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3 employees, 3 residents test positive for COVID-19 at Newton PMMA

Three employees and three residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at Newton Presbyterian Manor this week.

Two health care memory care residents received rapid point-of-care tests at the community, one Monday and one Tuesday, after exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19. One resident in assisted living memory care tested positive in mass testing completed Monday, November 9. All 44 assisted living residents were tested after an employee who works in that area tested positive last week. The resident’s test results were received Wednesday, November 11, and all other assisted living residents tested negative for the virus.

The residents were moved to the designated COVID-19 isolation area to be cared for by designated staff. We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may leave 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. Asymptomatic positive residents will quarantine for 14 days. Designated staff members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols.

Employee surveillance testing of 99 employees revealed new positive cases among employees. Two are non-direct resident care employees and one is an essential health care worker. The employees last worked November 10 and 11. All will quarantine at home while they recover.

“With the number of COVID-19 cases in Harvey County remaining high, we are continuing to focus on the health and safety of our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist.

These cases bring our total new cases since November 6 to seven residents and three employees. Due to the number of cases involved, Newton Presbyterian Manor considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is defined as two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a specific period of time.

The Harvey County Health Department has been notified and recommends testing all health care and assisted living residents again next week. Assisted living residents and employees will be tested Monday, November 16. Employees will be tested a second time and health care residents will be tested later in the week. We will follow any additional guidance the health department provides.

In-person visitation, group activities and communal dining remain on pause at the campus. Families are encouraged to schedule window and virtual visits with their loved ones during this time.

We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work.  Under the current guidelines, the employee 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. If asymptomatic, the employee must quarantine for 14 days before returning to work. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

All employees 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 employee should not report to work if he or she is experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.

For more information about Newton Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website,

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