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Newton PMMA reports employees, resident COVID-19 testing results

Newton Presbyterian Manor has tested 138 employees and 47 residents for COVID-19 this week. Of those tested, three employees and one resident are positive and two tests are inconclusive and those individuals were retested.

The Harvey County Health Department has been notified of the positive tests. Due to the presence of two or more cases of COVID-19 associated with our community, the Harvey County Health Department considers our location to be a COVID-19 cluster. Clusters are defined as two or more non-household COVID-19 cases identified in a certain timeframe and place. We will follow the health department’s recommendations for quarantining and additional testing.

“Keeping our residents safe and our staff healthy continues to be a top priority for Newton Presbyterian Manor,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

The COVID positive resident and the resident’s roommate have been moved to the COVID-19 isolation area to be cared for by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team. At this time, the resident and their roommate are not showing any signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. Per CDC guidelines, the residents will be in isolation in the COVID-19 unit for 14 days. Rapid Response Team members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection prevention protocols.

No other residents are showing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or COVID-19.

Families have been called to alert them to the potential exposure, and all state and county mandatory required reporting agencies have been notified.

All staff members 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 are not feeling well.

The employees are quarantined and will not be allowed to work until they meet 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 14 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

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

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