//Precautions & Preparedness for Coronavirus: Outdoor, On-campus Visitation and Other Phase 2.5 Opportunities

Precautions & Preparedness for Coronavirus: Outdoor, On-campus Visitation and Other Phase 2.5 Opportunities


To:  Residents of Covenant Village

From: Dale Melton, CEO

Date:  September 16, 2020


With the Governor’s recent move to Phase 2.5 of Safer at Home, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has provided nursing homes and retirement communities guidelines for making available Outdoor, On-campus Visitation in a monitored and controlled framework.  As a result, Covenant Village is taking careful steps to provide this service.  Additionally, we are sharing with you how we will continue to re-open the Wellness Center for wider Resident use!

Three cautions need to be stressed:  1.) Residents and their Visitors must adhere fully to the parameters established by Secretarial Order #2 and the NC DHHS guidelines for these outdoor visitation opportunities.  Any one not following the established guidelines could forfeit the ability to utilize this service, as well as place in jeopardy outdoor visitation for our entire Village.  2.) The Leadership Team will continually monitor the COVID-19 metrics in Gaston County for signs of resurgence or concerning virus developments.  If the metrics warrant, we will suspend outdoor visitations until the conditions return to safe levels.  3.) If Covenant Village experiences a COVID-19 outbreak on campus (two or more active cases), we will be required to shut down visitations until the outbreak has ended.

Visitation Guidelines:

Here are the parameters we must follow in order to provide safe and secure outdoor visitation experiences:


  • Covenant Village will provide two (2) locations for outdoor visitations: One for Health Center Residents in the main courtyard off the Arbor and Courtyard Wings and one for Independent Living Residents behind the A-Building.
  • Visitors will be oriented on the guidelines for the visits, which will require them to communicate any current symptoms, as well as to undergo a COVID-19 screening and temperature check upon entry onto the campus.
  • Visitors will meet their Resident at the outdoor visitation location. There will be NO ADMITTANCE into any building on campus.
  • Residents and Visitors will wear a mask at all times while on campus and visiting.
  • Residents and Visitors will maintain a minimum 6-foot physical distance at all times while on campus and visiting.
  • Visitation order must be prioritized, based on a number of factors, including:
    • Resident need
    • Whether Resident is actively on the 14-Day Self-Isolation list
    • Whether Resident has been off campus to see Family since the original “shelter in place” order was established.
  • Visits are limited to a 30-minute scheduled time slot, whether Residents or Visitors arrive on time or not.
  • Visits are limited to no more than two (2) individuals per visit.
  • Only Visitors who have made reservations and are listed on the Visitation Schedule will be permitted on campus for a visitation.
  • Visitors will be directed, by the Welcome Center, to a designated parking area for visitation guests.
  • Visitors will be contacted, usually within two (2) days of a visit, and asked if they have received a COVID-19 diagnosis or developed any signs or symptoms. Communication is the key to continued successful outdoor visitation!


Test Run:

On Friday, September 25th, we will “test” out our process and procedures with a day of outdoor visitations for Independently Living Residents, behind the A-Building.

If you are interested in scheduling an outdoor visit with no more than two (2) Visitors in the eight (8) slots available that day, please contact Brenda Harris.  First, you need to confirm with your two Visitors that they are available on Friday, September 25th and can come to campus for a 30-minute visit all while complying with our guidelines and procedures.

Reservations for these eight slots for visits will be first come, first served.

Moving forward, our goal is to offer visits on multiple days per week for the foreseeable future.  That schedule will be sent to when finalized.

Covenant Village will accommodate outdoor visitation to the greatest extent possible for Residents and their designated visitors.  We reserve the right, at any time, to limit the length of any visit, the days on which visits will be permitted, the hours during a day when visits will be permitted, and the number of times during a day or week visitation may occur.  We will do our best to stay in open communication with Residents.

Family members should check the Covenant Village website (https://covenantvillagenc.com/) and our Facebook page for all COVID-related updates.


Additional Re-Opening Opportunities:

Phase 2.5 permits indoor gatherings of up to 25 participates in a monitored and physically distanced setting.  The Leadership Team has considered and will continue to make possible a number of opportunities to provide additional programs and services to Residents.

Director of Activities Sherry Cheney and her Team are planning ways to implement additional activities and small group events.  With our new Wellzesta Resident Portal, Sherry and Technology Supervisor Cory Sills anticipate small group training sessions on the new Resident communication tool and its accompanying iPad technology for Residents.

Chaplain Joan Martin will offer small group opportunities for Chapel, Communion, and Bible Study.  Joan and Cory have worked to make the space in the Assembly Room work for small group participation while simultaneously videotaping the events for use on the internal TV Channel.

Starting Thursday October 1st, Matt Gibbons, our Director of Wellness, will make available access to Group Exercise Classes in a monitored, small group setting in the Exercise Room.  See attachment for the Wellness Center guidelines.

I want to express our deep appreciation to Matt for enabling this opportunity.  In addition, Kevin Stewart, our Administrator, and Sue Ashley, our Director of Nursing, provided helpful expert consultation to Matt.

Resident Association President and President-Elect—Bill Rouse and Sybil Hollowell—will make a fresh start with the October 19th regularly scheduled meeting of the Resident Council.  As in the past, you should feel free to send all your Questions and Comments to your Resident Council Representative.  Soon, Mr. Rouse will send a letter identifying the new Resident Association Leadership with President Hollowell and President Elect Sarah Wallace, as well as all the Cul-de-Sac and Floor Representatives.

I echo and support the careful and deliberate approach the Residents, the Leadership Team, and Staff have taken as we transition to providing more activities and opportunities.  Yes, we need to establish a number of parameters around how we re-open and deliver these services.  We will be monitoring compliance and infection control.  Regretfully, if we were to have an outbreak on campus, we will immediately return to a level of “shelter in place” restrictions until the outbreak is lifted.

We truly believe these opportunities offer a warm ray of light and hope as we all continue to adjust to and move forward within the ongoing uncertainties of the COVID pandemic!  As we turn to the Fall Season, new challenges, alongside more opportunities, will arise.  We will respond accordingly and proportionally.


We CANNOT let our guard down. The virus is still present, active—in the local community—and remains dangerous to anyone, but particularly our population who are most vulnerable.

We expect Residents, as always, to:

  • Wear a facemask at ALL TIMES while out, including to and from the dining room (unless outside exercising alone) and while with others (even in your homes).
  • Practice physical distancing of at least six (6) feet at ALL TIMES.
  • Wash hands CONTINUALLY and use hand sanitizer in between.
  • Practice good cough etiquette.
  • If anyone experiences any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or are just not feeling well, Resident should contact the Arbor Wing Nurses Station at —704.917.7857.

We recognize the significant and ongoing inconvenience to life, as well as the physical, spiritual, and emotional toll the Pandemic has brought to our Village, our county, our state, our nation, and our world.  Thank you for understanding and honoring the conditions we must put into place, as we all remain committed to preserving the health and well-being of our entire community.

We will continue to keep you updated via community memos; Covenant Conversations on the internal TV channel and Facebook, and the Covenant Village website (https://covenantvillagenc.com/).

Let’s covenant with each other to Finish Strong this Journey—and to Keep HOPE A