Manor of the Plains has reported a possible cluster of COVID-19 infections to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ford County Health Department after 1 resident and 1 additional employee tested positive for the virus on May 23.
Residents and employees working in health care were tested May 22 after another Manor of the Plains essential health care worker tested positive for COVID-19 due to a close personal contact showing signs and symptoms of the virus. Twenty-nine residents and 43 employees tested negative for the virus.
“Keeping our residents and staff healthy continues to be a top priority for Manor of the Plains,” said John Van Hook, executive director.
Manor of the Plains notified the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) epidemiology hotline and the Ford County Health Department immediately after becoming aware of the positive tests. The Health Department considers the three cases to be a cluster. Clusters are defined as two or more non-household COVID-19 cases identified in a certain timeframe and place.
The Health Department has requested testing of any additional employees who had contact with either the new positive employee or the positive resident. Seven additional employees will be tested.
Manor of the Plains will cooperate with the Health Department and follow their instructions.
The COVID positive resident has been moved to the COVID-19 isolation area to be cared for by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team. At this time, the resident is not showing any signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. The resident will be re-tested and must be COVID-19 negative before returning to their regular room. Per CDC guidelines, the resident 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). Rapid Response Team members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infection prevention protocols.
The employee who tested positive will recuperate at home and return to work once they are COVID-19 free. Per CDC guidelines, team members may return to work once they have been symptom free for 72 hours without the aid of a fever reducer and demonstrate improvement in respiratory symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Upon their return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.
The housekeeping and environmental services team will deep clean and disinfect the affected resident’s rooms as well as increase the cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces throughout the health care neighborhood.
Manor of the Plains 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. The CDC has been notified of the positive tests per CMS regulation. The community will follow any additional guidance from the Ford County Health Department and the CDC.
The community has implemented additional measures to ensure resident safety including assigning housekeeping staff by level of living and not allowing staff or residents to move freely between the independent and licensed areas. Those serving as members of the designated COVID-19 response team are working only in the designated isolation area to care for COVID-19 positive residents.
All residents, including independent living residents, have been strongly encouraged to follow the CDC/CMS guidelines, statewide and local stay-at-home orders, and Kansas’ reopening plans. We continue to strongly advise our independent living residents to adhere to the no visitor “rule,” and limit the number of medically non-essential appointments, events and gatherings attended off campus. Upon returning to the community, residents are asked a series of CDC recommended questions about recent travel, health status, and exposure risks and receive temperature checks.
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 Manor of the Plains’ response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.