UPDATE: The Orchard’s Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)


We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and, in accordance with the CDC and other health agencies, are continuously evaluating our policies and taking extra precautions.

Because the health and well-being of residents and employees is our first priority, we are continuing to implement additional safety measures at The Orchard.

  • Since COVID-19 cases in Mississippi continue to increase, visitor restrictions are likely to continue until the end of June at which time we will reevaluate our policy.
  • For families of Independent and Assisted Living residents, visits outside where social distancing is maintained and monitored can be arranged in advance with the Executive Director or the Activities Director and by appointment only.  Hugging or physical contact is not yet allowed. There should be no more than five visitors at a time and visits are not to last longer than ½ hour. Sorry, but children are not allowed at this time; children and babies can be shown at balcony or window visits.
  • No visitors, except those who are essential are to enter the building. Residents are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing.  Residents should wear masks when outside their rooms and in the building. Masks can be removed for visits outside the building as long as adequate social distance is maintained. 
  • Exercise and sunshine are our best friends!  We do encourage getting plenty of exercise and sitting in the sunshine some each day.  Small groups (up to ten) may congregate and visit in one of the game rooms or the courtyards in chairs set up for them to ensure maintaining the proper distance from each other and ensuring no touching or close contract.  Our gym is available for use for only one person at the time.  When walking outside, maintain  a six-foot distance and only stop to chat if you can maintain this distance.  
  • Residents in Independent Living and Assisted Living will continue to receive nutritious meals via in-apartment dining service.  
  • As the Rose Garden and the Arbor have been secured since early March, we will continue to serve meals in the secured dining rooms as so many need assistance. 
  • To keep residents active and involved, reading materials and puzzles will continue to be provided to residents in their apartments; for independent living and assisted living residents, we are also arranging balcony or window visits any day of the week.  Just advise the front desk of the visit when you arrive. Our Activities Director is also available to assist with virtual face-to-face visits for all residents via Skype, smartphone, computer and tablet.  All visitors are asked to exit the campus no later than 4:00 PM.
  • Essential visitors will be required to wear masks throughout their visit and employees will wear masks and gloves (or practice hand sanitation) when within six feet of residents; employees and essential visitors will continue to have their temperatures checked upon arrival at the community.
  • Residents may leave The Orchard for doctor visits and other health care matters.

The following protocols remain in effect:

  • We have closed our gates to the Orchard from Pear Orchard Road and all visitors must ring the bell to be allowed through the gate
  • Essential visitors must enter the building through the main entrance
  • Vendors delivering packages or supplies at the front entrance must leave items for community staff to deliver to destinations within the building
  • When residents return to the community following a hospital stay, we will request negative test results for COVID-19 or a note from their physician stating they are infection-free and don’t pose a risk to other residents; otherwise they will be subject to a 14-day quarantine in their room or until they can be cleared by their physician
  • Front desk staff will continue to screen all residents, employees and essential visitors upon entering and be assertive in asking all essential visitors to wash their hands or utilize hand sanitizer whenever they enter or exit the community
  • Transportation services are for scheduled essential medical appointments only; we are eliminating all excursions to public gathering spaces including grocery stores, religious services, shopping malls, and theaters until further notice
  • We will pick up and deliver any necessary items to individual residents upon request and charge their house account
  • All community events in which external visitors were expected have been canceled or postponed
  • We strongly recommend that residents postpone all upcoming travel, including cruises and/or all flights; residents seeking to return to the community following travel will not be allowed to return until they receive a negative COVID-19 test
  • Frequently disinfecting high-touch areas like doorknobs, elevator buttons, faucets and handrails
  • Increased cleaning of high-traffic common areas such as dining rooms and activity spaces
  • Reinforcing handwashing and infection control training for all employees
  • Providing additional protective equipment and cleaning supplies for personal use

In addition, essential visitors must be able to answer “no” to the community screening statements:

  • You have been diagnosed with, or exposed to anyone diagnosed with, COVID-19
  • You have reason to believe that you, someone in your household or someone who you are in close contact with, has been exposed to COVID-19
  • You currently have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
  • You or anyone in your household has traveled out of state in the last 14 days
  • You have traveled via air or been in an airport in the last 14 days

We continue to monitor new developments and evaluate our precautions daily. We are committed to protecting our residents and staff during this time, and we will continue to take all necessary precautions with their health and safety in mind.

We will be regularly updating Orchard residents and family members on a newly installed Facebook page, over the phone and responding to emails, but if you have an urgent question, as always, please reach out to the community’s Executive Director at any time. So that we have an accurate contact list, please forward your email address to  info@orchardretirement.com.