A nonessential and non-direct resident care worker at Salina Presbyterian Manor tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The employee is isolated and quarantined at home.
“Our top priority is the safety of our residents and staff members,” said Christian Gilbert, executive director of Salina Presbyterian Manor.
The employee last worked on June 16 and passed the employee evaluation, according to a press release from Salina Presbyterian Manor. The employee called on June 17 and reported that he was not feeling well, and he was tested COVID-19 on June 18. The test results were received today.
Presbyterian Manor notified the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline immediately upon realizing the positive test. Per KDHE guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the employee will not be able to return to work until they are COVID-19 free.
The Saline County Health Department recommends contact searching to determine who was in direct contact with the positive COVID employee and COVID testing for those employees with direct contact. As recommended by the health department, any employee who has had positive COVID employee contact within six feet for 10 minutes or more will be evaluated.
Before returning to work, employees must have negative results from a FDA-approved COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected with at least 24 hours apart (total of two negative samples) When the employee returns to work, Presbyterian Manor said it will follow CDC’s recommendations regarding work practices and restrictions.
Families have been called to alert them to possible exposure. The CDC has been notified of the positive test under the CMS regulation. The community will follow any additional guidance from the Saline County Health Department and the CDC.
“Those conversations with families and residents have been overwhelmingly positive and supportive and I feel blessed to be part of such a caring community,” said Gilbert.
Salina Presbyterian Manor implemented a strict community non-visitor policy and discontinued group activities and community meals for the entire campus according to guidelines published by CMS and CDC on March 13.
Presbyterian Manor said it encourages all staff members to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as they are continually updated. The organization has been evaluating employees when they enter the community building for a shift and before employees have direct contact with residents. Presbyterian Manor also said it educates all staff to stay home if they experience symptoms of respiratory illness or are not feeling well.
For more information on Salina Presbyterian Manor’s response, visit the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America website, Presbyterianmanors.org/Media-room.