Riley County officials are negotiating with a local hotel to serve as a site for isolating coronavirus patients or quarantining those who might have been exposed to the virus.

Officials could use it to quarantine and isolate first responders or health care providers, as well as people who test positive and have nowhere else to go or are not sick enough to go to the hospital. It would entail a 14-day stay.

Officials are considering using the Four Points by Sheraton hotel off of Fort Riley Boulevard but are waiting on a readjusted price quote. The last they had heard was about $67,000 for 30 rooms for 30 days, but this was before the hotel was told it would have to close to the public.

“We need to be prepared for that level of need in the future,” said Julie Gibbs, director of the Riley County Health Department. “Via Christi Hospital is doing a great job providing care for patients who require hospitalization. Some people who do not require hospitalization, or have been released from the hospital, may still require some medical attention and a safe place to isolate. The (Alternate Care Site) can provide that for Riley County residents. We are working to get it set up as quickly as possible.”

Gibbs added the CDC is now recommending people wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouths in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as at a grocery store, to protect others from contracting the virus. The health department and CDC have information online on how to make them.

For general questions related to the virus, contact the county’s hotline at 785-587-4526 or rileycountycovid19@gmail.com. The screening hotline is 785-323-6400.

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