Coronavirus cases in age groups outside of 18- to 24-year-olds are increasing in Riley County, said Julie Gibbs, director of the Riley County Health Department.

With college students leaving Manhattan this weekend, Gibbs said she is “hopeful for a drop in cases.”

“But we are starting to see more from other age groups,” she told The Mercury on Friday.

With the recent positive cases, Riley County contact tracers are noticing a “common theme,” Gibbs said, which is more people are attending small events like dinners and birthday parties.

Numbers surged after college students returned to Manhattan. Shortly after K-State classes started Aug. 17, the 18-24 age group experienced its peak representation in the total number of the county’s cases. On Sept. 8, 74.19% of the total COVID-19 cases in the county included people aged 18-24 years old. That number has declined 10.3 percentage points to 63.89% on Friday.

On Aug. 31, of the 112 new cases record that day, Gibbs estimated 95% of those were aged 18-24 years old.

“From our most recent cases in the past two weeks, about 50-60% of them are from the 18- to 24-year-old age range,” Gibbs said. “This differs from a few months ago when about 80% (and higher) of our new cases coming in were from that age range.”

The 25- to 34-year-old group made up 10.48% of the cases Nov. 20, an increase from the 7.81% rate recorded Sept. 8.

On Friday, Riley County recorded 114 new cases since Wednesday.

There have been 3,157 cases in the county since the pandemic began in March. Of those, 473 are active, 2,670 have recovered and 14 people have died, as of Friday’s data.

As of Friday, there were six positive patients and four people under investigation from the virus receiving care at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan.

Since the start of November, Riley County has recorded roughly 943 new cases of the coronavirus.

Gibbs is urging the community to only spend time with household members this holiday season.

“We need to change our behavior and make sacrifices now in order to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed,” Gibbs said.

She also encourages people to stay home when sick, even if it’s thought as a cold.

Friday’s 114 new cases is tied for the fourth-highest increase in November. The county reported a record-high 180 cases Nov. 16, 170 on Nov. 13 and 126 on Nov. 9. The county also had 114 cases on Nov. 11.

Riley County had nine active outbreaks, as of Friday:

  • Alpha of Clovia at K-State: two active, five recovered
  • Beta Sigma Psi at K-State: zero active, five recovered
  • K-State football team: three active, 74 recovered
  • K-State track and field and cross country team: zero active, 27 recovered
  • Leonardville Nursing Home: two active, 10 recovered, one fatality
  • Via Christi Village: five active, six recovered, one fatality
  • Oct. 17 wedding: zero active, 42 recovered
  • Crèche: zero active, seven recovered
  • Alpha Chi Omega: two active, three recovered