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Surveillance testing reveals positive employee at Wichita Presbyterian Manor

Surveillance testing at Wichita Presbyterian Manor October 5 has revealed a new case of COVID-19 at the campus.

“The health and safety of our residents and employees continues to be the top priority,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist for PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America).

Surveillance testing requires all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers at our campus to be tested on a frequency determined by our county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate. Based on a reduction in our county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, our campus is testing employees once a week.

The employee, who works in independent living, was at work this morning when the test results came in. The individual had passed pre-shift screening and is not experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19. The employee also worked Monday and Tuesday.

Through contact tracing, we have determined that 1 additional non-direct care employee and 11 residents may have been exposed. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) defines direct contact as being within 6 feet of a person for 10 minutes or longer.

The employee has been asked to quarantine and will be tested for COVID-19 during surveillance testing on Monday, October 12. The residents have been notified. They have been asked to self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing in 5 to 7 days.

Families, residents and employees have been notified regarding the positive employee.

The employee who tested positive for the virus are recovering at home and will remain in isolation until cleared to return to work by the Health Department. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) guidelines, team members may return to work once they have been symptom free for 72 hours without the aid of a fever reducer and demonstrate improvement in respiratory symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.  Asymptomatic positive employees will quarantine for 14 days. Upon their return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

All employees are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. The community regularly reinforces with all staff that an employee should not report to work if he or she is experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.

For more information about Wichita Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.

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