No. . . There is no fooling on this announcement!!
Thanks to the continued resiliency and determination of our Residents and the ongoing resolve of our dedicated Staff to provide the best care and services, the Leadership Team has moved on a second, recent action step related to our COVID-19 response.
Starting today for Staff who work in independent living areas AND are up to date with vaccinations, Covenant Village is making masks optional. To be “up to date with vaccinations” is defined in the following way: You have received the primary series of vaccinations (Moderna’s or Pfizer’s first two shots), and you have received a subsequent booster shot.
We set as a goal for the Staff that we achieve a 95% Booster rate, which Staff accomplished yesterday—the day of the imposed deadline for Booster shot documentation or achieving an exemption. With all the determined effort and desire to create the safest work environment possible, we actually exceeded the 95% mark!
Staff who work in the Health Center will need to continue to wear appropriate masks until further notice and a change in guidance from the CDC and CMS.
Off-campus visitors will still be required to wear masks for the foreseeable future.
As of this morning, we have no known Resident or Staff cases!
You may have seen earlier this week in the news that the CDC expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further. This is especially important for those 65 and older, as well as those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
The Leadership Team will be planning for a Booster Clinic on campus for Residents and Staff who may be interested in a 2nd Booster shot. Details will be sent out when finalized.
The Health Center remains in “outbreak” status with the State due to not having a clean 28-day window of no new cases. Therefore, they continue to operate on a more limited scale with respect to some group gatherings and activities, as well as ongoing operational procedures.
Hopeful news on that front: The last Resident case, in the Health Center, was February 7th. The last Staff case was March 8th. . . So. . . if we can get to April 5th without any new cases, we will reach the clean 28-day window. At that time, the Health Center will no longer be classified by the State as in “Outbreak Status.” We can then resume normal operations.
The independent living portion of the Village is back to normal daily operations, as Staffing levels allow. As you are aware, we continue to be down in Staffing levels for some Departments—notably Food & Nutrition; Housekeeping; and Nursing.
To end on a really good note—or two: We had tangible success at the Gaston College Job Fair! We had 10 applications and have 3-4 in the Pre-Hire pipeline.
Additionally, we hired 10 more positions than we lost in the month of March! That is the first net gain in the last 6-8 months. We hope and pray this is a growing trend.
Covenant Village is strong and resilient, because you are strong and resilient. Even now, we see how Covenant Village is Where Life Is Filled With Promise!
We will continue to provide the latest information via community memos; Covenant Conversations; the Covenant Village website (www.covenantvillagenc.com); on our Facebook page; and our Resident Portal—Wellzesta.