Live Update to Residents-December 1, 2020

Today’s Live Update on our in-house TV970 covered the latest news on COVID-19 at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. It featured John Burns, President and CEO; Beverly Beck, Resident; Whitney Woodruff, Manager Life Enrichment; and David Curtis, Chaplain. The next Live Update will be Thursday, December 3.

The following updates were shared.

John Burns

COVID-19 Update

We are pleased to share updates on some good news as well as ongoing challenges. In good news, all but two households in Mary Morton Parsons Health Center are out of isolation. This means that staff is no longer required to don and doff full personal protective equipment (PPE) coming from and going into every room. This is a positive step in the right direction. Parsons Health Center will remain closed to visitation and all but essential workers. The two wings that remain in strict quarantine or isolation are First Floor North, due to an employee testing positive last week, and Second Floor North, a COVID-19 positive unit. Last week we were able to close the COVID-19 positive unit in Pavilion.

All areas of living remain closed to visitation.

Many residents and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 in November are now recovered or will be reaching the end of their quarantine periods in the coming days. We are very thankful that many staff have returned to work. Residents have recovered and returned to their apartments.

In ongoing challenges, since the beginning of November, we have had 31 residents test positive for COVID-19. Five residents who tested positive remain in our COVID-19 positive unit in Parsons Health Center. Four residents are being cared for in the hospital. Three residents are asymptomatic and in isolation in their Independent Living apartments. Unfortunately, five residents who tested positive have passed away. Several of these were already receiving hospice care when they became infected. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones. The residents in the hospital and some of those in Parsons Health Center remain very sick. Please keep them in your prayers.

The situation in Independent Living remains challenging. An Independent Living resident developed symptoms and tested positive on Sunday. This resident is currently in the hospital. We do not know how this resident was exposed. After contact tracing, it was determined that a number of other residents and staff were exposed and will need to be quarantined.

For residents in quarantine, please contact either the Clinic or your social worker if you have questions about the duration of the quarantine period. There has been some confusion related to the guidance from the Virginia Department of Health. Depending upon a resident’s health status, the quarantine will either be 14 or 20 days from the test date.

Employee Cases

Since the beginning of November, 30 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Our newest case is a staff member who tested positive yesterday. Thankfully, many have recovered or never showed symptoms and have made it out of their isolation periods. Eight continue to recover off campus. Fifteen other staff are currently at home in quarantine due to exposure or awaiting test results.

Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention

While we are happy to have good news to share, this does not mean that we are out of the woods yet. There is a lot of information related to a vaccine being available in the next month or so, but this does not mean the risk will go away quickly. We should expect to see more cases and perhaps more outbreaks over the holidays. The virus is very prevalent in the community, and the holidays are going to make it worse. Our most recent positives have come in the past two days, so it is likely we will continue to see more residents and staff who test positive. We must continue to be vigilant.

Many Independent and Assisted Living residents are also under quarantine due to exposure to someone who has tested positive. We strongly discourage visitation in each other’s apartments at this time. If you go off campus to see family and get exposed or if one of your friends tests positive and you have been exposed to them, you will be required to quarantine. These guidelines are from VDH. Assisted Living and Parsons Health Center residents who leave our community for any reason other than medically necessary appointments will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

Wear a mask at all times when around others. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Always maintain social distancing of at least six feet. Stay home if you do not feel well and contact your physician or the Clinic. We encourage you to stay connected by phone or in virtual ways.

While we remain closed to visitation and many programs and services are suspended, we encourage you to tune into TV970 and 971 and read The Tales on Thursday for more information on ways to stay active and upcoming virtual programming.

Beverly Beck

Employee Christmas Fund Update

Our Employee Christmas Fund (ECF) theme this year has been EXTRAORDINARY TIMES REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY EMPLOYEES! How true that has been!! We have exceeded our fundraising goal by a lot! At the Live Update on Tuesday, December 8, at 3 p.m., we will announce the total amount in the Fund. What an exciting moment that will be for everyone!

“In giving, you receive,” really applies to our residents. What a joy you are! You truly care about our employees. You recognize the hardships that our employees are facing in this pandemic. You honor the staff with your contributions. You have opened your hearts in your comments and monetary gifts to our employees! What a privilege it has been to work with you in this past year to give our employees the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

There are many people who have assisted in raising the ECF Funds! The ECF Committee, Ambassadors and the Advisory Committee members have worked in this most difficult time to make sure everything was done to support the campaign and provide information to our residents regarding the ECF. A special thank you is due to Karen Dillon, who last year and this year worked with residents and employees in preparing weekly articles in The Tales that were a big hit! She also is a great proofreader!

The Executive Staff have always been most supportive to whatever the ECF Committee wanted to do! Special thanks go to:

• Rebecca Hatch and team for always being so helpful in developing brochures, handouts and Tales articles, just to mention a few.

• LaToya Spain has been with us every step of the way printing brochures, posters, letters and more, sometimes on a moment’s notice. She has been amazing!

• Deborah Mallory has been in charge of the fund accounting. She can also respond on a moment’s notice to keep us informed on where we stand in the campaign. The fund has been in great hands!

• Emily Williamson, Administrative Support staff to the committee, is truly an amazing individual. She has always had the time to work with any situation that arises!

• Scott Jonté found enough Nutty Buddies for our ice cream party in July!

It has taken a village to make the ECF run smoothly! Everyone has been extremely positive throughout this process. It has been said that there is a special relationship here at Westminster Canterbury between the employees and residents! That is so true! We LIVE WELL because of this unique relationship! We still have until Thursday, December 3, to contribute to the fund.

On behalf of the ECF Committee, thank you! The final fund amount will be announced at the Live Update on Tuesday, December 8, at 3 p.m. You do not want to miss it!

Whitney Woodruff

Holiday Updates

Happy December! We are excited to share this holiday season with you. Although it’s different, it will be as special as it can be. Chocolate advent calendars were delivered to residents yesterday. Enjoy the season one piece of chocolate at a time.

We are starting to deck the halls with trees, nativities, wreaths, greenery and lights going up around campus. We will take photos of trees and nativities to share with those who cannot leave their apartments to enjoy them. There is an abundance of lights outside this year thanks to horticulturist Kathleen Pender and her team. Please enjoy them through your windows or take an evening walk to enjoy them in person.

Christmas music is playing in the hallways and holiday programming will soon be on TV970 and throughout campus. We look forward to celebrating with you!

David Curtis

Pastoral Care Announcements

There is a “Living into Hope” Advent Calendar at the Center and Tower Desks. This calendar provides suggestions on how to mark this season of Advent, a season of hope, waiting and expectation. It includes simple suggestions with wonderful meaning. The “Living into Hope” calendar is also found on the back page of the December Prayer Booklet.

The Prayer Booklet contains a weekly rhythm of prayer, with one order for each day. If you have requested one previously, these were placed in your boxes on November 30. If you live in Avalon, these were delivered to your door. These daily prayer booklets have been a part of our spiritual lives at Westminster Canterbury during this time of physical separation. The Prayer Booklet also contains the bulletins for our December worship services, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you haven’t received a Prayer Booklet in the past, or are a new resident and would like one, please call David Curtis at ext. 5179 or Vanessa Perry at ext. 1502.

Please join us this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on TV970 for our weekly worship service. Mrs. Leigh Anne Ring, pastoral care intern, will preach.

Scripture (Isaiah passages, as included in “The Messiah”)

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings unto Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! (Isaiah 40:9-11)

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1)

Celtic Blessing for Light

May the blessing of Light be on you

light without and light within.

May the blessed sunlight shine on you

And warm your heart

till it glows

Like a great peat fire,

so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it

and also a friend

And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you

Like a candle set in the windows of a house

Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

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