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Salina Presbyterian Manor reports another round of weekly COVID-19 test results

With another week of testing complete, Salina Presbyterian Manor reports six new cases of COVID-19 at the campus. The community also had its first vaccine clinic for residents and staff members January 7.

One health care residents tested positive with rapid point-of-care test on Sunday, January 3. The resident was placed in COVID-19 isolation to be cared for by designated team members following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and physician’s orders.

“We remain 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. “The two-week rolling average for positive COVID-19 tests in Saline County dropped significantly, and is now hovering just above 10-percent. This virus is highly contagious, and it is vitally important that everyone in the surrounding communities continue to do their part to reduce the spread.”

In the first of two rounds of surveillance testing January 4, one contract service provider and three essential health care workers tested positive for the virus. No new cases were identified among residents in testing January 4. The campus received good news following the second round of employee surveillance testing January 6, when no new cases were identified. In addition, one essential health care worker tested positive December 31 with a rapid point-of-care test after reporting possible signs and symptoms of the virus when screening in for work.

The resident 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.

The COVID positive employees and contractor will quarantine at home and will not be allowed to work until they meet CDC and KDHE guidelines for when they may return to work. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic employees or contractors 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. Asymptomatic positive employees or contractors will quarantine for at least 10 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

The COVID positive employees will quarantine at home 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 at least 10 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

We are in contact with the Saline County Health Department and will follow their recommendations. Our next round of testing is today, Monday, January 11. We will continue to test employees twice a week for surveillance testing and test residents once a week.

Our focus remains on ensuring the well-being of our residents and employees. We continue to follow all guidance related to patient care, employee safety, and efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We have notified the Saline County Health Department and KDHE and we will follow their recommendations.  We are working closely with Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness, in implementing our Emergent Infectious Disease (EID) Outbreak Management Plan.  

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.

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 Salina Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.

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