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4 employees, 4 residents test positive for COVID-19 at Newton Presbyterian Manor

Following COVID-19 testing for employees and residents late last week, Newton Presbyterian Manor has learned 4 employees and 4 residents are positive for the virus.

“As the number of cases in Harvey County continues to increase, our focus remains on the health and safety of our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist.

On Thursday, November 5, 97 employees were tested for COVID-19 as part of the campus’ ongoing surveillance testing. Of those tests, 93 were negative and 4 were positive in results received late Friday evening. Three of the four are essential health care workers and one is a non-direct care employee. The employees are quarantining at home and will return to work when they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidelines.

On Friday, November 6, 44 health care and health care memory care residents were tested. Those results were received late Saturday, November 7. With all the results in, three health care memory care residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The other 41 residents were negative for the virus. All three residents were in isolation due to previously identified positives in that neighborhood.

In addition, a resident who returned from the hospital and was administered a rapid point-of-care test Friday as part of the readmission process, tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID positive residents will recover in isolation and 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.

These cases bring our 7-day total to 9 residents and 8 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 residents again next Friday, November 13. All assisted living residents and employees will be tested Monday, November 9. Employees will undergo a second round of surveillance testing 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 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, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.

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