News Flash

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: December 3, 2020

12-3-20 Quarantine period remains 14 days in Riley County

(RILEY COUNTY, KS – December 3, 2020) Riley County requires anyone who has close contact with a positive patient to quarantine for 14 days since their last close contact. Close contacts must quarantine for 14 days whether or not they receive a negative test during that period.

“CDC and KDHE recently announced two optional alternatives to quarantine periods based on specific circumstances,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs.  “RCHD is reviewing the new alternatives and will make an announcement if any changes are adopted in Riley County. At this time, the quarantine requirement will remain 14 days.”

RCHD staff will meet with health officials in Pottawatomie and Geary Counties as well as the members of the MHK Clinical Task Force to discuss the decision.  

Close contact is defined by KDHE as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes or having direct contact with infections secretions of a COVID-19 case. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.

All of the following situations are considered close contact:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or otherwise got respiratory droplets on you

In almost all situations, quarantine is required for a person waiting for COVID-19 test results. However, since everyone can participate in the free testing events in Riley County, even those who do not have symptoms and have not had known close contact with a positive patient, quarantine is highly recommended instead of required in those circumstances. 

“It is a good idea to quarantine anytime you are tested, to avoid spreading or contracting the virus while you wait for results,” said Gibbs.

Some workplaces require that employees stay home and quarantine if they are tested, including the free testing events. A workplace can make that distinction for their employees.

If you are sick or would like information about testing, please call the Riley County Screening Line at 785-323-6400. The Screening Line is staffed by nurses and is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911.

Free drive-up testing will be offered today, December 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at CiCo Park in Manhattan. Everyone is welcome and no appointment is necessary. Please enter CiCo Park from the Kimball/Candlewood entrance and drive to the 4H barns near Pottorf Hall for testing.

Testing will be offered every Thursday except Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Future testing dates are December 3, 10, 17, 21, 28 and Jan. 7. Additional testing dates may be added in January.

The next written update will be published Friday, December 4. The next video update will be Wednesday, December 9 at 4:15 p.m. on the RCHD Facebook page at

Find information about the Fight for the Front Line: Riley County Challenge to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 at 

Drive-up flu shots are available at the health department. Please make an appointment by calling 785-776-4779 ext. 7675 or schedule an appointment online 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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