Live Update to Residents-December 15, 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; Jason Pace, Manager Dining Services; and Lynn McClintock, Director Pastoral Care. The next Live Update will be Thursday, December 17.
The following updates were shared.
In Friday’s memo, we shared that a Registered Nurse from Mary Morton Parsons Health Center tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing. Over the weekend another Parsons Health Center employee tested positive for COVID-19. A total of six employees continue to recover at home in quarantine. A number of employees are in quarantine at any given time due to exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, either a fellow employee or a loved one in the community. A number of others are experiencing symptoms that may or may not be due to COVID-19 and are waiting to receive test results.
For residents, three who tested positive for COVID-19 are currently being cared for in the hospital. We are deeply saddened to report that another resident who tested positive passed away in the hospital this weekend. It’s heartbreaking to lose our friends and neighbors. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family. We continue routine testing in Parsons Health Center based on the positivity rates in our region. Currently, weekly testing is required. If the positivity rate increases, we may be required to test twice weekly.
Thank you to the Parsons Health Center staff, including nursing, housekeeping, engineering and more for their hard work and dedication. Thankfully, today there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in Parsons Health Center.
As reported in the news, vaccine distribution is underway! This is exciting news. Members of our team have been participating in calls with the state and Omnicare, a CVS Health company, to learn about the process and how it will impact Westminster Canterbury. We still have a lot of unanswered questions. We will share more information at Thursday’s Live Update and in written form when we know more.
While we are not experts in the vaccine, we share information compiled from recent calls, CVS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
The FDA approved emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on December 12. Priority has been given to healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. The FDA is scheduled to review the Moderna vaccine this Thursday, December 17, and likely approve it Friday, December 18. Westminster Canterbury will partner with Omnicare for vaccine administration. They will select the clinic dates for Westminster Canterbury, and we are waiting to learn when that will be. They will provide everything we need. As far as we know, everyone in all areas of living and all employees will be given the opportunity to be vaccinated.
The vaccine is a two-dose series that is administered three weeks apart. Both doses are necessary for protection. Protection is not immediate. It will take one to two weeks after the second dose before you are considered fully vaccinated and protected. The efficacy rate with the second dose is 95%.
This is not a live virus. It uses a technology that will provoke an immune response that can block or kill the virus if a person becomes infected. It will help us build antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
The vaccine may have some short-term side effects for some people, like fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and pain at the injection site after vaccination. The reactions last for 24-48 hours and are typically more pronounced after the second dose. These side effects are normal, common and expected. They mean your body is doing its job and making antibodies. It’s a good thing!
Some have asked why we should get vaccinated. It will help protect you, your family and all residents. It will help stop spread in the community.
There are special guidelines for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have positive antibodies. It is considered safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have had COVID-19. It is important to get vaccinated. It could give you longer or better protection.
Because we have limited information on how well the vaccine works in the general population; how much it may reduce disease, severity or transmission; and how long protection lasts, vaccinated persons should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others. This includes:
• Wearing a mask
• Staying at least six feet away from others
• Avoiding crowds
• Washing hands often
• Following CDC travel guidance
• Following quarantine guidance after an exposure to someone with COVID-19
• Following any workplace guidance
Westminster Canterbury’s current guidelines will continue for the foreseeable future.
While Westminster Canterbury is not mandating that employees or residents get the vaccine, we do hope that we will have 100% participation.
If you are interested in learning more, please refer to the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html
We will share more at Thursday’s Live Update and in written form. Thank you for your patience as we wait for questions to be answered.
The next Live Update is Thursday, December 17. Through the end of December, we will hold one Live Update each week on Tuesday, December 22, and Tuesday, December 29. If we have other news to share, we will distribute it via a memo and other methods.
The Pantry Reopening
The Pantry service will reopen with Tuesday and Friday deliveries beginning Tuesday, December 22. There will be no service on Friday, December 25, nor Friday, January 1. An updated menu of offerings will be placed in resident mailboxes later this week. It will include instructions on how to place an order.
A Thank You Treat
On behalf of all Westminster Canterbury staff, we thank the residents for their generosity towards the Employee Christmas Fund. On Thursday, December 17, between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., dining staff will deliver a holiday treat of peppermint ice cream! We know how much the residents love this seasonal treat, and we wanted to make sure we were able to provide it to you. Please make plans to be home from 2:30-4 p.m. Dining staff will provide contactless, in-person delivery. As we all know, Santa doesn’t make extra drop-offs, so please make plans to be home and listen for the knock on your door.
Pastoral Care Updates
If you have been tuning into our Thursday worship services at 10:30 a.m. on TV970, you have heard some relevant and inspirational preaching, God’s word through scripture and the gift of music. This week, the Rev. Deacon Logan Augustine will deliver the homily, Rev. Jenny te Velde is assisting and Anita Adkins will play the piano. We hope you will join us and that your sprits will be lifted and energized through worship.
Watch for the “Great Conjunction of 2020!” On December 21, beginning at sunset, look to the sky to see Jupiter and Saturn sit just 0.1 degrees apart!
Hymn – “As with Gladness Men of Old”
Verse One: “As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold; as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright; so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.”
Poem – “To Listen, To Look,” by Ann Weems (Kneeling in Bethlehem)
Is it all sewn up—my life?
Is it at this point so predictable,
that I don’t have time or space
for listening for the rustle of angels’ wings
or running to stables to see a baby?
Could this be what he meant when he said
Listen, those who have ears to hear…
Look, those who have eyes to see?
O God, give me the humbleness of those shepherds
who saw in the cold December darkness
the Coming of Light
the Advent of Love!
Loving and gracious God:
We give you thanks for the gift of life, and for this day, which is your gift to us. We thank you for your presence which is constant and true. You never leave us, even in our darkest hour.
We thank you for the researchers, scientists, lab technicians, pharmacists, nurses, transportation personnel—all who have recognized the dire need for a vaccine and who have marshalled their expertise and energies to expedite its distribution and administration. We thank you for Westminster Canterbury staff who are organizing the process of inoculation and documentation. We are eager for the vaccine and are grateful that our community will soon receive it. We also acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of people who must wait—and those who will not make it before the vaccine reaches them. We mourn the loss of those in our community, and around the world who have lost their lives and whose families deeply grieve. We pray for essential workers, for hospital staff in ICU units across the country and the world—keep them safe, strengthen and protect their bodies, and enliven their spirits. Comfort, comfort, the people pray for comfort.
While this Christmas and Hanukkah will be like no other—while grief over losing loved ones will be more complicated due to the inability to hold memorial services—while we will stay close to home and circle the wagons—may this holiday season be one where we truly recognize the gift of light because this year, we yearn with acute anticipation. Grateful for the warmth and safety of our homes, we acknowledge the pain and brokenness of our society—a society of great wealth, yet a society where there are thousands upon thousands who do not have homes, or have lost them—do not have jobs or have lost them, do not have adequate food for their children, and those who suffer violence and neglect. We have become a nation where citizens are distrustful and contrary with one another, and our discord reaches even our own friend and family circles—Lord, we need your help. We ask for courage to be bearers of your light, peace to calm our anxiety and enough discomfort to not be complacent or dismissive of injustice. Stir us this holiday season, to embrace gratitude, to overcome barriers, to speak love and kindness to one another, to be bold in not just announcing but BEING Good News in whatever way we can—and to never, never give up hope.
In the name of the one who is the Light of the World, we pray. Amen.