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Newton Presbyterian Manor receives another round of COVID-19 test results

After two rounds of employee surveillance testing this week, Newton Presbyterian Manor identified one new case of COVID-19. In addition, one resident who previously tested positive for the virus at the community died.

“Losing a resident is always difficult,” said Marc Kessinger, executive director. “Our residents are like family to our team. We’re holding the resident’s family in prayer during this difficult time.”

The community tested 15 assisted living residents Monday, December 28, after a possible exposure reported following employee testing last week. All 15 residents were negative for the virus.

“Harvey County’s positivity rate continues to be in the red zone, and we are not letting down our guard,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff.”

Employee surveillance testing December 27 and 28 identified one new case of COVID-19. The non-direct resident care employee last worked December 28, passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required.

The campus follows CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when employees and contractors may return to work.  Under the current guidelines, the employee or contractor may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of their fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and their symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. If asymptomatic, the employee or contractor must quarantine for at least 10 days before returning to work. Upon their return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

The Harvey County Health Department has been notified and recommends continuing with our outbreak and surveillance testing. The senior living community will follow any additional guidance the health department provides. The next round of testing for assisted living residents and employees will be Monday, January 4. Employees will be tested a second time next week in compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated testing requirements.

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.

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.

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

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