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Topeka residents pass away; employee tests positive for COVID-19

Two independent living residents of Topeka Presbyterian Manor who previously tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away.

It is never easy to say goodbye to a beloved resident. It’s even more difficult during this awful pandemic. The entire Topeka Presbyterian Manor family is in mourning at this time.

While we strive for transparency in what we do, please know that we are bound by federal guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects the privacy rights of our residents even into death. Our medical director follows all established federal laws in notifying families of any change in the medical condition of their loved ones.

At this time, Topeka Presbyterian Manor continues its focus on ensuring the well-being of our residents and employees. We will continue to monitor residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 on each shift, and care for those residents who are positive in the COVID-19 isolation area.

Additionally, we have an update to share.

One of our non-direct care employees tested positive for COVID-19 via rapid point-of-care (POC) testing. The employee last worked on December 28, screening in before their shift and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work.

We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for 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 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 positive employees will quarantine for at least 10 days. Upon their return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.

Our bi-weekly surveillance testing is done for this week. No other positive cases were detected. We will resume testing next week and will test any resident or employee with symptoms consistent with the virus in the meantime.

“We remain vigilant in the face of the ongoing pandemic,” said Heather Pilkinton, executive director.

All employees are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. We have been screening individuals as they enter the community building for a shift and before individuals 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 Topeka Presbyterian Manor’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website,

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