The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has officially classified two local coronavirus spikes — one in Aggieville and the other around the Kansas State University football team — as outbreaks.
Officials said Wednesday that they’ve determined 30 new cases are linked to people who spent time in Aggieville in the past few weeks, and 14 Kansas State University football players have tested positive for the coronavirus.
An outbreak is defined as five or more cases stemming from one place and time.
“We were working with KDHE (Wednesday morning) and came to the conclusion based on the investigation process and the contact tracing that we have done so far to say that we do have those two separate outbreaks,” said Andrew Adams, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Riley County Health Department.
Officials gave the update Wednesday afternoon during a press conference on Facebook Live.
“One of the reasons that we decided now to call K-State football an outbreak is because there have been some activities since people have been back in town,” Adams said.
He said this includes “team activities.”
Adams said the health department has seen some more positive cases coming in from people who previously tested negative.
“And so that is a really good indicator that the disease is spreading. It’s spreading through a specific group or specific population, and so that was the designation for the football side of things,” he said.
Even though the county has seen a spike, Adams said the percent positive rate has remained fairly steady at 5% to 5.5% over the past few weeks.
“That’s on par or better than a lot of parts of the state,” he said.
Riley County on Wednesday confirmed 24 new cases of the coronavirus since Monday, increasing the county total to 156, as of Wednesday, officials reported. Local officials and KDHE are releasing data Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
There are two positive patients at Ascension Via Christi hospital, as of Wednesday, officials said. One of those patients is on a ventilator. One person under investigation for the virus, officials said.
Of the 156 cases, 83 are active, 70 are recovered and three people have died after testing positive for the virus. Officials did not release any individual data on the 24 new cases. The county had 90 cases a week ago, which means Riley County has seen a 73% increase in a week.
Officials said Wednesday half of all people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Riley County are between the ages of 18-24. That amounts to 76 cases.
KDHE reported 12,970 cases, 1,082 hospitalizations and 261 deaths statewide Wednesday. That is up 505 cases, 26 hospitalizations and two deaths from Monday.
KDHE reported Pottawatomie County has 54 cases and Geary County has 34 cases Wednesday. That is up three cases in Pottawatomie County and two cases in Geary County from Monday.
KDHE reported Riley County has 152 cases, but local officials count 156.