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Salina Presbyterian Manor reports weekly COVID-19 test results

Five new cases of COVID-19 were detected at Salina Presbyterian Manor and one resident who previously tested positive for the virus at the community died this week.

“Our residents mean the world to us,” said Christian Gilbert, executive director. “We are deeply saddened by this loss and will be keeping the resident’s family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Residents in the health care center with the greatest risk for exposure from previously reported cases are being tested for COVID-19 daily. Sunday, January 24, one health care resident tested positive for COVID-19 with a rapid point-of-care (POC) test. On Tuesday, January 26, two more health care residents tested positive with rapid POC tests.

One additional health care resident tested positive for the virus in mass testing on Monday, January 25.

The residents were 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.

Last weekend, one essential health care worker sought testing at a local clinic after experiencing signs and symptoms consistent with the virus and a close contact tested positive. The result was positive. The employee last worked Friday, January 22, in the health care center. The employee passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required.

Test results from two rounds of employee surveillance testing January 25 and January 27 were negative for the virus.

“Our efforts to keep COVID-19 out of our building continue,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and infection preventionist.

We are in contact with the Saline County Health Department and will follow their recommendations. The next round of mass resident testing and employee surveillance testing will be Monday, February 1. Employee surveillance testing will continue with a second round later in the 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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