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Coronavirus Information and Resources

COVID-19 Preparedness and Policies

Today, more than 400 people enjoy life at The Forest and more than 275 staff members are an integral part of their lives. COVID-19 may keep us socially distanced, but we are still a vibrant, active community dedicated to learning, moving, sharing, and growing.

Resident Notifications

To keep The Forest community well informed, updates will be distributed to residents via Channel 1390, TouchTown screens, Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS), and our brightly colored notices, as well as email, when possible.


Pool & Fitness Center

Effective Monday, September 28, 2020, at 5:00 a.m., the pool and fitness center are available by reservation seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Reservations for this new schedule will be accepted beginning every Friday at 12:00 noon for the week ahead. Please contact Resident Life at or 919-419-4069 to request a reservation.

Residents are asked to continue to clean equipment after they use it. Cleaning supplies will be provided. Housekeeping will continue with daily, more thorough cleaning.

Additional changes:

  • We are increasing the number of gym reservations per resident from two (2) to three (3) a week. The pool is still available for reservation three (3) times a week. Weeks run Monday through Sunday.
  • Reservations begin on the hour and last 60 minutes. This 60 minutes includes both exercise and clean-up time.
  • We are adding several pool fitness classes. Residents may check the weekly Forest Forward for details. A current fitness center schedule is also available on the Keeping Busy table in the Community Center.

Each resident will be allowed a maximum of three (3) reservations in the pool and three (3) reservations in the gym each week.

  • The maximum headcount in the gym is two (2) people at a time.
  • The maximum headcount in the pool is three (3) people at a time.


Community Center Rooms

Beginning Saturday, October 3, 2020, Community Center rooms are available for resident use 24 hours a day, seven days a week by reservation. This includes Taproot, the art studio, and the living room. Taproot capacity has been revised to allow six (6) residents on the Billiards side and eight (8) residents on the Club Room side.

For the health and safety of others, residents who use these facilities will be required to clean up after themselves with the provided supplies. Reservation times include clean-up and up to three (3) reservations a week are accepted.

Please contact Resident Life at or 919-419-4069 to request a reservation.

The library has reopened with limited hours and restrictions on capacity. More information can be found outside the library.

Visitation Policy

Effective Thursday, October 1, 2020, The Forest will allow for resident reserved indoor visitation in independent living residences. Please note that, at this time, overnight visitation is not allowed. Guest rooms will continue to remain closed. Reservations must be placed by a resident within a 24-hour period for guests to have access to the community.

We are intentionally rolling out visitation in phases and each phase is a major change during a pandemic. We want to start slowly with reasonable controls so we know who is on campus and when. By not allowing overnight visitors at this phase, we know who has checked in each day and that gives us a daily census of visitors on campus. Should there be a positive COVID case in independent living or another unforeseen consequence, this allows us to start each day anew with the best chance of implementing any needed safety measures.

Please remember that the health and safety of our residents and team members are our priority, so if for any reason we are faced with an increased risk of COVID-19 spread, we may need to pull back on allowing visitors. If this becomes the case, it will be clearly communicated.

The following indoor visitation protocols are to be observed:

  • All guests will be screened at the Main Entrance daily. They will have their temperature taken and answer a brief health questionnaire. If a visitor has a temperature above 100.0°F, they will not be able to visit the community. They should then report their symptoms to their healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Visitors are only permitted in resident homes. No visitors or group gatherings will be permitted in our indoor common spaces.
  • Residents and their visitors must wear masks in public areas. Masks should be worn in residences as well, as they are meant to protect others in case someone is infected.
  • Residents should keep at least six (6) feet between themselves and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Visitors shall be limited to no more than two (2) at a time. Children ages 12 and under are not permitted as visitors at this time.
  • Visits outdoors, when possible. If not, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open your windows or doors) and is large enough to accommodate social distancing.

As a reminder, visitation to and from the Health & Wellness Center remains heavily restricted, per state and federal mandates. Please contact Jessica Hackett, Resident Navigator, at 919-419-4086 or for information regarding the current Health & Wellness Center visitation policy.

All team members of The Forest at Duke, deliveries, and contractors must continue to be screened before accessing the community. A daily temperature must be recorded, and a brief health questionnaire must be completed.

Updated October 21, 2020

The state Department of Health and Human Services recently started requiring all employees who work in nursing home environments to be tested every other week. The Forest at Duke team members working inside our Health & Wellness Center began being tested at the end of July. If there are no positive cases, testing will continue every other week. If there are positive cases among staff, testing will move to every week until there are no new cases for 28 days.

As a result of testing, The Forest at Duke has had one team member and one contractor test positive for the virus as asymptomatic carriers. Both isolated immediately. No residents or subsequent team members tested positive from this initial finding.

Since March, The Forest at Duke has had three residents in Independent Living test positive for the virus. These residents self isolated in their residences immediately and have fully recovered. No residents or team members have tested positive from these findings.

If you have questions about the coronavirus, the following websites offer comprehensive information:


CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NC Division of Public Health

The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine: AMDA Update on COVID-19