COVID-19 - July 10, 2020

Published on July 10, 2020

July 9, 2020

Dear Friends,

Our lives continue to be dominated by the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the increasing community spread of the virus in Asheville and Buncombe County. Givens Estates continues to be diligent in following all recommended preventative and mitigation measures that have been put in place. We are working closely with local public health officials as we manage the impact of the virus on our Givens Estates community. This week we completed follow up testing for residents and team members of Wood Assisted Living and identified a second team member positive for the virus. The first team member identified several weeks ago with the virus is doing well and back at work after a period of quarantine at home. No residents in Wood Assisted Living or elsewhere on campus have tested positive for the virus. We will continue to monitor Wood Assisted Living with weekly testing until we have no new positive cases.

Testing has limited value in identifying at a point in time the presence of the virus among residents and team members and is not the first line of defense in preventing the spread of the virus. It is imperative that all team members and residents adhere to the guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. In our recent team member cases, I believe the strict adherence to the use of masks/face shields; proper hand hygiene; and physical distancing has helped prevent the spread of the virus. It is critical that everyone steps up their compliance with these measures as we continue to see more cases in our region. Do not become complacent or relaxed at this critical time of increasing spread. It is inevitable that we will see more cases among community members in the weeks and months to come thus the importance of each person doing their part to limit the spread. 

Team Members and Residents must continue to:

  • Wear a face covering or mask when in public.
  • Physically distance from others by keeping a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and other people and do not participate in group activities where you cannot physically distance. (Residents receiving housekeeping, maintenance or technology services in their homes should adhere to our guidelines which require isolating in another room in your home away from staff or leave home during the provision of the service to limit exposures. If you are not feeling well, please let us know so we can reschedule services.)
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home as much as possible to avoid being exposed to the virus.
  • If you are sick or think you have been exposed to someone infected with the virus, please stay home, and follow up with your doctor and Givens Estates for specific directions regarding your situation.

Last month I was hopeful that we would be able to begin relaxing visitor restrictions and offering more small group programs. However, in the current environment of increasing spread of the virus, this is not possible. We are making every effort to return to campus life and activity that is both safe and healthy, but the plans we have been developing will need to be placed on hold until conditions improve. The safety of our entire campus community remains our most important concern and this will guide our decisions going forward. 

Please be reminded of the following:

  • Visitors are not permitted on campus until further notice.
  • Visitation in Givens Estates Health Center and Wood Assisted Living Center is not permitted.
  • Travel within Asheville:  It is strongly recommended that you only leave home to work and for an essential reason (i.e. food, pharmacy, bank, medical). When out in public a cloth face mask, physical distancing, and minimizing contacts is mandatory. Utilize Grocery Stores curbside pickup services, pharmacy and bank drive through and remain in the car while picking up food from restaurants.
  • Travel Outside Asheville (overnight):  We strongly recommend you do not travel outside Asheville. Residents choosing to travel are required you check with their 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. Travel with outside social interaction will require a 14-day quarantine.
  • Quarantining:  Visits to physician’s offices or other medical appointments do not require a 14-day quarantine. Visits to the emergency room or hospital will continue to require quarantining for 14 days upon return to campus. 

I commend everyone for being good neighbors and pray you will all stay safe and healthy. Please let me or any of the department directors know of any questions or concerns that we might assist you with. 


John C. Cowan, Jr.
Executive Director