Six EMS Staff Members Test Positive for COVID-19 in Riley County

RILEY CO., Kan. (WIBW) – Six EMS staff members 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 of the four EMS stations in the County, with a third station likely affected.

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

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

Infections are due to community spread, not patient exposure. After the first infections, indoor living conditions for emergency workers allowed the virus to transfer between staff members.

“Fortunately, neither case has been serious,” Adams said. “My staff is reporting headaches, pressure behind the eyes, body aches and fatigue, so I am very hopeful that everyone will make a full recovery.”

The Manhattan Fire Department works closely with EMS and occupies some of the same homes. Nine firefighters have been removed from active duty pending the test results. Some of those firefighters are quarantined at a local hotel.

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