One resident, three more employees test positive for COVID-19 at retirement community

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By Adam Strunk 

Three additional Presbyterian Manor employees and one resident have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a release by the local retirement community, 138 employees and 47 residents were tested for COVID-19 on Aug. 3, which yielded the four positive results released today. The widespread testing came as a precaution after an employee tested positive for the disease on July 29.

The one infected resident, as well as their roommate, has been moved to an isolation area, and they are not showing any signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness, the release stated.  They will spend at least 14 days in the unit.

“Keeping our residents safe and our staff healthy continues to be a top priority for Newton Presbyterian Manor,” stated Jeanne Gerstenkorn, Presbyterian Manor’s infection prevention and vice president for health and wellness.

According to the release, no other residents are showing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or COVID-19, and families as well as mandatory reporting agencies have been notified.

The release stated employees who tested positive are quarantined and will not be allowed to work until “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. Asymptomatic positive employees will quarantine for 14 days. Upon the employee’s return to work, we will follow CDC recommendations related to work practices and restrictions.”

The Harvey County Health Department now identifies the infections as a COVID-19 cluster, with multiple non-related people being infected.

So far, five employees have been infected as well as one resident.

The first employee infection involved an employee who worked their last shift on July 26, began to feel ill on July 27 and received a positive test result on July 29, when Presbyterian Manor was notified of the infection.

A second employee infection occurred after an employee was notified that they were a close contact of a positive case during their last shift on July 27 and was sent home. At the time, the employee showed no symptoms. The employee tested negative for the virus the next day on July 28 but later in the week developed symptoms of the illness and tested positive Aug. 3.