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Manor of the Plains begins surveillance testing, four cases of COVID-19 identified

After three rounds of surveillance testing, Manor of the Plains has identified three cases of COVID-19 among 3 direct-care staff and 1 COVID-positive resident.

“As Ford County continues to have one of the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in the state, our campus continues to be vigilant in our efforts to protect our residents and employees,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.

Manor of the Plains is conducting surveillance testing of employees in compliance with a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that all employees, volunteers, agency staff, and third-party caregivers should be tested regularly based on the COVID-19 positivity rate of the county. Based on Ford County’s positivity rate, Manor of the Plains is testing twice a week.

The resident, who has been in quarantine since Friday, September 11, was one of 4 residents identified as close contacts of a third party service provider who tested positive after providing services at the campus last week. The four residents were tested September 14 with the first round of employee surveillance testing this week. The other three residents tested negative.

The COVID positive resident has been moved to the designed COVID-19 isolation area to be cared for by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team. We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the residents may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may leave 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. Asymptomatic positive residents will quarantine for 14 days. Rapid Response Team members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols.

Manor of the Plains tested 59 employees in surveillance testing September 14, and learned late yesterday and this morning that three employees tested positive. All three employees last worked September 16, two in health care and one in assisted living. All three employees passed pre-shift screening and wore personal protective equipment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All three employees tested negative in two rounds of surveillance testing last week.

The first employee was notified of the positive result during their shift September 16 and sent home immediately. The employee identified two co-workers, who also were at work Wednesday, as close contacts.

The second employee’s surveillance test results were still pending, so the employee was tested with the campus’ new point of care testing machine. That result was positive. The employee was notified and immediately sent home to quarantine. The other close contact also was administered a point of care test, which was negative. That employee’s surveillance test from September 14 also was negative.

The third positive employee also worked in health care. The employee was notified of the positive result and removed from the schedule.

The employees are recuperating at home. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining 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 employees are asked to quarantine for 14 days.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline and Ford County Health Department have been notified and recommend mass testing of all residents next week, coordinated with the community’s surveillance testing dates. The campus is awaiting results of a mass test of all residents and a second round of surveillance testing that took place on Wednesday, September 16.

Due to the number of cases and the fact that both residents and employees have tested positive, our campus is once again considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is two or more non-household cases of COVID-19 associated with a location in a specific time frame.

Manor of the Plains will continue to follow KDHE, Ford County Health Department, CMS and CDC guidelines to monitor residents and other employees for any signs or symptoms of respiratory illness and signs of COVID-19.

Employees and residents are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. The community regularly reinforces with all employees that an employee should not report to work if he or she is experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or is not feeling well.

For more information about Manor of the Plains’ response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website,

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