ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. – An Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor essential non-direct resident care employee tested positive this week for COVID-19. The employee is in isolation and quarantined at home.
“Our top priority is the safety of our residents and staff members,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.
The employee last worked on June 10. The employee was sent home after reporting a potential exposure to a COVID-19 positive person through social contact. The employee passed Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor’s employee screening and was showing no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at that time. The employee was tested on June 15 and results were received June 17.
The community is conducting contact tracing for the employee and will follow Cowley County Health Department recommendations for testing and quarantining. Per the Health Department’s recommendation, 7 employees identified through contact tracing will be tested.
Before returning to work, the employees must have negative results from an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from at least 2 consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens). Upon their return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.
Families have been called to alert them to the potential exposure. The CDC has been notified of the positive test per CMS regulation. The community will follow any additional guidance from the Cowley County Health Department and the CDC.
Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor implemented a strict no visitor policy at the community and discontinued group activities and communal dining for the entire campus per guidelines released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the CDC on March 13.
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 Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, Presbyterianmanors.org/Media- room.