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Employees test positive for COVID-19, 1 resident passes at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor

Two new cases of COVID-19 were identified through COVID-19 testing since December 7 at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor, and one resident who tested positive for COVID-19 has died.

“Losing a resident is always difficult,” said Sarah Griggs, executive director. “We’re lifting up the resident’s family up in prayer during this difficult time.”

The resident 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 (CDC) infection prevention protocols and physician’s orders.

Griggs said there is good news, however. As of December 3 there are no longer any active resident cases of COVID-19 on campus. The community must now go for 28 days without a new case of COVID-19 in order to be cleared of the COVID cluster designation. A cluster is defined as two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a period of time.

The two new cases of COVID-19 are employees who were tested December 7 and December 9 as part of the community’s ongoing employee surveillance testing. Health care and memory care residents also were tested December 7. All residents tested negative for COVID-19. The health department does not recommend continuing to test the health care residents, but memory care residents will be tested again December 14 due to a potential exposure reported last week.

The first employee is an essential health care worker who last worked Monday, December 7. The second is a non-direct resident care employee who last worked December 10. Both employees passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required.

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 memory care residents will be Monday, December 14. Employee surveillance testing will continue as required. 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 a minimum of 10 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

All team members and residents 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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