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Topeka continues COVID-19 testing amid ongoing virus outbreak

As Topeka Presbyterian Manor continues to battle an outbreak of COVID-19 at the community, another round of testing revealed additional employees and residents to be positive for the virus.

We tested 170 residents and employees this week and have now received all results from that testing. This round of testing revealed 22 total positive tests. Of the positives, 14 are residents, 6 are employees, 1 is a contract employee and 1 is a confirmed test for an employee that previously tested positive via point-of-care (POC) testing. This brings the total number of positive tests to 43 during this ongoing outbreak. 25 are residents, 18 are staff members, including 3 which are contract employees.

“I am greatly encouraged by the residents we serve,” said Heather Pilkinton, executive director of Topeka Presbyterian Manor. “Their courage and strength in an unprecedented time is admirable.  The staff I have the honor to serve alongside are true warriors. They are showing up to care for our most vulnerable and spare no effort in helping residents find joy in the midst of these challenging times.”

We remain in close contact with the Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Additionally, the community medical director, Dr. Kevin Sundbye, is working closely with Topeka Presbyterian Manor to manage the outbreak.

“The administrative and nursing staffs have been very proactive at dealing with this outbreak,” Sundbye said. “From having plenty of personal protective equipment to providing loving care to the community residents, I have been more than satisfied from a medical perspective.”

We continue our work to isolate residents who have tested positive, while ensuring that positive employees are recuperating and self-isolating at home.

We follow CDC and KDHE guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work.  Under the current guidelines, the employee 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. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

The COVID positive residents will recover in isolation and be cared for by designated staff. 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. Designated staff members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols.

We are doing all we can to keep our residents and employees safe. Our efforts are supported by a recent U.S. News and World Report survey, which recognized us as a high performing skilled nursing community for those in long-term care. The recognition, based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data, is based on how we performed in health inspections, nurse staffing and level of quality care. We are encouraged by our five-star rating as we continue to battle this outbreak.

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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