Although there is only one confirmed case of coronavirus in Manhattan right now, Julie Gibbs, director of the Riley County Health Department, said if that number rises there is a possibility that Riley County could declare a stay-at-home order in the future like other Kansas counties are doing.

“Nothing is off the table at this point,” she said.

Right now, she is watching for community spread in the area, which is not happening at this time. She said she continues to monitor other communities and their responses.

Kansas City residents and residents of Johnson, Jackson and Wyandotte counties are ordered to stay at home for 30 days starting Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. Kansas City residents must stay home but can still go to the grocery store, pharmacy and exercise outside under the order.

Gibbs said that a stay-at-home order is on stand-by, and the county can issue it if needed.

Gibbs on Saturday instituted a county-wide ban on public gatherings, and officials released a revised ban on Sunday that will be in effect until April 4.

The order prohibits “public gatherings” and effectively closes gyms, bars and restaurant dining rooms. Religious services and grocery shopping are among the exempted gatherings.

More information is available at

Public gatherings ban

All public gatherings of more than 10 people, whether indoors or outdoors, in Riley County remain prohibited unless exempted below.


• Gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, tattoo shops, massage therapy businesses, barber shops, nail and hair salons, and other business types that cannot be expected to maintain proper social distancing between their staff and customers. Such businesses that offer these services within a building shall cease offering these services immediately.

• Public or community playground equipment shall not be used during the term of this second order.

•Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops shall not provide dine in seating access to the public. Lawful drive-thru, carry-out/curbside service, and delivery may be provided.


The following gatherings remain exempt from this second order, unless otherwise specified below. Proper “social distancing” shall be maintained at all times under then-existing CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) guidelines.

•A non-commercial and lawful gathering entirely indoors and within a private living space.

• Licensed and lawfully operated medical service provider offices, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.

This specific exemption includes, but is not limited to veterinary clinics, chiropractic clinics, physical therapy clinics, optometrists’ offices and dentist offices.

The above businesses shall follow applicable CDC or KDHE.

• Grocery and/or convenience stores and food pantries.

•Local, state or federal governmental operations, in public buildings.

• Operations at or within commercial and retail spaces, whether indoors or outdoors.

•Religious gatherings, funerals, memorial services, and weddings.

Public park spaces and trails.

•Licensed and lawfully operated (under Kansas statutes and all Riley County Health Department and KDHE standards) child care facility provided: Every child must be screened upon entry and again prior to leaving. The temperature check cannot be taken within four (4) hours after a fever reducing medication was given.

The child care facility must present, upon request of the Local Health Officer, the completed screening form for each child in their facility. Failure to comply will result in immediate closure of the facility by the Local Health Officer.

This licensed child care facility exemption will not go into effect until Monday, March 23rd, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Any person violating any provision of this order or failing to comply with any of the above requirements shall be fined, upon conviction, up to $100 for each offense, pursuant to K.S.A. 65-127.