An employee at a Salina continuing care retirement community has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Salina Presbyterian Manor, a non-essential, non-direct resident care employee tested positive this week for COVID-19. The employee is in isolation and quarantined at home.
The employee last worked on June 16 and passed the employee screening. The employee called in June 17 and reported feeling unwell, and was tested for COVID-19 on June 18. The test results were received Tuesday.
The facility notified the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline immediately after becoming aware of the positive test. Per KDHE, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, the employee will not be able to return to work until they are COVID-19 free.
Before returning to work, the employee must have negative results from an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from at least 2 consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens). Upon their return to work, they will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.
The Saline County Health Department is recommending contact tracing to determine who was in direct contact with the COVID-positive employee and COVID testing for those employees with direct contact. Per the health department’s recommendation, any employees who had contact with the COVID-positive employee within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer will be tested.
“Our top priority is the safety of our residents and staff members,” said Christian Gilbert, Salina Presbyterian Manor executive director.
Families have been called to alert them to the potential exposure. The CDC has been notified of the positive test per CMS regulation. The community will follow any additional guidance from the Saline County Health Department and the CDC.
“Those conversations with families and residents have been overwhelmingly positive and supportive and I feel blessed to be a part of such a caring community,” said Gilbert.
Salina Presbyterian Manor implemented a strict no visitor policy at the community and discontinued group activities and communal dining for the entire campus per guidelines released by CMS and the CDC on March 13.
The facility encourages all staff members to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. They have been screening employees as they enter the community building for a shift and before employees have any direct contact with residents. They educate all staff to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.