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Employees test positive for COVID-19, 5 residents pass at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor

Nine new cases of COVID-19 were identified through COVID-19 testing since November 27 at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor, and five residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

“We continue to be deeply saddened by the deaths of our residents. These residents’ families are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Sarah Griggs, executive director.

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

All nine new cases were employees tested between November 27 and December 2. Two employees were identified through rapid point-of-care (POC) testing and seven were identified through employee surveillance testing.

Two non-direct resident care employees who had not worked since November 15 tested positive November 27 and November 28. Due to the length of time since the employees last worked, they were not considered an infection risk for residents or other staff members.

The campus tested 79 employees, health care residents and home health participants on November 30. During that round of testing, 5 employees tested positive for the virus. The health care residents and home health participants who were tested are negative for COVID-19.

Two of the new COVID-positive employees is essential health care worker and three are non-direct resident care employees. All five tested negative in surveillance testing last week. All five passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required during their last shifts worked on December 1. All five are asymptomatic. Four were at work when the results were received and were immediately sent home. All five will quarantine until they are cleared to return to work.  

Wednesday, December 2, 70 employees were tested in a second round of surveillance testing. Two employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The first employee is not involved in providing direct resident care and last worked December 3. The employee was at work at the time the results were received. The employee was notified immediately and sent home to quarantine.  The second employee is an essential health care worker who last worked November 28 in memory care. Both employees passed their pre-shift screenings and wore personal protective equipment as required.

Health care residents will be tested again next Monday, December 7. Due to the potential for exposure from this round of positive cases, memory care residents also will be tested Monday. The home health participants have been cleared and no additional testing will be required at this time. A second round of employee testing will be conducted Wednesday, December 2.

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, health care and assisted living residents and home health participants will be Monday, November 30. Employee surveillance testing will continue as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 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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