Live Update to Residents-December 22, 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; and Logan Augustine, Chaplain. The next Live Update will be Tuesday, December 29.
Today’s update was filmed early. The following updates were shared.
The current surge of coronavirus cases in the United State and Virginia is severe. Positivity rates, the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, are high in our region. The rolling seven-day positivity rate for Virginia is 11.7%, up from 4.6% at the end of October. Henrico is 9.1%, up from 3.3% in October. Richmond is 6.2%, up from 3.0% in October. Some areas that are experiencing the worst positivity rates are Chesapeake at 15.2%, Central Virginia including Lynchburg at 18%, and Roanoke at 14.4%. These rates have increased dramatically in recent weeks.
Many other continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) either have active outbreaks in their Independent Living or nursing homes, or they have recently experienced an outbreak and are beginning to stabilize. Gratefully, Westminster Canterbury’s situation has stabilized, and our precautions and protocols seem to be working well. We must remain vigilant and keep our guard up.
A few residents are in quarantine due to possible exposure to those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or due to experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. We are not aware of any positive cases of COVID-19 in residents in our community. Only six employees who previously tested positive for COVID-19 continue to recover in quarantine. We are so grateful to be entering the holidays this way.
CVS Health and Walgreens are the official COVID-19 Vaccination Program Providers in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. CVS is our longtime partner, and they will provide everything we need for vaccination, including the dates we can expect to receive vaccination. We anticipate this will begin in early January. We hope to have at least ten days’ notice prior to the first clinic.
CVS will visit our campus to set up vaccine clinics to ensure all staff and residents have the option to receive the vaccine following the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) distribution plan. There will be three separate vaccine processes for each area of living (Mary Morton Parsons Health Center, Assisted Living and Independent Living). Each process will include three clinics with a three-week gap between doses, to accommodate both vaccine doses and potential new admissions and/or new hires.
We anticipate Mary Morton Parsons Health Center employees and residents and Independent Living employees will be vaccinated first, beginning as early as January 4, 2021. Once CVS has a confirmed date to start the vaccine clinics, we will communicate the location and times to all residents and employees.
We will begin distributing authorization documents next week that must be returned before vaccination.
A memo and Frequently Asked Questions document with more information will be shared tomorrow. There are many details and questions surrounding the vaccine process, and we will provide updates as details are confirmed.
Westminster Canterbury’s goal is that 100% of residents and employees will get vaccinated. It is the best way to protect ourselves and one another.
As a reminder, our guidelines regarding visitation are not changing during the holidays. Visitation for all areas of living is suspended until further notice, except in end-of-life and compassionate care situations.
We have received questions about residents celebrating on campus with other residents. We discourage residents gathering in apartments or homes, but we are not prohibiting it. If you choose to do so, please follow the guidelines to maintain social distancing and wear a mask, even among close friends.
Family and friends who need to deliver items for residents may come to the Tower Entrance. Courtesy Services will be available to accept the delivery and take it to the resident, or residents may accept the delivery in person. This service is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Please continue to do all the things that keep you safe and healthy:
• Wear a mask at all times when around others. Always carry a mask with you.
• 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.
• Throughout the holiday season, in-person gatherings with individuals outside your household are discouraged. Stay connected and celebrate by phone or in virtual ways.
Our next update will be Tuesday, December 29. We hope to have all the details about vaccination at that time. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Tonight, at 7 p.m., on TV970, we will offer a Christmas Organ Concert by Ed Schutt. Ed is a well-known organist and musician who regularly plays at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. The concert will include pieces for the organ and many carols to sing. Please join us and be prepared to sing loudly and with joy! The printed programs are at the Tower and Center Desks and on Touchtown.
Our Christmas Eve service will be a service of Lessons and Carols at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, December 24, on TV970. Christmas Day services will be shown at 10:30 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, December 25, on TV970. Bulletins will be available beginning Wednesday morning at the Tower and Center Desks and on Touchtown. These services are also contained in the December Daily Prayer Booklet.
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
You are likely very familiar with this sacred story! We’ve all heard this Scripture from Luke read in our homes and churches at Christmas time. It is a story that reminds me of my childhood – of hearing the birth story of the baby Jesus in the manger. As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the messiness, humanness and complexity of this story because it reminds me of God’s presence in the hardest and most unlikely of places.
But in this challenging year of 2020, I find myself especially appreciative of the small, joyful, tender moments, which is perhaps why I’m so drawn to this childlike appreciation and excitement for the Christmas story this year.
I was reminded of the joy and magic of Christmas as experienced through the eyes of children this past weekend. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Goochland came up with a creative way to hold their annual Christmas pageant: rather than their typical pageant held inside the church, parents and families came together to create a “drive-through” pageant, called “The Most 2020 and Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” On Sunday evening, guests were invited to drive through the campus from the safety of their cars to see the children of the church tell the Christmas story.
Children depicted each scene of the Christmas story: from the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel visits Mary, to the journey to Bethlehem, to the nativity scene. Excited children dressed up as angels, sheep, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, and many others. In their masks they yelled, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!” from their scenes as we drove by. Tears streamed down my husband and my cheeks as we witnessed the pure joy and excitement as those children proclaimed the Christmas story.
On this same weekend, an article was published in the Richmond Magazine about a family friend – a 12-year-old boy, named William who is honoring his grandfather’s love of Christmas this year by decorating their house in tons of fun lights and Christmas displays. His grandfather died in the beginning of the pandemic, and William hopes that people will feel joy and inspiration as they drive past their house to enjoy the Christmas lights this season.
These children seem to be beacons of hope this year, shining their light in the midst of a dark world. This Christmas is different for many of us for different reasons. Whatever your Christmas is this year, may we all find glimmers of hope which lighten our hearts. May we find moments where we can appreciate the joy of Christmas – the joy of the baby in the manger, the joy of God showing up in the least likely of places, the joy of the good news, of the light breaking into the darkness, reminding us of the hope that lies ahead.
Gracious and loving God, we have been walking a long, dark road in the wilderness for so long. As we enter into this Christmas season, may we see your light breaking into the darkness. May we find moments of hope and joy, which encourage and uplift us. We give thanks for this sacred story of the Holy Family. We give thanks for Mary and Joseph who faithfully said “yes” to God. We give thanks for the Christ child, for the gift of the incarnation and the gift of the knowledge that you are always present with and within us. Help us to be beacons of your light in this season and in the time to come, proclaiming the good news of love.