(MANHATTAN, KS – March 13, 2020) - We have all been watching as the threat of coronavirus spread continues to intensify around the country and the globe. In times of national crisis, citizens look to their government institutions for guidance and support.
Manhattan residents need to know that there is a tremendous amount of intergovernmental coordination going on between the State, the County, and the City, particularly between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Riley County Health Department, and our local emergency management officials. We are also very engaged with our partners in the medical community and hospitals.
My goal is for the City of Manhattan to help our residents to be the most prepared and reduce the risk of exposure to the Novel Coronavirus.
We are working hard to ensure all public facilities, residents, and businesses are prepared, and we will continue to take the lead from the Riley County Health Department and the State on actions moving forward.
I will be working with the City Commission, the business community, our travel and tourism industry, and all residents, to minimize the risk of exposure to the Novel Coronavirus. It is important to take precautionary measures even if they cause some short-term inconvenience.
It is essential for all of us to remain calm and do what we can to help prevent the spread of disease. This includes staying home if you are sick, washing hands, and taking common sense precautions. If you are at an increased risk for infection (someone who is elderly or who has a compromised immune system) it is especially important for you to take extra precautions and limit your contact with the public. Reach out to friends, neighbors, and family members, offering to pick up groceries or run errands for people who may be at greater risk.
Yesterday, the City Commission voted to revoke the special event permits for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and road races. Today, the Riley County Health Department recommended that schools in the USD383 School District remain closed until March 30. These decisions were made in the interest of preserving the public health, and they will require people to make temporary adjustments to their daily lives. These changes may be uncomfortable, but they are necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Manhattan community.
With a threat of this kind, it is natural to feel a lot of apprehension and to have questions. Make sure you are relying on reputable sources of information to find answers, such as your healthcare provider, the Riley County Health Department, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public health officials are monitoring the situation closely to determine the level of threat in Manhattan. No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Manhattan area or any neighboring counties. We will continue to share messages using the City’s platforms as the situation changes.