COVID-19

Published on March 24, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As we face the challenges of the corona virus/COVID-19, we are thinking of each of you, your families and your businesses. We pray you are safe and adapting to the ever changing situation.

We are providing an update regarding Givens Communities and the measures we are taking to continue addressing the threat of COVID-19 on our campuses. We have been closely following the information from and the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Buncombe County Health Department. Also, we have been implementing our emergency preparedness and disaster plans for a pandemic. Those plans and the decisions we have made to manage this crisis have been evolving in some cases daily and in others hourly. We have been paying close attention to our residents and team members to ensure that we are all working together toward a common objective to minimize the adverse effect of this virus for ourselves, our neighbors and community. We have been communicating regularly with them and working on strategies to prevent social isolation. It is not surprising that the responses of our residents and staff have been remarkable and reassuring. Everyone wants to contribute to a positive outcome.

There has been a great deal of news regarding long-term care facilities. We are pleased to report that at this point our health centers and assisted living centers are doing well.

At Givens Estates, staff are being screened each day and temperatures are being taken in assisted living and health care. There is one point of entry on the campus. All incoming traffic is being monitored. No visitors are allowed. The buildings are secured 24 hours a day with card access only. No off-campus, non-Givens admissions in skilled care. All programs and activities have been canceled while others are broadcast on Givens TV (GTV) which is requiring us to be creative and enables residents to be connected. The beauty shop has been closed. The clinic remains open. We are delivering meals to residents which is a massive effort and is requiring dining and others to be at their best. Social distancing is encouraged. Only serious maintenance needs are being addressed. Housekeeping has been discontinued but is being routinely evaluated to determine if a minimal amount is necessary. The commons areas continue to be cleaned and sanitized. We are making every effort to reach out to residents in multiple ways so that they know we are here to support them and help them through this difficult time.

At Highland Farms, staff are being screened each day and temperatures are being taken. There is one point of entry on the campus which presented unique challenges. All incoming traffic is being monitored. No visitors are allowed. No off-campus admissions in skilled care. All programs and activities have been cancelled. The beauty shop has been closed. The clinic remains open. Meals are available through pick-up and delivery. We are working on a grocery delivery program. Social distancing is encouraged. Only serious maintenance needs are being addressed. Housekeeping for residents has been discontinued but is being routinely evaluated to determine if a minimal amount is necessary. The buildings continue to be cleaned and sanitized. We are working diligently to ensure that residents know we are here for them during this crisis.

At Gerber Park, staff are screened each day. The buildings are secured 24 hours a day with card access only. Residents have been encouraged not to have visitors. All group activities have been cancelled. The beauty shop has been closed. The clinic remains open. Residents can order carry out meals from the café and pick up meals in the grab-and-go. If someone is sick, we will deliver meals. Manna food distribution continues with additional safety measures. Social distancing is encouraged. Only serious maintenance needs are being addressed. The buildings continue to be cleaned and sanitized. Trash continues to be picked up in the trash rooms and taken to dumpsters. Staff are calling residents regularly to check on any needs they may have and to monitor for symptoms. We have a good pulse on our residents and are seizing every opportunity to demonstrate that we are concerned for them.

At Great Laurels, staff are screened each day. The building is secured 24 hour a day with card or code access only. Residents have been encouraged not to have visitors. All group activities have been cancelled. The Manna food distribution continues with additional safety measures. Only serious maintenance needs are being addressed. The building continues to be cleaned and sanitized. Trash continues to picked up in the trash rooms and taken to the dumpster. Staff are calling residents regularly to check on any needs they may have and to monitor for symptoms. We have a good pulse on our residents and are seizing every opportunity to demonstrate that we care about them.

Preparing for a pandemic is stressful for everyone including team members. They are concerned about their families, friends, colleagues and our residents. Such an event requires them to be flexible and willing to do things out of the ordinary. Also, it requires them to be at their best with all “hands on deck.” We have coveted with them that there will be no reductions in employment (layoffs) and no reductions in compensation even if they do not work a full 40 hours because of COVID-19. Also, we have been creative with employee benefits to maximize their effectiveness in this situation.

As difficult as social distancing can be, residents are experiencing some of the most important benefits of community living – having others nearby to share this time with and having team members to offer support and guidance. In challenging times like these, we take encouragement from the way residents and team members are stepping up to protect and care for one another.

We appreciate your support during this challenging time.

With gratitude,

Ken Partin

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