Live Update to Residents-August 25, 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; Jessica Corbitt, Manager Cultural Arts; and Lynn McClintock, Director Pastoral Care.

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

John Burns

Westminster Canterbury Richmond Testing Updates

Last week, we tested 189 employees and 136 residents for COVID-19. All results have come back negative. This testing covered all three floors of Parsons and all the employees who have resident interaction in Parsons. After the limited outbreak we had been enduring, this is outstanding news! This week, the testing schedule is:

• Yesterday – Parsons Second Floor

• Today – Parsons Third Floor

• Wednesday – Parsons First Floor

• Wednesday and Friday – Parsons employees

We adopted this testing schedule so we can receive results during the week and make adjustments as needed.

We have three residents in our COVID-19 positive unit. All were tested today and are eagerly awaiting negative test results so they can return home. All three residents are doing well. Only three employees remain off campus recovering. Everyone else has received two negative test results and returned to work.

If all continues to go well, the Avalon residents’ quarantine will end Saturday, August 29.

A huge thank you to the staff who have worked tirelessly in Parsons Health Center, Avalon and the COVID-19 positive unit to care for residents in tough conditions.

Governor’s COVID-19 Long-Term Care Task Force Updates

John Burns is a member of this task force that is led by Dr. Laurie Forlano, Deputy Commissioner of Population Health, Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Dr. Forlano is assisted by Gena Berger, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Virginia Department of Social Services.

Every meeting begins with a review of the pandemic data as it relates to long-term care. There have been 8,944 COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities in Virginia with 1,309 deaths. Outbreaks appear to be peaking for long-term care facilities in August.

Vaccine planning for COVID-19 and influenza is underway. There is a big emphasis on the need for residents and staff to be vaccinated for the flu this fall. There is a lot of concern about the additional strain of flu season during the pandemic. VDH will be tracking our efforts.

The situation related to the COVID-19 vaccine is complex. There is a lot of partial or misinformation being shared. It is expected that there will be a vaccine available. Though the timing is unknown, it is anticipated to come in two phases. The initial phase will have limited vaccines to be provided to priority groups. The priority groups are not defined yet but will likely include healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers and high-risk populations. Westminster Canterbury should qualify for the initial phase. We do not have details yet.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing a rapid antigen testing unit for every long-term care facility in the United States. Antigen testing is different from antibody testing. Antigen testing tells you if you are currently infected. Antibody testing tells whether you have previously had the virus. Westminster Canterbury was on the priority list and received our antigen rapid testing unit last week. There is limited data to guide the use of the rapid antigen testing. We will be getting guidance on how, when and where to use it versus the molecular PCR testing that we have been using so far.

We are currently doing three kinds of testing:

1. Diagnostic Testing when a person has symptoms or has known exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive.

2. Screening Testing, like the weekly testing we are doing in Parsons Health Center for staff and residents to identify people who may be contagious but not symptomatic so that we can prevent spread.

3. Surveillance Testing in the future will be selective, random testing done after we have no COVID-19 for a period of time.

Some facilities are struggling to make sure they have enough supplies to keep their staff safe. Personal protective equipment (PPE) issues seem to be stable, but the majority of facilities in Virginia report inadequate supply of PPE. Westminster Canterbury has been lucky to maintain sufficient supplies since the beginning of the pandemic.

Jessica Corbitt

Cultural Arts Updates

The “Summer Nights” series ends tomorrow with an outdoor concert at 7 p.m. in the Campbell Garden. This event will be mostly chamber music played by cello and flute.

On Thursday we launch our “Fall into the Arts” series during September and October. The fall programming consists of a mix of performance types, including in-person outdoor concerts, live virtual concerts from our Sara Belle November Theater and outdoor movies on the Ellipse.

Through our partnership with Richmond Performing Arts Alliance, we will host three concerts. These events will be shown live on TV970 and also broadcast to the Richmond community to Arts Alliance patrons who subscribe to the series. It is a great partnership for our community to creatively find ways to support our local artists. Thursday will feature Shannon Gibson Brown and Joshua Wortham performing a tribute to Patsy Cline.

We are also finalizing details around broadcasting Richmond Symphony Masterworks series performances on TV970 in September, October and November. More information will be in The Tales.

Studio Arts

Art instructors are returning to the McGue-Millhiser Arts Studio after Labor Day. The instructors will follow the same screening process as employees. Class sizes will be limited to maintain social distancing. Classes will include Open Studio with Tommy, Pastel and Drawing with Dale, Pottery with Cindy, Small Crafts, Watercolor with Emma Lou and Weaving with Susan. Clint will also return to assist residents in the Gordon Woodworking Shop. Please look for more details in The Tales or feel free to contact Sarah Abernathie at ext. 6258.

We will continue to navigate these new norms with an abundance of caution. Resident safety will remain a priority. We look forward to having a little fun in the arts with you!

Lynn McClintock

Please join us for Worship on TV970 on Thursday, August 27, at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Dr. Lynn McClintock will be preaching, Rev. Deacon Logan Augustine will assist, and Sally Maynard will play the piano.

September Daily Prayer Booklets will be out soon. If you have not received one in the past and would like one, please contact Vanessa Perry at ext. 1502 or David Curtis at ext. 5179. Daily Prayer Booklets offer a rhythm of daily prayer. The booklets include a brief order for each day of the week with prayers by our employees and Thursday worship bulletins.


Isaiah 43:1b-3a

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”


“Collect for Travelers” from The Book of Common Prayer

“O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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