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Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor reports COVID-19 test results for health care center

Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor has identified several new cases of COVID-19 testing at its campus this week through rapid point-of-care and mass testing.

Through rapid POC testing, the campus has identified 10 health care residents and two employees with COVID-19 since November 6. The campus tested 129 staff and health care residents on Tuesday, November 10. An additional 6 employees, 7 residents and 1 contract service provider tested positive for the virus. This brings the 7-day total to 8 employees, 17 residents and 1 contract service provider.

The seven newly diagnosed residents were asymptomatic. Of the newly diagnosed employees, five are essential health care workers and one is a non-direct resident care worker. The two employees previously diagnosed with rapid POC tests also were essential health care workers. All passed pre-shift screenings and wore personal protective equipment (PPE) as required for their shifts, which were between November 5 and 10.

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.

“We continue to focus 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. “We are reviewing and reinforcing our infection control practices throughout the building.”

The Cowley County Health Department has been notified. Another round of testing will be conducted for health care residents next week.  Due to the potential exposure, the health department also recommends testing all assisted living and home health residents on Friday, November 13. 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. Designated staff members are following doctor’s orders for treatment and following CDC infection prevention protocols. 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 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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