October 23, 2020
Since Governor Cooper moved North Carolina to Phase 3 of reopening there has been a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across our State and locally in Buncombe County. Residents and team members are participating in more activities that increase their risk of exposure to the virus. The virus is still very present, and everyone must continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of the virus. It is crucial that we continue to be diligent. Please continue to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth in public or if others enter your home; wash your hands with sanitizer at least 65% alcohol-based or with soap and water for 20 seconds and wait and physically distance at least 6 feet from others. These measures together make the difference to stop the spread of the virus. Stay home as much as possible since the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We also ask that you visit with family and friends with these precautionary measures in mind.
Many of us are beginning to think about the Holidays and I am receiving phone calls and emails requesting overnight visitors in resident homes. In addition, many residents are asking for guidance about travel to other areas to be with family during the Holidays. Travelling and having in home guests for overnight stays poses various levels of increased risk for exposure to COVID-19. Many factors will create different amounts of risk, so it is important for everyone to consider them individually and together as you make these decisions. I refer you to this week’s Gazette for information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for helpful guidance on Holiday Celebrations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html) and Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html). Given the current increase in the spread of the virus in our State and across the United States, I think it is prudent to delay travel out of our area and having overnight guests in homes. However, if you feel that either is necessary you should adhere to the following guidelines.
Givens Estates residents may have overnight guests in residents’ homes under the following conditions:
- Please review the CDC guidelines, Know When to Delay your Travel to Avoid Spreading COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html) to determine if you should delay your visit. If any of the conditions apply to you or your guests, you should reschedule your visit.
- If you are planning to receive overnight visitors in your home, please contact your Social Worker at least 7 days in advance of arrival to arrange for their visit including the issuance of an entry placard for their vehicle.
- Provide information regarding the duration of the visit and the names of your guests.
- Please limit the number of overnight guests to the fewest number possible with no more than 4 people at a time. Givens Estates cannot provide roll-away beds during the current conditions and our guest rooms remain closed.
- Your guests should arrive between the hours of 6:00 am and before 6:00 pm for screening in accord with the Visitor guidelines previously communicated.
- Guests are not permitted in any public spaces on campus except to travel to and from their vehicle and the resident’s home.
- During the period your guests are staying with you, we request that all persons vacate your home during your regular housekeeping service or any other in-home services that may be necessary. If this is not possible, please call to cancel the service.
- During a period of 14 days after the departure of your guests, please self-monitor your health status and report any COVID-19 symptoms that develop during this period to your social worker or the Campus Nurse for evaluation and possible testing.
If the number of Givens Estates residents and team members with COVID-19 increases, the percent of tests positive rate increases locally, and/or local, state or other governmental mandates are enacted, on campus visitation guidelines may become more restrictive in response.
If you plan to travel outside Asheville for an overnight trip please contact your Social Worker before leaving and upon returning to campus. You will be required to self-quarantine upon return to Givens Estates for 14 days.
Over the past month the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed in Buncombe County that are positive has risen from 2.3% to 4.4%.
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, and follow up with your doctor and Givens Estates by telephone for specific directions regarding your situation.
We are working toward bringing programs indoors, opening the new Social Brew in November, easing visitation restrictions and more. It is our plan to move forward with the easing of restrictions but please know that if the spread of the virus continues to increase in our area or on campus, we may need to pull back on these efforts. Protecting the health and wellbeing of residents and team members continues to be our highest priority. We appreciate your continued support and understanding.
Please contact us with any questions you may have.
John C. Cowan, Jr.