COVID-19 Update to Family Members

The following is being sent to our residents’ family members and emergency contacts today:

As you may have heard by now, a resident of Westminster Canterbury has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The resident is in the hospital after returning from travel to Florida. Westminster Canterbury is working closely with public health officials, who are on campus partnering with Westminster Canterbury healthcare staff. Virginia Department of Health officials are now determining who may have come into contact with the resident and a number of healthcare staff are at home in self-quarantine.

Starting at the beginning of March, a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments, including an RN Infection Preventionist, met to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and make a plan for other concerns. Our existing infection control policies and procedures guide us as we work to prevent the spread of infection and control it as necessary.

• On March 4, staff began tracking the travel plans of residents, staff and their families in order to monitor those travelling to affected areas.
• On March 11, as soon as a case was confirmed in greater Richmond, Westminster Canterbury took strides to lock down the campus, closing the campus to visitors and screening everyone who entered our campus, including all staff members, with questions and temperature screenings.

As soon as COVID-19 was diagnosed for the hospitalized resident, Westminster Canterbury took additional steps, including requiring all residents to remain in their apartments. All needs of residents will be attended to by staff.

Although Westminster Canterbury had robust infection control policies already in place due to the threat from seasonal influenza, we have reviewed our infection control policies and updated them as necessary to specifically address our current circumstances along with what is known today about the Coronavirus. We anticipate additional changes may occur as more becomes known about the Coronavirus.

Our staff members have been trained on these policies and have implemented them throughout our community. Our staff is reviewing changing conditions or presence of respiratory illness in our community daily on each shift. Staff are also participating in daily calls with our governmental and healthcare partners to understand the latest updates and current information related to this issue.

While we have taken these steps to prepare our staff and community, we need your help to minimize our residents’ and building’s exposure to this virus. The Centers for Disease Control has directed “Older persons” to stay home. The Virginia Department of Health has also directed our residents to stay in their apartments. Westminster Canterbury staff will be bringing meals to residents three times a day. Additionally, should there be an issue that ordinarily would require residents to leave their apartment, Westminster Canterbury staff will do what we can to address the issue so they can remain in their apartment.

Please continue to observe appropriate infection control practices:
• Wash your hands;
• Cover your cough and sneezes;
• Maintain an appropriate social distance of at least six (6) feet;
• Do not shake hands or otherwise have physical contact with others;
• If residents are ill or feeling under the weather, please let us know immediately. Also, we ask that they please stay in their apartment/room and do not visit with others.

We understand that it is difficult not to visit your loved ones. If you need assistance visiting with a loved one by phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc., let staff know and we will work to assist you.

Protecting our residents’ health and wellbeing, and that of our staff, remain our highest priority. We appreciate your help and understanding during this unprecedented time and situation.

John Burns
President and CEO

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