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Four new cases of COVID-19 detected at Salina

With another week of testing complete, Salina Presbyterian Manor reports four new cases of COVID-19 at the campus.

Three new cases among health care residents were detected using rapid point-of-care testing at the community. Health care residents have been monitored closely due to potential exposure to employees who tested positive earlier this month. Residents with the highest exposure risk were tested daily with rapid POC tests as a precaution.

All three residents have been moved to the designated COVID-19 care area to be cared for by designated staff members according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection control and prevention protocols and physician’s orders.

In addition to the three residents, one essential health care worker also tested positive for COVID-19 with a rapid POC test. The employee is asymptomatic, so a standard COVID-19 test will be administered to confirm the result per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. Rapid POC tests are most accurate when the person is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Any positive result for an asymptomatic person should be confirmed according to the CDC.

The senior living community conducted two rounds of employee surveillance testing December 14 and 16. All test results for employees were negative. Residents were tested Monday, December 14, and no new cases were identified.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread through the Salina community, we continue to be vigilant in our efforts to keep COVID-19 out of our building,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist. “This virus is highly contagious, and it is vitally important that everyone in the surrounding communities do their part to reduce the spread.”

The residents will recover in isolation until they meet CDC and KDHE guidelines for leaving 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 at least 10 days.

This brings our total cases in the past 7 days to 1 employee and 4 residents. Due to the number of cases at our campus, Salina Presbyterian Manor is now considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a specified period of time.

We are in contact with the Saline County Health Department and will follow their recommendations. Our next round of testing will be Monday, December 21. We will continue to test employees twice a week for surveillance testing and test residents once a week.

The employee remains asymptomatic and has been cleared by the health department to work in our COVID unit.  CDC guidelines permit asymptomatic positive essential health care personnel to continue working and providing care for residents with confirmed COVID positive test results.  The employee will continue to screen in for each shift and will be sent home to quarantine if even mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are reported.  The employee will wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.  

We encourage all staff members and residents to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated.  We have been screening employees as they enter the community building for a shift and before employees have any direct contact with residents.  We educate all staff to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.

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

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