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Fort Scott Presbyterian Village sees decline in COVID-19 cases, despite high county rate

Two essential health care workers tested positive for COVID-19 at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village this week via rapid point-of-care (POC) testing. Bourbon County’s 13.5 percent positivity rate has impacted the community in recent weeks, with several residents and employees contracting the virus.

The community conducted two rounds of mass testing this week, and no new cases were identified among residents.

“While the county’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has been trending down over the past few weeks, it remains above 10-percent,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness. “We must all do our part to stop the spread by using the best tools we have to fight the disease – wear masks, social distance, wash hands frequently and get the vaccine. We remain vigilant at this time.”

The employees last worked on January 28 and February 3, screening in prior to their shifts and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while working.

We will follow CDC and KDHE guidelines for when the employees 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.

The community will continue with mass testing next week.

Our focus remains on ensuring the well-being of our residents and employees. We continue to follow all guidance related to patient care, employee safety, and efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We have notified the Bourbon County Health Department and KDHE and we will follow their recommendations.  We are working closely with Gerstenkorn in implementing our Emergent Infectious Disease (EID) Outbreak Management Plan.  

The COVID-19 vaccine should play an instrumental role in eventually resuming our normal operations. Every person who receives the vaccine will strengthen the protection for all residents, staff and the community at-large. PMMA strongly encourages our families, employees and residents to carefully consider getting a COVID-19 vaccination for themselves, as well as their loved ones.

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 Fort Scott Presbyterian Village’s response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.

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