A Riley County health official confirmed Wednesday that three active coronavirus cases and one recovered case are tied to the Riley County office building in downtown Manhattan.
Riley County Health Department director Julie Gibbs told The Mercury that no members of the public nor other county employees were exposed to the virus.
“We did not detect any spread in the office,” Gibbs said.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation told The Mercury there are four active cases tied to the building. These people spoke on the condition of anonymity. Gibbs could not confirm that, saying she was not aware of a fourth active case. One source also reported a fifth county employee hasbeen exposed to the virus and is currently quarantining. Gibbs did not confirm that either.
Of the three positive cases and one recovered case, at least two are Riley County residents. It is unclear what county the other person(s) reside in. The most recent active case result came in over the weekend, Gibbs said.
She said neither any members of the public nor people in the office building were exposed.
Gibbs said the reason the virus did not spread further in the office building is because of mask wearing and people maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from one another.
“Masks were worn in every department,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs said because of these precautions, the county did not need to shut down the building, at 110 Courthouse Plaza. Crews have ramped up their cleaning operations at the building as well, Gibbs said.
These employees work in various departments on different floors in the building, Gibbs said.
“None of the employees are linked together epidemiologically as information obtained by the disease investigation determined an outside source,” Gibbs said in a Wednesday morning email to The Mercury.
There are no pending tests from the county office building at this time, Gibbs said. She said the county department heads did everything they were supposed to do correctly and notified her right away about the cases.
One county employee who tested positive for the virus about two weeks ago has since recovered. However, Gibbs told The Mercury on Tuesday evening that this person lives with someone who has tested positive.
Gibbs said she has exempted this specific employee from quarantining for 14 days. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment allows local health officers to make such exemptions.