RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNT) – The Riley County Health Department said Sunday that they’ve confirmed a coronavirus outbreak connected to their Emergency Medical Services stations.
According to the health department 6 EMS workers tested positive for the virus and they’re waiting on test results for 3 more. Those positive cases are connected to 2 out of the 4 EMS stations in Riley County, and possibly a 3rd as well.
They believe these workers were infected by the community, and not by patients that they worked with. After the first infections, they think the virus was spread because the emergency workers live close together.
However Riley County Emergency Services Director David Adams said it doesn’t impact their service in the community.
“We knew we had to be prepared for staff to test positive,” said Riley County . “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 Manhattan Fire Department works closely with EMS and lives in some of the same spaces. 9 firefighters have been pulled from active duty as they wait for test results. Some of them are in quarantine at a local hotel.
Riley County health officials said close living spaces and close contact between people at bars and restaurants has been a major cause of the recent spike in positive coronavirus cases in the community.