COVID-19 - June 26, 2020

Published on June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

Dear Friends,

We learned on Wednesday that North Carolina will extend for another three weeks the Safer at Home Phase 2 Plan that began on May 22 because of the increased cases of COVID-19 Statewide. Givens Estates is not making any additional changes at this time to our programs and services that have been previously announced. We continue to closely monitor conditions in the local community and on campus as we plan for additional changes in the coming weeks. Fortunately, Givens Estates continues with no residents or team members that have tested positive for COVID -19.

As North Carolina continues with the Safer at Home Phase 2 Plan everyone should continue to be diligent in following all measures that have contributed to our COVID-19 free environment. I believe the major contributing factor to our success as a community is the personal adherence to the guidelines even as it becomes more difficult as the weeks drag on. I believe we will be able to continue to delay the presence of the virus among team members and residents if we all:  

  • Wear a face covering or mask covering your mouth and nose when in public. This is now required by the State of North Carolina under the Governor’s most recent orders.
  • Physically distance from others by keeping a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and other people and do not gather in groups of more than 10 people.
  • 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 and do not leave your home for overnight trips unless medically necessary.
  • 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.

Please remember the following:

Campus Visitors are still restricted:  We are currently evaluating under what circumstances and conditions independent living resident visitation might resume and the timing. We do not anticipate easing restrictions until we enter Phase 3 of the Governor’s Reopening and a reduction in the incidence of the virus. Please be patient with us as we deliberate how and when campus visitation might resume.

Givens Estates Health Center and Wood Assisted Living Center:  No visitation is permitted in compliance with Federal and State mandates. Residents that live in these areas are restricted from activities outside these living areas which means independent living residents should not take residents living in GEHC or WAL out for rides or to your homes for visits. It is anticipated that visitation will not be permitted for some time. Do not walk through Wood Assisted Living as a short cut since it is closed to anyone not working or living in that area.

Travel Outside Asheville (overnight):  We strongly recommend you do not travel outside Asheville; but if you do, it is required you check with 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. Travel with outside social interaction will.

Quarantining:  For independent living residents, visits to physician’s offices or other medical appointments do not require a 14-day quarantine. Visits to the emergency room or hospital and overnight trips will continue to require quarantining for 14 days upon return to campus. 

Travel Outside Campus but within Asheville:  It is strongly recommended that you not leave campus, but if you must leave for an essential reason (i.e. food, pharmacy, bank, medical) 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. Retail offering special hours for seniors is a good option using a face mask, distancing, and hand sanitizer.

Recreational Activities:  Outside activities are strongly encouraged using face masks, when indicated, and social distancing. Walking alone or with another member of your household outside does not require a mask (one should be carried in the event of interaction with others). Outside Activities provide the safest environment for social interaction. Indoor activities such as bridge and billiards remain prohibited.

Elevator Usage:  Since social distancing is impossible in an elevator please avoid joining others and wait for the next car.

I also want to share a brief update on the good progress we are making with the new Friendship Park apartments and the Oxford Commons renovations. The new apartment construction is progressing well as the site work nears completion and the foundations for both 140 and 180 Wesley Drive have begun. The sales of the remaining apartments in Wesley 180 has picked back up this week and Wesley 140 remains at 95% reserved. Most of the demolition work in Oxford Commons is complete and now the spaces are beginning to be recognizable as the framing for the Social Brew, Market+Craft and Terrene dining venues begins. The new dedicated Therapy space should be ready for use in early August. Next week the Oxford Lobby work begins, so please be cautious as you enter and exit Oxford Commons from the first-floor lobby entrance. 

Continue to take care of yourselves and keep looking forward to better days ahead. Do not hesitate to contact us with matters large or small that we can help you with. I am grateful for everyone’s efforts and encouragement of one another as we travel this journey together. 

With appreciation,

John C. Cowan, Jr.
Executive Director