Salina reports fresh weekly COVID-19 results
With another week of testing complete, Salina Presbyterian Manor reports five new cases of COVID-19 at the campus.
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.
Three new resident cases were identified. One resident was tested at a local hospital, where the resident remains hospitalized. The other resident was tested Monday with a rapid point-of-care test, which was positive. The community administered 41 standard tests Monday for health care residents. Of those, 40 were negative and one test result was positive. The residents were 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.
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.
The senior living community conducted two rounds of employee surveillance testing December 21 and 22. One essential health care worker tested positive for the virus. The employee last worked December 21. All test results for employees were negative. One non-direct resident care employee tested positive December 24 with a rapid POC test administered at the campus after testing negative December 21 and 22. The employee last worked December 23. Both employees passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required.
“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 continues to hover around 18%. 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, December 28. 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.
Salina Presbyterian Manor has had three consecutive zero deficiency focused infection control surveys in the health care center since the pandemic began, most recently in early November. The focused infection control surveys hone in on a skilled nursing facility’s adherence Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CMS guidance for infection control practices to prevent disease at the community. Communities are assessed on staff and resident education on hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, cleaning, screening of employees and residents, effective transmission-based precautions, proper use/discarding of personal protective equipment and signage at entrances and resident rooms. It also examines the facility’s policies and emergency preparedness related to a pandemic or outbreak.
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.