Parsons Presbyterian reports positive COVID-19 tests
After keeping COVID-19 at bay since March, five residents and three employees at Parsons Presbyterian Manor have tested positive for the virus in the past four days. These positive tests place the campus’ reopening plans on hold. The campus has reinstituted strict restrictions on group dining and activities and continues restrictions on visitation that have been in place since March 13.
A non-direct resident care employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, August 7. The employee last worked August 4 and passed employee screening. Presbyterian Manor conducted contact tracing and identified four employees who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of being within six feet of the positive employee for 10 minutes or longer. All four employees were asked to self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 before returning to work.
Saturday morning, a health care resident began showing signs and symptoms of the virus. The resident and the resident’s roommate were placed in isolation in a designated area and tested for COVID-19. Both residents tested positive.
The Labette County Health Department recommended testing the entire campus, both residents and employees, for COVID-19 over the weekend. The campus tested 114 residents and employees Saturday and Sunday. Through the mass testing, the community learned three additional residents and two additional employees tested positive for the virus.
“Now that additional testing is complete, we’ll keep our focus on resident and employee safety,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.
We have been in constant contact with the Labette County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline throughout the process and have followed their recommendations, which includes a second round of testing scheduled early next week. We will follow any additional guidance the agencies provide. Because of the number of positive cases, our community is now considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is two or more non-household cases associated with a specific location in a specified period of time.
The COVID positive residents will remain in isolation and be cared for by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team in a designated area at the community. At this time, only two of the five COVID-positive residents are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Rapid Response Team members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols. We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents may come out of 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 14 days.
The COVID-positive employees are in quarantine 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.
We will continue to monitor residents for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness and COVID-19 on every shift.
We encourage all staff members 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.
For more information about Parsons Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.