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Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force preparing for a potential surge in cases

Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr following the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force virtual meeting.
Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr following the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force virtual meeting.(WIBW)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force is working to get more testing supplies while preparing for a surge in cases in the coming weeks.

They are encouraged with their progress since the beginning of the pandemic but recent case increases have them making sure they’re prepared.

Ascension Via Christi President Bob Copple said he doesn’t expect cases to peak for another two to three weeks.

Riley County Health Department Director Julie Gibbs said testing supplies are okay right now, but that could change in a couple of weeks.

Getting the supplies, for both public and private entities, has been a challenge.

City Manager Ron Fehr says people are agitated, which is unfortunate but understandable to him. They, the task force, want to continue learning from their experiences over the last two years.

“What we’ve focused on is really trying to upgrade our PPE and getting medical-grade masks for our employees. With this, we’re allowing more remote work if that works for them with school being out. With more of our employees are probably going to have to stay at home with their kids and hopefully they can work remotely,” he said.

The health department is only offering tests to people that are symptomatic as well. Gibbs recommends people stay home if they are feeling sick and not get tested in an emergency room to help alleviate the stresses inside while making sure the person gets the test in a timely fashion.

Downtown and Aggieville leaders feel they were financially stable at the end of the year with the holidays. They are hopeful students coming back for the semester will help their efforts and staffing shortage issues.

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