Live updates to residents on our in-house TV970 keep us informed and connected on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. Today’s update featured John Burns, President and CEO; Will Blackwell, Vice President Health Services; Vanessa Perry, Pastoral Care Administrator; and The Rev. Canon Bob Hetherington, resident.

The following updates were shared during the live briefing on TV970.

John Burns

National COVID-19 data:

  • Approximately 3 million cases and 131,000 deaths
  • More than 50,000 new cases per day for 5 of the past 10 days

In Virginia:

  • 750,631 have been tested for COVID-19. This is an increase of 15,424 since yesterday.
  • Positive cases total 67,988, an increase of 613 since yesterday.
  • The rolling seven-day positivity rate in Virginia is 6.3%, trending up slightly.
    • Henrico is at 4.6%, trending down.
    • Chesterfield is at 8.0%, trending up slightly.
    • Richmond is at 5.3%, trending up slightly.
  • There have been 6,625 hospitalizations.
  • 1,937 people have died from COVID-19, including 32 new deaths since yesterday.
  • 9,065 people have recovered.

Second Case of COVID-19 in a Mary Morton Parsons Health Center Resident

Yesterday, Westminster Canterbury Richmond learned that a second resident of the Mary Morton Parsons Health Center has tested positive for COVID-19. This resident was tested on Monday, July 6, as part of our testing in response to the first Parsons Health Center resident on this same floor who tested positive on Monday. This newest resident with positive test results, whose symptoms are a low-grade fever and light cough, is recovering in the Parsons Health Center. Residents of the Parsons Health Center continue to be under quarantine per guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In response to the positive test results we received on July 6, we have tested all residents living on this floor and each employee who has worked there since June 30. Test results are pending for 119 residents and 286 staff.

We want to acknowledge the great work of our nursing team. From the nursing leadership to the nurses and Certified Nursing Assistance (CNAs), every one of them has done an amazing job under incredibly difficult conditions. The nurses and CNAs working with our COVID-19 positive residents go about their work with such dedication. Their attitude and professionalism is amazing.

Residents Under Quarantine

The following message concerns those residents who are currently under quarantine awaiting their COVID-19 test results. These are residents who traveled, spent one or more nights in the hospital or are new move-ins to Westminster Canterbury. The health and safety of all residents is paramount. To that end, all residents who are under quarantine must adhere to important standards to protect everyone. Any time you are off campus, the risks of exposure to COVID-19 go up. For those who have traveled or been in the hospital, the risks are even higher. It is important for you to be tested for everyone’s safety. 

Unfortunately, test results are taking a long time to come back due to a huge increase in testing. We do recognize that quarantined residents may need physical exercise or need to exercise a pet. Thus, we are introducing a limited quarantine awaiting test results. If you are under quarantine, you may engage in limited outdoor exercise and pet walking. You should not interact with others nor use common spaces during this limited quarantine period. Thank you for your cooperation. Please contact Resident Services at ext. 6082 with any questions.

Staff Safety Measures

Our concerns for everyone’s health and safety also extend to our staff. As COVID-19 conditions in the United States and Virginia improved, staff were encouraged to get some rest and relaxation. Many staff planned a much-needed vacation or time to go see family. Unfortunately, conditions are now deteriorating and travel is not safe. We will be reinitiating travel policies for our staff, which will include testing and limited quarantine, reassignment out of resident areas or work from home if possible. We will share more details later.

Will Blackwell

Thank you to everyone for your continued support during this national pandemic. The Parsons Health Center staff have been doing everything possible to remain free of COVID-19. Residents and staff are tested weekly, and staff continue with utmost diligence in wearing personal protective equipment and washing their hands.

On Monday, July 6, we learned of our first acquired case of COVID-19 in a Parsons Health Center resident.  We learned of this case through weekly testing of residents. This resident has no signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and is doing well. On Wednesday, July 8, we learned of a second resident testing positive for COVID-19. This resident and the other resident are neighbors and live across from each other. This second resident does have signs of COVID-19 but is stable at this time.

Early in the pandemic, staff collaborated to write an Outbreak Policy and Plan. This would be enacted in the event three or more residents test positive for COVID-19. Currently, there are only two cases, and these cases are on the same hallway. We pray this exposure is isolated and will not spread throughout the Parsons Health Center. We will share more information about the Outbreak Plan if another resident tests positive.

Staff who work on the floor where the COVID-19 positive residents live have been wearing N95 masks, for which they are fit-tested to ensure utmost protection. These masks are challenging to work in for the duration of the shift. We deeply appreciate all our wonderful staff and how hard they continue to fight against this virus.

Please stay healthy by wearing your mask, social distancing and washing your hands. We appreciate all of you!

Vanessa Perry

Vanessa introduced The Rev. Canon Bob Hetherington, resident and Episcopal priest, who shared a reflection.

Bob Hetherington

Romans 5:3-5  

“… we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us…”

Hope helps us see the future in positive ways. In these uncertain times, we are not sure what may happen. It is a difficult time. This time of pandemic and racial unrest is a time for reflection and realization, to examine who we are. Let’s look at how we can be inclusive and make a difference. Facing adversity builds character, which produces hope. We need hope to open our eyes to the future. God is walking with us into this future. We rejoice in our suffering knowing it produces endurance, character and hope. May we have hope journeying forward.

Return to the blog.