News Flash

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Phased Reopening Begins May 4

Riley County Reopening Phases

(RILEY COUNTY, KS – May 1, 2020) Health Officer Julie Gibbs has issued an order restricting certain activities as part of a local phased reopening plan for Riley County.

Local Health Order No. 7 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4, 2020 when the statewide Stay Home Order expires. The order was developed in effort to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Riley County and is paired with the Statewide Order 20-29 issued by Governor Laura Kelly, which will also go into effect May 4, 2020.

"The new order will continue to reduce the spread of the virus and will rely on a phased approach based upon testing capacity, local data, and contact tracing capabilities." Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs said. "The goal will be to help the community reopen in a way that supports public health and safety as well as economic vitality."

The main differences between the Riley County Order and the Statewide Order will be that all dine-in seating at restaurants is limited to 50% capacity and must close by 10:00 p.m. each night. Local child care providers will need to continue to follow the same guidelines that were issued as part of the Stay Home Order, limiting the number of children to stable groups of 10 and performing temperature checks.

“We recognize the need to provide a few more restrictions than Governor Kelly’s order partly because Riley County is a regional hub of activity, and also because restaurants are places where prolonged contact between people can increase the risk of transmission,” said Gibbs.

Local businesses that are allowed to reopen in the early phases of the process will be required to follow safety practices. If there is statistically significant increase in the percentage of positive cases in the community, or a large influx of patients to Via Christi hospital, the Local Health Officer will re-issue a Stay at Home Order. Individual businesses that do not follow the requirements of the order, or that experience an outbreak among employees or customers, are subject to immediate closure by the Health Officer.

Starting next week, questions relating to the specific requirements for businesses should be directed to the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. A Q&A hotline (785) 776-8829 at the Chamber will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Questions can also be emailed to the Chamber at

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

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