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Caregivers, residents at Topeka test positive for COVID-19

After a second round of outbreak testing for COVID-19 at Topeka Presbyterian Manor, the senior living community has learned six additional residents and three additional caregivers are positive for the virus.

On Tuesday, October 27, a health care resident tested positive with a rapid point-of-care test after experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The resident was administered a standard COVID-19 test to confirm the diagnosis on Wednesday. The results of the standard test also are positive.

The senior living community conducted mass testing in assisted living and health care and tested all employees and contract service providers on Wednesday, October 28. Results received October 29 revealed 2 additional health care residents and 3 assisted living residents, 1 essential health care worker and 2 contract health care workers tested positive.

“Our focus remains on prioritizing resident and employee health and safety,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s vice president for health and wellness and chief infection preventionist. “We continue to monitor and reinforce our infection prevention protocols throughout the entire community.”

Due to the number of cases, the campus continues to be considered a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is two or more non-household cases associated with a location in a specified period of time.

The COVID-positive residents will remain in isolation and be cared for by designated staff in an area designated for COVID-19 isolation. 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.

The Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline have been notified. The KDHE Epidemiology Hotline recommends testing all health care and assisted living residents and all campus staff on Tuesday, November 3. Topeka Presbyterian Manor will follow any additional guidance from the Shawnee County Health Department.

The employees who tested positive for the virus are recovering at home and will remain in isolation until cleared to return to work. We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work. Per KDHE and 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.

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

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

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