To: Residents of Covenant Village
From: Dale Melton, CEO
Date: October 28, 2020
We learned this morning that we have an additional Health Center (HC) Staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test result was an outcome of the State’s current mandatory COVID testing for both Health Center Residents and Staff.
As with the previous cases, this scenario is exactly the reason NC DHHS established ongoing mandatory testing back on August 7, 2020. It is a similar scenario that we have seen before. This particular Staff member exhibited no active symptoms. We found out when the test result came back from Monday’s now twice weekly mandatory testing. In this particular situation, the process worked like it was intended—for which we are grateful!
The Employee will be isolating at home until cleared by the Gaston County DHHS office to return to work. The Employee is doing well—obvious by the fact that he/she was completely asymptomatic.
As soon as we received notification of this positive test result, we began working with the Health Center leadership to undertake the investigative process of Contact Tracing, which is crucial in our response to any COVID-19 situation. At this time, we have found no indication of exposure to Residents or Staff.
One of the major reasons that we are not finding any additional exposure with the Staff member cases is that Staff continue to follow our infection control protocols, which are built around wearing masks and maintaining the appropriate physical distancing. We are so grateful that the Staff are diligent in this regard for all of our safety and health!
As of today, Covenant Village has only two active positive cases—both are Health Center Staff. The Health Center Resident, who recently tested positive, is no longer considered an active case. This Resident has done well throughout the two-week quarantine—a blessing!
As we have shared all along, any positive cases or potential exposures are serious for us at Covenant Village—even more so in our Health Center. This virus is still actively present and remains dangerous to anyone, but particularly our population who are most vulnerable. We CANNOT let our guard down. We have a long way to go—particularly as the Fall and Winter Seasons settle in!
You will remember that our testing frequency in the Health Center has increased to TWICE weekly. It is NOT due to our current active cases. In fact, we have no control on the frequency that is mandated to us. When the NC DHHS set up the mandatory testing regulations, it was determined that a Nursing Home’s County and its current % Positive metric would determine the frequency of these mandatory tests. If the County stays below 10%, you are only required to do so weekly, but IF a County’s % Positive metric climbs to 10% or higher, you must test TWICE a week.
The reporting tool NC DHHS uses to measure County’s % Positive metric showed Gaston County at 10.2% late last week. It is now 11.95%. We started twice weekly testing on Monday, October 26th. All indications are that our County number will be climbing.
What should you continue to be doing when you are outside your home?
• Wear a facemask at ALL TIMES while you are out (unless you are outside exercising alone).
• Practice physical distancing of at least six (6) feet at ALL TIMES.
• Wash your hands CONTINUALLY and use hand sanitizer in between.
• Practice good cough etiquette.
• Use common sense on what you should and should not do.
• If you experience any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or are just not feeling well, you should contact the Arbor Wing Nurses Station at —704.917.7857.
We will continue to provide the latest information via community memos; Covenant Conversations on the internal TV channel and Facebook; as well as the Covenant Village website (https://covenantvillagenc.com/) and Facebook page.
For those of us who may have eased off our compliance with the above infection control guidance, use this time to re-evaluate your efforts and actions on behalf of our entire Village! We are only as good as you are and as I am. We will get through this—together! A committed community conquers COVID!!