After all residents and employees tested negative for COVID-19 at Manor of the Plains in Dodge City, the Ford County Health Department has officially closed its COVID-19 outbreak cluster case.


According to Manor of the Plains, the last round of testing at the facility was conducted on June 30 after the virus spread to several employees and a resident in the past few weeks.


The June 30 tests covered 147 residents and employees, and on July 6, the results came back negative.


"Our Manor of the Plains team has worked very hard to keep our residents healthy and safe," said executive director John Van Hook. "I can’t tell you how proud I am of their hard work and dedication to our mission of providing quality senior services guided by Christian values."


Dr. Jeremy Presley, the community’s medical director, worked with the Ford County Health Department to guide the campus’s response.


Going forward, Manor of the Plains will continue to take preventive measures by wearing personal protective equipment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and screening employees as they arrive for work.


"We encourage all staff members to follow CDC guidelines and best practices as these are continually updated," Van Hook said. "We educate all staff to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness or not feeling well."


During each shift, employees will continue to monitor residents for COVID-19 signs and symptoms of respiratory illness.


Recently both the health care center and assisted living at Manor of the Plains successfully completed focused infection control surveys with zero deficiencies.


"Every day, our employees go above and beyond in the care they provide," said Van Hook. "Receiving zero deficiency surveys for both assisted living and health care is a tremendous accomplishment."


According to Manor of the Plains, the focused infection control surveys hone in on the community’s adherence to CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance for infection control practices to prevent disease.


The community will begin looking forward to reopening to visitors in a phased process now that the outbreak is officially closed.


On March 13, Manor of the Plains implemented a strict no visitors policy and discontinued group activities and communal dining for the entire campus.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.