Newton Presbyterian Manor on Friday announced an essential health care worker at the facility tested positive this week for the coronavirus.


The positive test places Presbyterian Manor’s reopening plans on hold.


The employee, who works in health care, passed employee screening for shifts July 25 and 26 and wore personal protective equipment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The employee began to feel ill on July 27 and sought COVID-19 testing on July 29. The campus was notified that the employee tested positive the evening of July 29.


"Our top priority continues to be the safety of our residents and staff members," said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, PMMA’s infection preventionist and vice president for health and wellness.


The Harvey County Health Department has been notified of the positive test. The health department recommends testing all health care residents and all campus employees for the coronavirus. The health department will test residents and employees on Aug. 3.


At this time, no residents or employees are showing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or COVID-19.


Families have been called to alert them to the potential exposure, and all state and county mandatory required reporting agencies have been notified.


All staff members 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 are not feeling well.


The employee is recuperating at home and must be COVID-19-free before returning to work. Under the current CDC guidelines, the employee may return to work when at least 24 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.


One day before the announcement, the Harvey County Health Department confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Harvey County. The confirmed cases included:


A woman in her 20s. Her source of exposure is unknown.


A woman in her 20s. She had known out-of-state travel.


A woman in her 20s. She is a close contact of a known active case.


A woman in her 20s. She is a close contact in the family unit of a known active case.


A woman in her 20s. She is a close contact in the family unit of a known active case.


A man in his 50s. He is a close contact in the family unit of a known active case.


A man in his 40s. He was in contact with another individual with COVID-19 in another county.


A man in his 30s. His source of exposure is unknown.


A man in his 20s. He is a close contact of a known active case.


A man in his 20s. This case is under investigation.


All of the above individuals are in home isolation. The health department will regularly monitor the health of the individuals, as well as follow up on all close contacts.


Harvey County has had 153 COVID-19 cases to date, including 147 confirmed and six probable cases. There are 28 known active cases in Harvey County. Two individuals are hospitalized; one individual previously released from hospitalization has been readmitted.


There have been 3,176 tests for the coronavirus conducted in Harvey County.


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