To: Residents of Covenant Village
From: Dale Melton, CEO
Date: August 13, 2021
After just over two (2) weeks of no new cases following our first experience of this new COVID resurgence overtaking our country, we learned of two (2) new Staff cases in our Health Center. Both were asymptomatic and are doing well at home. Ironically and for the first time, one of the two Staff was vaccinated. This is the first Staff member to test positive who was already vaccinated. The ten (10) recent Staff cases were all unvaccinated.
These new cases were from Monday’s Mandatory Testing in the Health Center. With the significant escalation in Gaston County’s % Positive metric, we are now obligated to test twice weekly in the Health Center. The County’s % Positive metric skyrocketed to over 16% in the last week. We will have to continue twice weekly testing until this metric goes back below 10%.
Due to local and state regulations, we must be clear of all COVID cases in our Health Center for 28 straight days before we can re-open the Health Center to visitors. That new countdown now starts with Monday’s testing.
On the Residential side of campus, we are well into our third week without any new cases. As a result, we continue to re-open in measured ways. We will resume group activities next week. Make sure you consult Wellzesta for the latest news and updates.
Even though we are re-opening on the Residential side, everyone on campus must continue to wear a Mask and maintain physical distancing while out and while in the company of others.
Mask-wearing goes for Staff, as well as Residents. The only situations where Staff may not be seen wearing a mask is when they are in their office alone or in a meeting where all involved can be six-feet apart at all times.
Let me give you a quick update on the recent Mandatory Vaccination policy decision. Unvaccinated Staff were asked to schedule appointments with the Human Resources (HR) Office last week. Staff shared their plans relative to the mandatory vaccination requirement as a condition for employment. If a Staff member sought an exemption, the deadline for that documentation was by the end of this week (today). Those particular Staff will be informed of Covenant Village’s evaluation of the exemption request and what we can do to accommodate any approved requests.
Additionally, we are vigilant on the lookout for updates and developments related to a potential COVID Booster shot. As you have heard, the FDA and CDC came out in the last couple of days with approvals for a third booster for those who are immuno-compromised. If you fall into that category, please consult your primary care physician for her/his advice on the latest developments.
Covenant Village is already in conversation with our friends at Edgeway Pharmacy to be prepared for the time for a larger approval and to provide potential booster shot clinics on our campus.
We remain resolved and resilient—even in the face of this growing and concerning fourth surge. Our prayers go out to Residents, Families, and Staff impacted by these recent developments. There are areas in our country that are seeing new cases, hospitalizations, and even deaths at levels experienced only previously at the height of the initial surge. The Virus is still active and growing in the community, region, state, and nation. We must continue to be diligent and vigilant in our attentiveness to COVID.
Please, let us all be careful when we are out and around others!! Wear your Mask and practice the physical distancing now. We can do this!! We are Covenant Village!!
We will continue to provide the latest information via community memos; Covenant Conversations on Facebook and Wellzesta; the Covenant Village website (https://covenantvillagenc.com/); and on our Facebook page.