In the latest COVID-19 update for Riley County, released Feb. 9, the health department announced one new death attributed to COVID-19. A 74-year-old unvaccinated man died on February 9 at Ascension Via Christi. The death brings the county’s total to 73 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Since the last report on Feb. 3, the health department has identified 469 new cases and 713 additional recoveries, indicating a decrease in numbers since the previous report.
Local health worker Julie Gibbs said she was grateful the numbers were falling despite the rising rate of transmission.
“Over time, COVID will hopefully become a disease that will not impact the medical community or disrupt society and daily life,” Gibbs said in the weekly report.
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Nine COVID-19 positive patients are being cared for at Ascension Via Christi – three in the intensive care unit and two on ventilators.
There are 394 active cases of COVID-19 in the county. However, despite the decrease in active cases and new cases, the two-week positivity rate fell from 17.84% to 22.34% last week.
The positivity rate for the week of January 30 to February 30. 5 was 24.53%. On campus for the same period, the positivity rate was 21.11%.
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 5 p.m. They also reported that the turnaround time for KDHE lab results decreased from 5-7 days to 24-48 hours.
Gibbs said there was a decrease in demand for testing as the number of cases fell. In response, starting Feb. 14, the health department will only offer testing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon by appointment. People can contact the testing hotline at (785) 323-6400 to schedule an appointment.
Gibbs said the decreased number of operational hours spent on COVID-19 allows the health department to prioritize other public health needs such as family planning, STI testing, vaccinations and medical care. other essential services intended to improve the quality of life in the community.
The health department encourages all eligible people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.