Kendal/Crosslands has been chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a pilot site for a program of “point prevalence testing”, which is the process of testing everyone in a specific group at one point in time. In our case, the skilled nursing facilities (Westmoreland at Kendal; Firbank at Crosslands) were tested last week. The testing included all residents in those facilities, and all staff that were regularly assigned to those areas. The program is called the “Covid-19 Congregate Care Program Universal Testing Pilot Program”.
A total of 77 residents were tested (35 at Kendal, 42 at Crosslands) and none them tested positive. There were 183 staff tested, and two of them (one from each campus) turned out to be positive, though asymptomatic. They were sent home to self-quarantine, and those they had been in contact with were notified.
In addition, our own Health Services tested everyone in the personal care facilities (Cumberland at Kendal, Audland at Crosslands). That round of testing (53 residents and 47 staff at Kendal, 38 residents and 35 staff at Crosslands) turned up no positive cases at all.
No testing of residents in independent living was conducted.
The results of this testing have to be seen as a very good sign. Only two cases out of a total of 433 people tested is outstanding. We can’t expect that our staff, who spend the majority of their time off campus, will always be Covid-free, so it’s not surprising that two staff cases showed up in the testing. While it’s unfortunate that we had infected staff members, what we’ve learned from that is that our procedures for protecting residents from infection are working.
Yes, there will be Covid-19 cases on campus. Eventually, there will likely be cases among residents as well as staff. But it looks as if we have effective measures in place to limit the spread of the infection, and that is the primary goal.
Update as of 3:30 p.m. 6-3-20: Lisa reports that all skilled nursing residents and staff will be re-tested on June 4. This is considered “best practice” in settings where cases among health care personnel and residents have been confirmed. It’s still unclear what will happen if this new round of testing turns up more cases.
Lisa writes: “Following receipt of the results of this second testing round, in accordance with PA Department of Health testing guidance and our KCC Medical Director, consideration will be given on how to incorporate future testing strategies in KCC’s overall Infection Prevention and Control plan. We are aware that, while this repeat round of testing is a model practice, it is most likely not feasible to continue weekly testing ad infinitum, even for staff.”