News Flash

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: September 29, 2020

9-29-20 Update: Riley County positivity rate falls to 9.6%

(RILEY COUNTY, KS – September 29, 2020) Fewer people in Riley County are testing positive for COVID-19 and the rate of positive cases decreased to 9.6% last week (week 39). That represents a significant decline from the highest recorded rate of 34.3% for the week of August 23 (week 35). The positivity rate compares the number of positive tests to total tests per week.

Positivity Rate in Riley County:

  • Week of Sept. 6: 13.7%
    1. 201 total cases
  • Week of Sept. 13: 10.4 %
    1. 108 total cases
  • Week of Sept. 20: 9.6%
    1. 108 total cases

The numbers above are broken down by week and include only the patients tested in that week.

The numbers reported during RCHD written updates include all positives, regardless of the test date, as soon that information becomes available. KDHE is still getting caught up and sending reports of positive patients who were tested much earlier; some from as far back as May.

“Some of the new positives we report don’t represent recent tests, but rather they are positive recovered cases,” said RCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Renee Lucas. “When uploading cases that are positive but already recovered, we go back and add to the data for percentages based on the test date. This is why our percentages change, sometimes even weeks later.”

When patients are tested, their doctor will notify them of their test results. The health department does not provide initial notification, so all of the positive patients have already been notified and have received advice from a medical professional. However, the contact tracing process is delayed when test results are not reported to RCHD in a timely manner. The new procedure for medical providers to send test results directly to RCHD will help eliminate the lag time for reporting and will make it possible to do effective contact tracing for all new patients.

“We rely on the labs to get us information quickly but when that doesn’t happen we cannot do the proper contact tracing,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “The new process is working out much better and I feel confident moving forward.”  

Staff are still working to compile outbreak information and patient age information. Those updates will also be shared with the media and the public when they are available. 

The next scheduled written update will be Friday, October 2.

The next video update will be Wednesday, September 30, at 4:15 p.m. on the Riley County Health Department’s Facebook page at

For more information about Riley County’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the Riley County website at, follow RCHD on Facebook at /Rileycountyhealthdepartment/ and Twitter @RileyCoHealth.

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