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Second Newton Presbyterian Manor employee tests COVID-19 positive

A second essential health care worker at Newton Presbyterian Manor tested positive this week for COVID-19. With this positive test, Presbyterian Manor’s reopening plans remain on hold.

The employee, who works in health care, passed employee screening for their last shift July 27 and wore personal protective equipment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the shift, the employee received word a close contact had tested positive for COVID-19 and notified their supervisor. The employee was sent home. The employee was tested for COVID-19 on July 28, and the test was negative. Later in the week, the employee began to show signs and symptoms of the virus and sought testing again. The campus was notified the employee’s second test was positive on Monday evening, August 3.

“Presbyterian Manor’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of our residents,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

The Harvey County Health Department has been notified of the positive test. Because residents and employees were tested August 3, the health department does not recommend additional action at this time.

No residents or employees 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 employee is recuperating at home and must be COVID-19-free before returning to work. We follow CDC and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (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. 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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