Riley County passed another pandemic milestone this week when it crossed 2,000 cases of COVID-19.
The rate of new infections has slowed since reaching its peak more than a month ago, but the county is still hitting markers like this more frequently than it did in the spring. Officials announced Riley County had surpassed 2,000 cases on Wednesday, nearly seven months after it reported its first case on March 20.
The first major benchmark was hitting 100 cases, which occurred three months later on June 19, a few weeks after many businesses were allowed to reopen under local health orders. Riley County reached 500 cases on Aug. 17, two months later and around five months after the first confirmed case. It only took two weeks to reach 1,000 cases on Sept. 2 and another 500 cases were announced over the following two weeks, reaching 1,500 on Sept. 16. The last 500 cases have come over the course of about a month before the county hit 2,000 on Wednesday.
Health director Julie Gibbs has attributed a lower rate of positive cases to total tests taken in recent weeks to good mask-wearing practices. But the rates could change quickly: Manhattan schools plan to go back to in-person classes soon, for example, and more people will travel at the holidays. Gibbs said she doesn’t expect to relax local regulations on masks or mass gatherings anytime soon.
On Friday, Riley County confirmed 31 new cases of the coronavirus. The total since the pandemic began in March is 2,035 cases. Of those, 107 are active, 1,917 are recovered and 11 people have died.