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Aberdeen Heights resident tests positive for COVID-19, community-wide testing plan announced, precaution implementation continues to prevent spread

A health care resident living in The Glen at Aberdeen Heights has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“Keeping our residents and staff healthy continues to be a top priority for Aberdeen Heights,” said Rick Cumberland, executive director. “Aberdeen Heights immediately notified the Department of Health and Senior Services and the St. Louis County Health Department seeking guidance. We are cooperating with the Health Department in responding to this positive case in our community.”

The resident was diagnosed with pneumonia and was subsequently tested for COVID-19 at the direction of Dr. Alka Kapoor, Aberdeen Heights’ medical director, as part of her standard protocol. The resident has been in isolation for 15 days. The test was conducted May 20, and employees have been taking COVID-19 isolation protocols with personal protective equipment since that time. The community was notified of the positive test result May 29 by the testing lab.

The St. Louis County Health Department considers one case an outbreak. The health department has recommended all Aberdeen Heights employees and residents in The Glen, which includes assisted living, health care and memory support, be tested for COVID-19 this week. Testing will be conducted this week. All federal, state and local required agencies have been notified of the positive case.

The COVID positive resident remains in isolation to be cared for by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team and is being cared for per physician’s orders. The resident will be re-tested and must be COVID-19 negative before coming out of isolation. Per CDC guidelines, the resident 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).

Aberdeen Heights implemented a strict no visitor policy at the community and discontinued group activities and communal dining for the entire campus per guidelines released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the CDC on March 13.

The community has implemented additional measures to ensure resident safety including assigning housekeeping staff by level of living and not allowing staff or residents to move freely between the independent and licensed areas. Those serving as members of the designated COVID-19 response team are working only in the designated isolation area to care for COVID-19 positive residents.

All residents, including independent living residents, have been strongly encouraged to follow the CDC/CMS guidelines, statewide and local stay-at-home orders, and Missouri’s reopening plans. We continue to strongly advise our independent living residents to adhere to the no visitor “rule,” and limit the number of medically non-essential appointments, events and gatherings attended off campus. Upon returning to the community, residents are asked a series of CDC recommended questions about recent travel, ­health status, and exposure risks and receive temperature checks.

We encourage all employees to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated. We have been screening employees as they enter the community building for a shift and before employees have any direct contact with residents. We educate all employees to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well.

For more information about Aberdeen Heights’ response, go to PMMA’s (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s) website, presbyterianmanors.org/media-room.

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