To: Residents of Covenant Village
From: Dale Melton, CEO
Date: October 20, 2020
I just learned this morning that we have our first Health Center (HC) Resident confirmed positive COVID-19 case. The positive test result was an outcome of the State’s current mandatory COVID testing for both Health Center Residents and Staff.
Currently, we are monitoring the Resident and keeping in close contact with the Resident’s physician. The Health Center was already on lockdown due to the earlier positive Staff case, but we have implemented higher level Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) measures for all Staff in the Health Center wing. We have been in close communication with the Gaston County DHHS Staff, who have been great to work with throughout the pandemic. Based upon their requirement, we have postponed all HC Outdoor Visitations. We are free to continue Outdoor Visitations for Independent Living (IL) Residents.
As soon as we received notification of the 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 other Residents, but we did find a potential exposure to a HC Staff member. That Staff member is doing well, but is quarantining at home for the required time period.
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!
With our current mandatory weekly HC Staff and Resident testing, we will need to continue testing HC Residents until we have 14 days straight of no new positive cases—Resident or Staff. Another layer of complexity to add, due to DHHS regulations now, is that we will have to go to twice a week testing IF the Gaston County % Positive metric climbs to 10% or higher. As of this morning, it was 9.5%, up from 7.8% last week. We all hear how many of the COVID-related metrics are climbing around the State and Country.
Frankly, I am seeing a heightened sense of “COVID fatigue,” which has been well-documented in the news. Both Residents and Staff continue to show mounting weariness, which is understandable. We have been confronting this menace for eight long months.
Yet, through it all, we will persevere, and Staff will continue to provide the care and services that Covenant Village requires! I will share with you that the Outdoor Visitations (which we began two weeks ago) have been a huge shot of good and renewing energies on campus, as has re-opening Communal Dining in small “bites” in our Main Dining Room. Chaplain Joan Martin will offer Communion tomorrow for the first time with Residents present (only 10, so we can monitor and control)—the first time since April! We are grateful to all the Residents who have made these returns to some degree of the “new normal” possible!
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 realize the significant and ongoing inconvenience to life, as well as the physical, spiritual, and emotional toll that this Pandemic has brought to our Village, our county, our state, our nation, and our world. Thank you for understanding and complying with the conditions we must put into place, as we all remain committed to preserving the health and well-being of our entire community.
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!!
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.
Let’s covenant with each other to Finish Strong this Journey—and to Keep HOPE Alive!