Expanded COVID-19 testing will take place at Kansas Neurological Institute after 12 new COVID-19 cases have been identified.
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard made the announcement Monday in a news release and said of the 12 cases, five are employees and seven are residents.
KNI reported June 18 an employee and resident in the same home on campus tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one staff member was symptomatic.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Shawnee County Health Department and KNI worked to administer 80 tests to all staff members and residents in the affected home, Howard said.
Howard said three of the 12 positive cases are symptomatic, but no one has been hospitalized.
The 12 new cases brings the institute’s COVID-19 total to 14 after two employees tested positive April 17.
As a result of the new cases, KNI will expand COVID-19 testing to all staff members working in the potentially affected areas, Howard said. The goal is to test 200 employees by the end of Monday.
"We are thankful to the health officials at the state and local level for their quick and effective communication and response," KNI superintendent Brent Widick said. "Our residents are like family and we work very hard to keep them safe, so this kind of news takes a real emotional toll on our staff."
Howard also announced a staff member at Osawatomie State Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19 making it the first case among residents and staff.
Howard said the staff member tested positive June 19.
All 11 residents living on the affected unit and in close contact with the employee will be tested for the coronavirus.
"This is an extremely stressful time for patients, their loved ones and our staff members," OSH superintendent Kristin Feeback said. "We recognize that communication with patients, families and staff is critically important, especially after a confirmed COVID-19 case. I appreciate our staff being so responsive and adaptive to the instructions given by local health officials to make sure we do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus as effectively as possible."
The hospital is currently developing a testing strategy that reaches beyond those working or living on the unit where the positive staff member worked.
Those measures include contacting any employee who has been in close contact with the positive staff member and telling them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Additionally, any patient who has been directly exposed to the positive employee is advised to isolate in their room and wear a face mask when they exit their room.
No one will be allowed into the unit where the positive employee worked and all staff members working on that unit will wear personal protective equipment at all times.
The hospital has established separate entrances and exits to the affected unit in order to minimize patient and employee exposure.
Howard said all high-touch areas in the affected unit will be disinfected three times a day.