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Wichita essential health care workers test positive for COVID-19

Wichita Presbyterian Manor’s surveillance testing on Monday, November 16, identified two new cases of COVID-19.

We tested 140 employees and 63 health care, PATH and memory care residents. All the residents tested were negative for COVID-19. All employee test results have been received, and the other 138 were negative.

One employee is a non-direct resident care employee who last worked November 12. The employee has been self-quarantining because a close contact had tested positive for the virus.

The second employee is an essential healthcare worker who last worked November 17 in assisted living. The employee passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as required. Both employees will recover at home until cleared to return to work.

Contact tracing is underway, and we have notified the Sedgwick County Health Department. We will test residents again next week. Our second round of employee surveillance testing is underway today.

This brings our 7-day total to 3 employees. Due to the number of cases at the campus, Wichita Presbyterian Manor is now considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location during a specified period of time.

The Sedgwick County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline have been notified.

Health care PATH and memory care residents will be tested week. Beginning Monday, November 23, we will also test six assisted living residents, who may have had close contact with today’s positive health care worker.

The community will continue regular surveillance testing of employees. The next round of employee testing will be Monday, November 23. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires surveillance testing of 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 Sedgwick County’s positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, Wichita Presbyterian Manor is testing employees twice a week.

The employees are quarantining 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 14 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

All residents and 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,

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