Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor reports 4 more cases of COVID-19
Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor tested all residents and employees for COVID-19 this week and received word of three additional cases of the virus. A second essential health care employee, who sought testing independently after learning of an exposure by a close contact, has also tested positive.
The community tested 195 employees and residents on Wednesday. Of those tested, 192 were negative. Two residents of memory care and one essential health care worker who last worked September 22 in memory care tested positive for COVID-19. The employee passed pre-shift screening. The second employee last worked September 14 and tested negative in the employee surveillance testing on September 16 and again September 18.
“We continue to fight to eliminate COVID-19 from our campus, our priority remains on the health and safety of our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist.
Due to the number of cases in memory care and that both employees and residents have tested positive, Presbyterian Manor is officially considered to have a COVID-19 cluster in memory care. A cluster is defined as two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a specific period of time. These new cases bring our 7-day total to 4 residents and 2 employees. Prior to that, 2 employees and 2 independent living residents tested positive for the virus.
The Cowley County Health Department has been notified. Another round of testing will be conducted for memory care residents next week. Residents in health care, assisted living and independent living have tested negative on two consecutive rounds of testing and no further testing is recommended for those residents at this time. 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 once a week.
The residents who tested positive are in isolation. We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents 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 residents 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 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.