COVID-19 - July 2, 2020

Published on July 3, 2020

July 2, 2020

Dear Friends,

I am writing to provide updates regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Givens Estates. As a result of our first team member in Wood Assisted Living (WAL) testing positive for the virus, Givens Estates tested team members and residents of WAL June 26 through 28. To date all residents and team members tested have negative COVID-19 test results. All residents and their families have been notified of their results as have team members. As recommended by the Buncombe County Health Department we will retest everyone in WAL during the week of July 13. 

There is a significant increase in the community spread of the virus in Asheville and Buncombe County as well as in our State and neighboring States. More individuals are reporting potential exposures to others  with symptoms associated with the virus or that have tested positive for the virus. This in turn is requiring that these individuals be tested and/or quarantined. Anticipating the potential inevitability of additional positive COVID-19 cases, we have already in place procedures for isolation and quarantine and have designated space in both Givens Estates Health Center and Wood Assisted Living for those health care residents who may test positive.

The safety of our entire campus community remains our most important concern, recognizing that what this means is a matter of constant change. We are making decisions based upon what we know today, guidance from experts and public health officials, and a view of the virus’ spread. As we have learned over the past months, we all must constantly be adapting our plans relative to new information and realities.  As circumstances will allow, we are making every effort to return to campus life and activity that is both safe and healthy.

While much is out of our control, our planning will succeed to the degree that we are all committed to its success. In other words, it will only work if we all help to make it work. I remind all members of the Givens Estates community that we each have a responsibility to our own health and the health of each other, and we must commit to following all recommendations and guidelines to realize our shared desire to live and work together on campus. This should be considered nothing short of a social contract we are making with one another, as we work together to be safe and healthy. We must all pledge to follow all relevant CDC guidelines as well as local and state recommendations which include use of PPE beyond just masks in some settings, physical distancing, sensitivity to issues of group density, and the continuation of visitation restrictions.

Residents and Team Members with respiratory illness, cough, fever, shortness of breath, or who have been positively tested or diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to:


  • Seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or the health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
  • Report your symptoms to Givens Estates.
  • Limit contact with others.
  • Have anyone you have been in close contact with self-monitor their temperature and symptoms of COVID-19, limit outside interaction as much as possible for 14 days, and self-isolate if they develop symptoms.

Residents and Team Members with respiratory illness, cough, fever, shortness of breath, or who have been positively tested or diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for:

At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared;
AND at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medications;
AND improvement in respiratory symptoms;
Individuals with clinical COVID-19 infection do NOT need a negative COVID-19 test to document recovery.

The strength of the Givens Estates community is wide and deep, marked by an impressive degree of resilience, and we will be stronger for our efforts to find new ways to live our lives during this challenging time. Please continue to stay home and out of large groups, wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when around others, maintain a distance of 6 feet or greater from others, practice good hand washing/sanitizing and inform us if you have been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19. I encourage your questions and comments, and you should feel free to reach out to any of the leadership team directly. I hope everyone has an enjoyable July 4th weekend.

With gratitude,

John C. Cowan, Jr.
Executive Director