Salina reports new round weekly COVID-19 results
With another week of testing complete, Salina Presbyterian Manor reports seven new cases of COVID-19 at the campus, and one resident who previously tested positive for the virus at the community died.
“Our residents are like family members,” said Christian Gilbert, executive director. “Please join us in keeping the resident’s family in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.”
The community continues to closely monitor health care residents due the potential for exposure from previously reported positive employee and resident tests. Those with highest exposure risk have been tested with rapid point-of-care tests daily.
Two health care residents tested positive with rapid point-of-care tests on Monday, December 28. One resident was identified after exhibiting signs and symptoms of the virus. The second resident was identified through contact tracing as an exposure risk and was administered a rapid POC test.
The campus tested 57 residents and 115 employees Monday, December 28, and 56 residents and 90 employees on Tuesday as part of ongoing testing efforts. Through these two rounds of testing, three new cases were identified among health care residents and two new cases were identified among staff members.
One of the employees is an essential health care worker who last worked December 29 and the other is a non-direct resident care employee who last worked December 28. Both employees passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required.
The COVID-positive health care residents have been placed in COVID-19 isolation to be cared for by designated members of the team who are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection control and prevention protocols and physician’s orders.
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.
“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. “The two-week rolling average for positive COVID-19 tests in Saline County dropped 2-percent, but remains around 16%. This virus is highly contagious, and it is vitally important that everyone in the surrounding communities do their part to reduce the spread.”
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 will be Monday, January 4. 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.