Eight COVID-19 positive patients are being cared for at Ascension Via Christi, none in the intensive care unit.

There are 249 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, a decrease of 145 active cases since the previous report. The two-week positivity rate also declined, from 22.34% to 16.64% last week, in line with the decrease in the number of cases.

The positivity rate for the week of February 7-15 was 13.6%. On campus for the same period, the positivity rate was 17.44%.

The Riley County Health Department also announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment testing site at 3019 Anderson Avenue in the Plaza West Mall is open for walk-in visits Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They offer free on-site testing through the end of March. There is no need to make an appointment and the turnaround time for lab results is 24-48 hours.

Gibbs said the department does not expect any further spikes in the coming weeks, but cannot predict more than that.

“We always encourage people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from serious illness,” Gibbs said in the report.