Riley County confirmed seven new coronavirus cases Thursday, as the pace of new infections appeared to slow.

The total number of cases in the county is 332. Of those, 185 are recovered, 144 are active and three people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

“So that’s good to see that recovery number higher than our active cases for the first time in a long time,” said Julie Gibbs, director of the Riley County Health Department.

Of the county’s cases, 55.4% are men and 44.6% are women. Almost 60% of the cases involve people aged 18-24 years old.

Officials are waiting on results from 242 tests. They reported 3,180 negative tests so far in the county, officials said.

There is one positive patient on a ventilator at Ascension Via Christi hospital in Manhattan. This patient has been hospitalized for several weeks now, officials said.

Ascension Via Christi is no longer allowing surgical patients to have a visitor, the hospital announced earlier this week.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported 17,618 cases, 1,269 hospitalizations and 282 deaths statewide Wednesday.

That was up 717 cases, 34 hospitalizations and two deaths from Monday.

The state reports numbers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Kansas has posted 190,684 total negative tests statewide.

Gibbs said she is looking into ways to get coronavirus testing results back to patients more quickly, as results take about 5-10 days.

“There’s some different options that we’re looking at,” Gibbs said Wednesday afternoon.

Ascension Via Christi Hospital CEO Bob Copple said Wednesday the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at K-State “has been a huge help” with testing.”

The BRI has been testing K-State students and staff members.

“But we have to remember their primary purpose in life is not taking care of human swabs, it’s animal health and animal issues, those sorts of things,” he said.

Copple said most of the swabs in the area either go to the Affiliated Medical Services Lab Inc. in Wichita, or the Regional Medical Laboratory in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He said the state of Kansas is not a priority with coronavirus cases.

“Our population is smaller,” Copple said. “Our population of COVID-positive people is smaller when you compare it to a place like Florida, Arizona, Texas, California.

“We are dwarfed. They have single communities that have multiple the times of population of our entire state.”