Back to Blog

Essential health care worker tests positive for COVID-19

An essential health care worker at Clay Center Presbyterian Manor tested positive for COVID-19.

This case of COVID-19 was 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 the county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, Clay Center Presbyterian Manor does surveillance testing once a week.

“Surveillance testing is another tool in the fight against COVID-19 as we continue to work to keep our residents and employees safe and healthy,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

The employee, who works in assisted living, was one of 66 employees and therapists tested on October 26. The other 65 employees and therapists have tested negative. The results were received October 29.

The employee, who last worked October 27, passed the employee pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment (PPE) as required. Residents who meet the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s close contact criteria of being within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer will be isolated and tested for COVID-19. Any employees identified will be quarantined.

The Clay County Health Department has recommended testing assisted living residents with direct contact with the employee and monitoring all residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Employee surveillance testing will continue, based on the county positivity rate.

Families, residents and employees have been notified regarding the positive employee.

Clay Center Presbyterian Manor will follow 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.

All employees 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,

Back to Blog