Six EMS personnel test positive for COVID-19 in Riley County

Tests pending for three more
Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 3:53 PM CDT
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RILEY CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Six EMS personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus in Riley County bringing the total number of infections in the County to 207.

According to the Riley County Emergency Operations Center as of Sunday, test results are pending for three more people.

The positive cases involve two out of the four EMS stations in the County, with a third station likely impacted.

“We knew we had to be prepared for staff to test positive,” said Riley County Emergency Services Director David Adams. “We put plans and protocols in place months ago and have covered shifts with overtime or part-time staff in order to continue serving the community.”

The County says no changes can be expected in response time or service, and all emergency medical and fire services are fully operational.

The infections are due to community spread, not exposure from patients. After the first infections, the close-quarters living conditions for emergency workers allowed the virus to transfer between staff members.

“Thankfully, none of the cases have been severe,” said Adams. “My staff are reporting headaches, pressure behind the eyes, body aches, and fatigue so I have every hope that they will all make full recoveries.”

The Manhattan Fire Department works closely with EMS and occupy some of the same living quarters. They have pulled nine fire fighters from active duty pending test results. Some of those fire fighters are in quarantine at a local hotel.

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