Three employees at Emporia Presbyterian Manor test positive for COVID-19
Three Emporia Presbyterian Manor employees have tested for COVID-19.
“As the virus continues to impact our area, we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure the safety of our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.
We learned yesterday, October 28, that two of our direct-care employees tested positive for the virus. This morning, October 29, a third direct-care employee tested positive as well, via a point of care (POC) test.
The two employees who tested positive yesterday were tested on Tuesday, October 27, as part of our ongoing surveillance testing. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has mandated surveillance testing of our staff. 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 our county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, our campus is testing staff once per week.
The third employee was unavailable for surveillance testing due to a family situation. We will verify their POC test in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The Flint Hills Health Department has been notified and recommended doing contact tracing to check for exposure. The CDC defines exposure as being within 6 feet of another person while he or she is symptomatic for 15 minutes or longer.
Contact tracing revealed four Health Center residents who may have had exposure to one of the positive employees. Those residents have been moved to isolation as a precaution. Two Assisted Living residents have potential exposure to the third employee and are also being isolated as a precaution.
We will follow any other guidelines from the health department and will conduct another round of surveillance testing next week.
The employees are recuperating at home. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work. Under the current CDC and KDHE guidelines, the employee 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. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.
Presbyterian Manor will follow any additional guidance from Flint Hills Community Health Department, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment epidemiology hotline and the CDC.
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 Emporia Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.