Trinity Oaks Staying Safe and in Good Spirits

Bill Johnson and his staff at Trinity Oaks have been making sure the residents are having fun while staying safe. He has delivered wine and snacks for Wine Down days, along with ice cream.

By Susan Shinn Turner

For weeks now, Bill Johnson and the staff of Trinity Oaks Retirement Community have been working to keep residents safe from the spread of coronavirus. As of mid-April, the entire campus was on complete lockdown, with no resident being allowed off campus.

“A lot of residents have learned how to do online shopping,” he says. “We are now picking up their groceries. All packages come to the front entrance, where they are sanitized. Residents are now wearing masks, and staff have been wearing masks for weeks.”

Although residents in the three areas on campus — Health and Rehab, the Lodge, and the cottages — are being kept separate, there are still fun activities taking place. There’s hall bingo, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune in the apartments and at Health and Rehab, and the cottage residents still get together in their driveways following appropriate social distancing. There’s no interaction among staff in these three areas.

The whole campus has had ice cream deliveries and wine down deliveries, complete with music under the balconies at the apartments. In mid-April, cottage residents had treats such as pizza and low country boil boxes delivered for dinner. Bill says he wants to support local businesses as much as possible.

“Everything is fine,” reports St. John’s member Doris Hillegass, who lives with her husband, Bill, in the cottages. “Trinity Oaks, Bill Johnson, and his staff are doing a fantastic job of taking care of so many different things, and providing for the cottage residents. We are really fortunate to be here. If we were at our former home, we’d be kind of stuck.”

The gym and pool are open on a limited basis, he notes. “We’re sanitizing the gym every hour.”

Because of all this diligence, Bill says, “We do not have any cases as of yet. We’ve had a couple of close calls. We’ve been lucky. We’re doing our best, but I think it’s going to be virtually impossible to keep it out. We screen our staff every day, and ask them to please be honest with us if they don’t feel well.”

Bill and his staff know that the residents of Trinity Oaks are the most vulnerable population susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. “Everybody who works here takes that seriously. We are entrusted with their lives and their care.”

But, he adds, “Everybody is getting edgy from being cooped up. We’re trying to keep it light and fun the best we can. And Lutheran Services Carolinas has been very supportive and has been out front to get us the tools and information we need.”


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