COVID-19 - May 15, 2020

Published on May 15, 2020

Dear Friends,

This has been a difficult week for many of our colleagues, residents and families at two Buncombe County long term care facilities that are experiencing cases of COVID-19 among their staff and residents. What happens within our local long-term care facilities may reflect what is occurring in the larger Asheville community. Buncombe County is completing the first week of the easing of restrictions in accord with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order Number 138 which still includes a Stay at Home Order. I implore all team members and residents to continue to follow the guidelines we have in place since without a vaccine or proven treatment for the virus this is still the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus. Givens Estates continues to rely on the following measures to protect one another so please 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 gather in groups.
  • 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 Givens Estates 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.

As I communicated last week, Givens Estates’ good fortune with no team members or residents with documented positive COVID-19 continues but is still tenuous. If the incidence of the virus in Buncombe County increases and despite all our efforts, we could at some point in the future identify individuals in our community with the virus. Please know that I will communicate with you promptly if we have a first positive case on campus.

I have received resident requests this week to permit small group gatherings that I have not approved. As much as I would like for these groups to gather, I continue to be cautious. I want to see the results from the easing of restrictions in Buncombe County and the results of Givens Estates residents venturing out more into the community beyond the campus over the coming weeks. On Monday, modified Housekeeping services will start, and we are planning for some new Dining offerings in early June. Life Enrichment is also working on modified small group exercise and social offerings that we hope to be able to offer in June. All our planning is subject to change depending on the circumstances on campus and beyond. Thanks to everyone for your continued patience and understanding as we carefully move forward.

Givens Estates continues to do everything possible to mitigate the spread of the virus following guidance from local, State and Federal agencies that is based upon science and considered best practice. We are dependent upon you to follow the guidelines and minimize activities that can put you at risk in contracting the virus. Thank you for your continued diligence and please let me know if you have questions or need assistance in the days ahead.

With Gratitude,

John C. Cowan, Jr. Executive Director