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Clay Center Presbyterian Manor reports tough week for COVID-19 testing

After completing testing for the week, Clay Center Presbyterian Manor detected 15 new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff. The campus continues to be considered a COVID-19 cluster due to the size of the outbreak. A cluster is two or more non-household cases associated with a location during a specified period of time.

“The Clay County positivity rate is going in the right direction as indicated by the two-week average dropping by 2 percentage points. Our efforts continue to contain the COVID-19 virus on our campus,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

The campus tested 39 residents and 61 staff, including contract service providers on Monday, December 14. Six health care residents and two essential health care workers tested positive. The campus conducted a second round of employee surveillance testing on Wednesday, December 16, and tested 4 health care resident who were exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Two of the residents tested positive, one contract service provider and four additional employees tested positive for the virus. These new cases bring our 7-day total to 15 – six employees, one contract service provider and eight residents.

Two of the employees and the contract service provider who tested positive 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 other employees remain asymptomatic and have 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 employees 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 employees will wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.  

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 21. Surveillance testing will continue with a second round later in the week.

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.

For more information about Clay Center Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website,

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