Live Update to Residents-August 18, 2020

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; Debra Jacobsen, Administrator Resident Services; and Logan Augustine, Chaplain.

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

John Burns

As of today, the COVID-19 data for Virginia includes:

• Positive cases total 108,282, an increase of around 861 since yesterday.

• 1,385,832 have been tested for COVID-19, around 17,000 since yesterday.

• The rolling seven-day positivity rate in Virginia is 6.8%. Henrico-6.8%, flat. Richmond-6.9%, trending down. Chesterfield-6.1%, trending down. Chickahominy-5.6%, trending up.

• There have been 2,396 deaths in Virginia.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we continue with weekly testing, and we continue to discover cases of COVID-19 in our residents and employees. The precautions we are taking are not only based on our decisions. We follow the guidance and regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This continues to be a scary and stressful time. We are committed to continued transparency about the number of cases we are seeing on campus.

Employee Screenings

Our screening process has not changed since the pandemic began. Every person who enters our community is screened before entering the building, including residents, family members and contractors. Since March, our employees arrive at the Avalon or Child Development Center entrances, where they answer questions about symptoms and exposure and receive a temperature check. This is not a perfect process as many individuals with the virus are without any symptoms and do not know that they have been exposed.

If employees have a fever or are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, they are sent home and asked to consult their physician and be tested. Employees are not allowed to come to work if they have any symptoms. Our employee policies outline the steps employees should take if they develop symptoms, including testing and quarantine guidelines. They must receive two negative test results, 24 hours apart, before they can return to work. Also, if our employees travel by plane, train or bus, they are tested when they return and follow additional precautions.

All staff wear masks and are encouraged to wash their hands frequently. We are proceeding with an abundance of caution to protect our residents when we learn of positive cases in our employees or residents, and we follow the guidance of VDH.


Unfortunately, yesterday Westminster Canterbury Richmond learned that a Housekeeping Aide who worked on all floors of Avalon and Parsons Health Center First Floor tested positive for COVID-19. Due to this exposure, all Avalon residents are under quarantine in their apartments for 14 days from the date of exposure per guidelines from VDH. This quarantine will end on Saturday, August 29. Thank you to Avalon residents for their tolerance and patience. We are making changes to Housekeeping schedules to reduce the risk of this happening in the future.

Parsons Health Center

The Parsons Health Center Third Floor resident who tested positive on August 8 has since recovered, received two negative test results and returned home on Friday, August 14.

Unfortunately, on Friday, August 14, a Parsons Health Center First Floor resident tested positive and moved to the COVID-19 positive unit. We have three residents in the COVID-19 positive unit. Two are asymptomatic. The third has only mild symptoms. Due to exposure to the Housekeeping employee, Parsons Health Center First Floor residents will dine in their rooms. All hallways will be closed. These additional precautions will end Tuesday, September 1.

Employee Cases

Today, we learned of a Parsons Health Center nurse who tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, there are three residents and six employees in quarantine. Since March, there have been confirmed cases in 11 residents and 28 employees.

We cannot say enough how critically important it is to remain diligent in wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing. Even though the precautions are not perfect, these are the best ways to protect yourself and one another. All residents and employees should stay home if they do not feel well or have any symptoms of COVID-19 and contact their physician.

Child Development Center Playground Project

The work on our Child Development Center playground continues. The hallway from the Child Development Center/Parsons Health Center Entrance to the Information Technology office is closed during the project work hours, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. today and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, it will be closed intermittently as work is completed. You may bypass this area by using the hallway that passes from the Avalon entrance to the back of the Child Development Center Playground, Parsons Health Center offices and Employee Lounge. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Debra Jacobsen

Residents Traveling

If you are a resident traveling, please be sure to complete the Leave of Absence form at the Tower or Center Desk. Please note the forms asks which mode of travel you will be taking. If you travel by plane, train or bus, there are quarantine and testing requirements. This information helps us to track residents who will need to be quarantined and tested when they return. If you have any questions, please speak with Front Desk staff.

Resident Outside Contractors and Personal Employees

Beginning yesterday, resident outside contractors and personal employees are allowed in our community to work with Independent Living residents. It is extremely important for all residents to follow the protocols in order to protect yourself, your employees and others who live and work at Westminster Canterbury. Residents must register their outside employees with Resident Services. Having the names and phone numbers of these outside staff allows for immediate tracking if needed. If you have questions about this process, call Resident Services at ext. 6082.

Check-In Phone Calls

In March, when COVID-19 first impacted our community, a group of staff volunteered to assist Resident Services in making check-in phone calls with Independent Living residents. The calls began weekly, and the frequency decreased as residents began leaving campus and having family visits. This week is the last week you will receive the calls on a regular schedule. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Resident Services. We plan to arrange an opportunity for you to meet your caller in the future.

Independent Living Visitation

Independent Living family members may visit Thursday through Sunday. Please remember that your guests must arrive between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for screening. During the visits, please continue to wear your mask; social distance; wash your hands before, during and after visits; and disinfect after your guests leave. Please remind your guests to avoid public areas as much as possible. The Visitation guidelines are located at

Absentee Ballots for November Presidential Election

The November Presidential Election is quickly approaching. At this point, we are planning to hold the election on campus as we typically do. Things can change quickly, so we encourage you to fill out a Vote by Mail Application to request an absentee ballot. Vote by Mail Applications are available at the Tower and Center Desks, through the Resident Services Office, or through the Social Worker in your area. After you have filled out your application, please send the completed application to either the Henrico Voter Registration Office or the Richmond City Voter Registration Office depending on where you typically vote. The application is due by mail by Friday, October 23. If you received an absentee ballot in the mail and would prefer to vote on campus the day of the election, you will just need to bring the absentee ballot with you to the polls and you will be able to cast your vote in person.


Please remember to be careful when walking around campus. We recommend that you take extra care and avoid the Employee Parking Lot when possible. Try to stick to the sidewalks for everyone’s safety.


Jessica Goldberg, Manager Courtesy Services, will share grocery shopping updates at Thursday’s Live Update.

Logan Augustine

Join us for the worship service on Thursday, August 20, at 10:30 a.m. on TV970. Rev. Jenny te Velde will preach. Rev. Deacon David Curtis will assist. Nancy Bain will be the pianist.

“Pain is the great teacher. I woke before dawn with this thought. Joy, happiness, are what we take and do not question. They are beyond question, maybe. A matter of being. But pain forces us to think, and to make connections, to sort out what is what, to discover what has been happening to cause it. And, curiously enough, pain draws us to other human beings in a significant way, whereas joy or happiness to some extent, isolates.”

May Sarton, American poet and novelist


Gracious and loving God, we know that it is not your desire that any human being should suffer. Yet, we know that to be human and to walk this other means that we will experience pain, and we see that through the life of your son. So, we find comfort in the knowledge that you know what it means to feel pain, that you are with us in our deep aches. As we experience physical pain from changes in our bodies, or mental pain from missing our families and loved ones, or spiritual pain from missing our places of worship; help us to find ways to support one another through that pain. Help us to draw near to each other and closer to you. We give thanks for moments of joy and happiness in our lives, O God. Yet we ask for strength to face whatever pain we may encounter with your grace. We thank you that you are there for us as we call out to you. May we always be reminded of our connection to each other and to you. Amen.

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