ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. – Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor has identified several new cases of COVID-19 testing at its campus through rapid point-of-care and mass testing, and two residents who previously tested positive for the virus died at the campus this week.

Through rapid POC testing, the campus has identified 6 health care residents and 2 employees with COVID-19 since November 12. The campus tested 106 staff and health care residents on Monday, November 16. An additional 7 employees and 4 residents tested positive for the virus. This brings the 7-day total to 9 employees and 10 residents.

“We are continuing to focus on the health and safety of our residents and employees even as the cases continue to rapidly increase in the surrounding areas,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist. “We cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to follow basic precautions to slow and prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus.”

The four newly diagnosed residents have been placed in COVID-19 isolation and are being care for by designated staff members according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection prevention protocols and physician’s orders.

Of the newly diagnosed employees, six are essential health care workers and one is a non-direct resident care worker. The two employees previously diagnosed with rapid POC tests also were essential health care workers. All passed pre-shift screenings and wore personal protective equipment (PPE) as required for their shifts, which were between November 15 and 17.

The senior living community continues to be considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is defined as two or more non-household cases associated with a location during a specific period of time.

The Cowley County Health Department has been notified. Another round of testing will be conducted for health care residents next week.  Assisted living and home health residents will have a second round of testing Friday, November 20, after a previously reported exposure. There were no positives in last week’s testing for assisted living and home health residents. Employee surveillance testing will continue today (November 18) as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS mandated surveillance testing of staff, including all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers on a frequency determined by our county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate. Based on our county positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, our campus is testing staff twice a week.

We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the resident may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may come out of 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. If asymptomatic, the resident will remain in isolation for 14 days.

The employees 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 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 team members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. The community regularly reinforces with all staff that an individual should not report to work if he or she is 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,