Topeka provides COVID-19 testing update amid ongoing virus outbreak
As Topeka Presbyterian Manor continues to battle an outbreak of COVID-19 at the community, this week’s round of testing has revealed additional employees and residents to be positive for the virus.
On Monday, November 9, we tested 164 employees and residents. This round of testing has revealed 4 staff members, and an agency contract caregiver and 4 health care residents to be positive for the virus. In addition, three health care residents tested positive in the past 24 hours with a rapid point-of-care (POC) test after exhibiting signs and symptoms of the virus.
“We continue to test and do all we can as we battle this outbreak,” said Heather Pilkinton, executive director at Topeka Presbyterian Manor. “I can’t say enough about the dedication of our staff and the courage of our incredible residents during this trying time.”
On Tuesday, November 10, we notified families of three health care residents, one essential health care worker and one non-direct care employee who tested positive. At that time, several results were pending from Monday’s round of testing. Since that time, we learned of a non-direct care employee and one essential health care worker and an agency contract caregiver who are positive.
The COVID-positive employees last worked on dates ranging November 10, 9 and 6. All screened in before their shifts and wore personal protective equipment.
We remain in close contact with the Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They have advised that we continue with our ongoing testing.
Our next round will take place Monday, November 16. We will utilize rapid POC testing as needed between now and then. Additionally, the community medical director, Dr. Kevin Sundbye, is working closely with Topeka Presbyterian Manor to manage the outbreak.
Our total number of cases since November 1 stands at 21 residents and 11 employees, and 2 contractors.
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, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.
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