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Clay Center Presbyterian Manor reports another tough week for COVID-19 at the community

After completing testing for the week, Clay Center Presbyterian Manor detected 22 new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff, and one resident who previously tested positive for the virus died.

“Losing a resident is not easy and we are deeply saddened,” said Morgan Burton, executive director. “The entire Clay Center Presbyterian Manor family is mourning the passing of this resident. Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

The campus conducted two rounds of employee surveillance testing and numerous rapid point-of-care tests since December 19. Nine employees tested positive, and a tenth employee notified the campus of a positive result from a test conducted elsewhere. Three of the employees are non-direct resident care employees, and the other seven are essential health care workers.

In addition, 12 health care residents have tested positive at the community. The residents are being cared for in COVID-19 isolation according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection prevention and infection control practices and physician’s orders.

One essential health care worker remains asymptomatic and has been cleared by the health department to work in our COVID unit.  CDC guidelines permit asymptomatic positive essential health care personnel to continue working and providing care for residents with confirmed COVID positive test results.  The employee will continue to screen in for each shift and will be sent home to quarantine if even mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are reported.  The employee will wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.

The other employees will remain in isolation until cleared to work by the Health Department. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when an employee or contractor may return to work. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic employees and contractors may return to work when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of their fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and their symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Upon the employee or contractor’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

The Clay County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have been notified, and we will follow any additional recommendations they provide. We will test residents throughout the building and employees again Monday, December 28. Surveillance testing will continue with a second round later in the week.

Since December 14, the campus has identified 16 employees and 20 residents who are positive for COVID-19. The community is considered a COVID-19 cluster by the state of Kansas with more than 2 non-household cases associated with the community in the past 14 days.

“Our efforts continue to contain the COVID-19 virus on our campus and protect the health and safety of our residents and staff,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness. “The campus received zero deficiencies on infection control in a survey conducted December 14. This accomplishment highlights that you can be doing everything by the book, and this highly contagious virus can still affect your residents and staff.”

The survey, completed on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), specifically examines a nursing facility’s adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CMS guidance for infection control practices to prevent disease at the community.

Communities are assessed on staff and resident education on hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, cleaning, screening of employees and residents, effective transmission-based precautions, proper use/discarding of personal protective equipment and signage at entrances and resident rooms. It also examines the facility’s policies and emergency preparedness related to a pandemic or outbreak.

All employees and residents are encouraged 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.

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, it should play an instrumental role in eventually moving toward resuming our normal operations. Every person who receives the vaccine will strengthen the protection for all residents, staff and the community at-large. PMMA strongly encourages our families, employees and residents to carefully consider obtaining a vaccine for themselves as well as their loved ones.

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

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