Wichita reports positive employee after surveillance testing
Wichita Presbyterian Manor learned two essential health care workers are positive for COVID-19 following surveillance testing for the virus at the campus earlier this week.
“We continue to work to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist for PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America).
These cases of COVID-19 were detected during Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated surveillance testing of our employees. 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 first employee last worked September 13 and tested negative in the employee surveillance testing September 16.
The second employee last worked on Monday, September 21, in memory care and passed screening at that time. The employee wore personal protective equipment (PPE). Contact tracing has determined that the employee had contact with one other employee during their shift, but did not provide direct care to any residents. Per recommendations from the Sedgwick County Health Department, we will test all residents in the unit where the employee worked.
Families, residents and employees have been notified regarding the positive employee.
The employees 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.