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Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor loses two residents, reports COVID-19 test results

Two new positive cases of COVID-19 were revealed in the latest round of employee testing at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor. The community also lost two more residents who previously tested positive for the virus this week.

“The Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor family is saddened by the deaths of these residents,” said Sarah Griggs, executive director. “The residents’ families are in our prayers during this difficult time.”

The residents had been cared for in an area designated for COVID-positive residents and cared for by designated staff following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infection prevention protocols and physician’s orders.

One essential health care worker tested positive November 18, and the other tested positive November 20, bringing the 7-day total to 11 employees and 8 residents since November 13.

The first employee last worked November 17 in the health care center. The employee passed the pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required. The senior living community tested 84 employees, and 14 assisted living residents and home health participants. All 14 residents were negative for COVID-19, as were the other 83 employees.

The second essential health care worker tested positive today (November 20). The employee passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required. During their shift, the employee began to feel unwell. They notified a supervisor and a rapid POC test was administered. The employee’s test Thursday was negative.

The senior living community continues to be considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is defined as two or more non-household cases associated with a location during a specific period of time.

The Cowley County Health Department has been notified, and the senior living community will follow any additional direction provided. The next round of testing for employees and health care residents will be Monday, November 23. Employee surveillance testing will continue as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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. Based on our county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, our campus is testing staff twice a week.

The employees who tested positive will remain in isolation until cleared to work by the health department. We follow CDC and 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.

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