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Two employees test positive for COVID-19 at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor

Two rounds of employee surveillance testing at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor revealed two non-direct resident care employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our team remains vigilant in our efforts to protect the health and safety of residents and staff,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist.

Four residents also were tested -- three due to potential exposures to contract service providers who tested positive last week and one following attendance at a family gathering. All four residents were negative. The three residents with potential exposure to the contract service providers will be tested again next week.

Both employees, who are asymptomatic, last worked December 29. The employees are non-direct resident care employees who 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 will be Monday, January 4. 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 unless otherwise directed by the health department. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, it should play an instrumental role in eventually moving toward resuming our normal operations. Every person who receives the vaccine will strengthen the protection for all residents, staff and the community at-large. PMMA strongly encourages our families, employees and residents to carefully consider obtaining a vaccine for themselves as well as their loved ones.

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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