Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor gets some good news in testing this week
Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor tested memory care residents and staff earlier this week, and all 34 tests were negative for the COVID-19 virus.
Testing was conducted Tuesday, October 6, at the direction of the Cowley County Health Department after 1 resident and 1 health care staff member tested positive last week. The campus had been conducting mass testing of residents throughout the building and weekly surveillance testing of employees. Because no cases were identified outside the memory care neighborhood, the health department did not recommend continuing to test the campus’ other residents. The county positivity rate is now below 5%, so the campus also moved to monthly surveillance testing for employees.
“We will continue to focus on the health and safety of our residents and staff,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist.
CMS mandated surveillance testing of staff, including all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers on a frequency determined by our county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate.
Another round of testing will be conducted for the memory care residents and staff next week as the community continues to work to clear the COVID-19 cluster status. A cluster is two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a specific time period.
The resident who tested positive is in isolation. We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the resident may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may come out of isolation when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the resident’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the resident’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. If asymptomatic, the resident will remain in isolation for 14 days.
The employee who tested positive will remain in isolation until cleared to work by the health department. We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) guidelines for when an employee may return to work. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic employees may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of the employee’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the employee’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Asymptomatic positive employees will quarantine for 14 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.
All team members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. The community regularly reinforces with all staff that an individual should not report to work if he or she is experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.
For more information about Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.