Seven Schowalter Villa staff test positive for Covid-19, no residents infected so far

Harvey County Now Staff

The Harvey County Health Department confirmed seven Schowalter Villa facility staff members, a retirement community in Hesston with 142 residents in healthcare and assisted living homes, have tested positive for COVID-19. No residents have yet tested positive.

According to the county release, two staff members were sent home to quarantine upon showing symptoms in Schowalter Villa’s screening process for COVID-19.

After an employee tested positive for COVID-19, residents as well as staff members were tested resulting in the other positive cases.

“The seven known active cases above are Schowalter Villa staff members; they are not working. The cluster identified on the test result chart is related to positive staff members and their close relationships outside of the work setting,” said Ariana Kauffman, vice president of marking at Bluestem Communities, Schowalter Villa’s parent-company.

Of the seven diagnosed, three individuals were a-symptomatic.

Two have already met recovery criteria. Five remain in isolation.

According to the County, this is the first cluster of COVID-19 cases identified in Harvey County. The cluster will be considered active until there are 28 consecutive days – two incubation periods – without positive cases.

According to Kauffman, Schowatler Villa has implemented protocol for staff infections and suspected infections.

“[A Covid19 test] should be completed on the day the employee does not pass screen or on the day they are asked to test. They are instructed to remain at home until their test results are back. If a staff member receives a positive COVID-19 test result, they are to remain in quarantine at home until they are released by the Harvey County Health Department,” said Kauffman.

All of the cases at the facility involving county residents were previously included in Tuesday’s count of area Covid-19 infections, or were cases involving people residing outside of the County.

The release also confirmed seven new cases not related to the infection at Schowalter Villa.

Harvey County has had 102 COVID-19 cases to date, including 98 confirmed and four probable cases. There are 41 known active cases in Harvey County. One individual remains hospitalized. There have been 2,649 tests for COVID-19 conducted in Harvey County.