January 29, 2021
I know everyone is looking forward to the next vaccination clinics where many residents and team members will receive their second Covid-19 vaccination. The hope that accompanies the vaccinations is lifting the spirits of everyone at Givens Estates. Detailed information about the vaccination clinics is included separately with this week’s Gazette and you can anticipate that the process will be very similar to the first clinics. It appears that we will have approximately 97% of residents and 70% of team members receiving the vaccine after the second round of clinics. I am particularly pleased with the increase in team members acceptance of the vaccine from 46% to 70% over the past weeks and believe this will continue to increase with additional education and the availability of additional vaccines. When Givens Estates has direct access to the vaccine in the coming months, we will provide it to new residents and team members as they join our community.
There are several factors that must be considered as Givens Estates begins to slowly and strategically ease restrictions related to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Vaccinations, the level of Covid-19 activity on campus and in Buncombe County, and guidance from local, State and Federal agencies are all important factors that are being considered as decisions are made regarding services, visitors, overnight travel, etc. Givens Estates will proceed carefully over the coming months as we work to move back to a more normal community life.
The Social Brew reopened this past Tuesday with extended hours for carry out service. On February 15th weekly housekeeping services will start back. We anticipate that we will begin offering carry out service from the new Market+Craft in March. As Buncombe County and State restrictions are eased you can anticipate that Givens Estates will also begin to ease restrictions that are currently in place but likely at a slower pace.
In the table that follows you will note the decline in the number of active COVID-19 cases among residents and team members on campus. The outbreak in the Health Center is ending with no new resident or staff cases over the past several weeks. We continue to have no residents in WAL test positive and have had no new team members in WAL test positive for the virus.
The number of reported daily cases locally and across our State have begun to decrease after several months of steady increases. In addition, the total number of hospitalizations locally and across the State have shown modest decreases. The percent of tests that are positive for our State has decreased from 14.5% to 11.0 % and in Buncombe County our test positivity rate has decreased from 11.0% to 8.5% over the past two weeks.
Please remember the following measures:
- Visitors are not permitted until further notice and conditions improve. Only authorized vendors such as delivery services, medical personnel, and caregivers will be allowed entry. Packages from family and friends may be left at the main entrance for delivery by our staff to your home.
- Residents returning home from a hospital stay, Emergency Department visit, and from overnight travels must quarantine for 14 days upon returning home to Givens Estates. Please contact your Social Worker before leaving and upon returning to campus. Travel to a vacation home where there is no outside social interaction will probably not require self-quarantine upon return.
- During a resident 14-day quarantine you must remain at home and not be in public spaces on campus. If you require support during your quarantine, please contact your Social Worker for assistance. In consultation with the Buncombe County Health Department, we will not be reducing the number days required for a quarantine.
- If you are sick, being tested for COVID-19, have been in direct contact with someone being tested or think you have been exposed to someone infected with the virus, please stay home, follow up with your doctor, and notify Givens Estates (Social Worker or Campus Nurse) by telephone for specific directions regarding your situation. If you are sick or have been exposed to a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 we can perform a test for you in consultation with your personal physician.
Please remember that it takes time for immunity to develop after receiving both doses of the vaccine. Not until most individuals have received both doses of the vaccine and the spread of the virus begins to subside will we be able to start easing back into normal activities. It is important that everyone continue to stay home except for essential needs, wear your mask covering your nose and mouth, maintain physical distance from others of at least 6 feet, practice good hand hygiene and avoid groups.
If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to us.
John C. Cowan, Jr.