First Coronavirus-Related Death in Riley County


(RILEY COUNTY, KS – May 12, 2020) A Manhattan man died today after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this month. The male in his 30s was tested for COVID-19 in late April after seeking medical care for an underlying health condition. He was admitted and remained at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan until he was transferred to a hospital in Wichita last week.

The man was not a known contact of another positive patient and did not travel outside the county, meaning he most likely contracted the virus through community spread in Riley County.

“My heart goes out to the patient’s family and friends and I extend my deepest condolences to them,” said Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs. “This tragedy affects all of Riley County, and we will only get through it by working together and supporting each other.”

Riley County has no new positive cases since yesterday and the total remains at 58. There are 11 active cases, with 46 recovered, and 1 fatality.

Governor Kelly is expected to announce the timeline for Phase 2 of the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas later this week. Riley County officials will follow her timeline unless there is an outbreak or other local situation that would require a different response and a local health order.

For more information about Riley County’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the Riley County website at, follow RCHD on Facebook at and Twitter @RileyCoHealth.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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