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77 new cases of COVID-19 in SFC
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77 new cases of COVID-19 in SFC

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Health Center prepares for coronavirus

There were 191 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week in St. Francois County.

The St. Francois County Health Center reported 77 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the county’s total to 2,788 cases since March 22.

There are 472 active cases in the county, 74 of which are associated with the Department of Corrections outbreaks and 46 are related to long-term care facilities.

Hospitalizations have gone up one since last Friday.

COVID-related deaths for the county are at 18. No new confirmed deaths were reported this week.

The Madison County Health Department reported six new cases. The county now has 79 active and 481 total cases; 63 of the total cases are related to long-term care facilities.

The Ste. Genevieve Health Department reported 16 new cases. There are 31 active cases and 309 total cases, plus 13 total probable cases.

Farmington Presbyterian Manor

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As daily case numbers for COVID-19 continue to climb in St. Francois County, Farmington Presbyterian Manor received new testing results from mass testing done on Monday.

The campus tested 111 residents and 121 employees, according to a release from the facility. Of the residents tested, 107 tests were negative and four tests were positive. The COVID-positive residents were moved to the COVID-19 isolation area and are being cared for by staff.

Of the employee tests, 117 were negative and four were positive.

They previously reported one of the employees to residents and families last Saturday after the employee tested positive on Friday with a point-of-care rapid antigen test. The employee was removed from the schedule and asked to participate in the surveillance testing on Monday to confirm the positive result. When an individual tests positive with a point-of-care rapid antigen test, PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America) policy requires confirmation with a second non-rapid test.

The second and third employees are essential health care workers who last worked on Monday and passed pre-shift screening. Both employees began to experience signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and received rapid point-of-care tests. Both cases were confirmed with the results of Monday’s testing, which were received on Wednesday.

The final employee is a non-direct resident care employee who last worked on Tuesday. The employee passed pre-shift screening.

The St. Francois County Health Center has been notified and recommends continuing with the current testing strategy. Residents and employees will be tested again this Monday.

CMS requires surveillance testing of all employees, agency employees, volunteers, hospice, lab and therapy providers at the campus on a frequency determined by the county’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate. Based on the county positivity rate of between 5 and 10% for COVID-19 tests, the campus has been testing employees once a week.

The COVID positive residents will remain in isolation and be cared for by designated staff. They plan to follow CDC guidelines for when the residents may come out of isolation. Under the current guidelines, symptomatic residents may leave isolation when at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of the resident’s fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the resident’s symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Asymptomatic positive residents will quarantine for 14 days. Designated staff members are following doctor’s orders for treatment protocols and following CDC infection prevention protocols.

The employees will recuperate at home. The facility follows CDC guidelines in determining when an employee may return to work. Under the current guidelines, employees 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. Asymptomatic positive employees will quarantine for 14 days.

Nikki Overfelt is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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