Live Update to Residents-January 12, 2021

Today’s Live Update on our in-house TV970 covered the latest news at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. It featured John Burns, President and CEO; Sloan Verlander, Administrator Assisted Living; Glendon Kemp, Manager of Security; Gayle Hunter Haglund, Vice President Resource Development; and Vanessa Perry, Pastoral Care Administrator. The next Live Update will be Thursday, January 14.

The following updates were shared.

John Burns

Thank you to everyone for all you’re doing! It is important for us to stay strong and vigilant in following all the protocols we have been discussing for months, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. Thank you for doing your part. Westminster Canterbury is grateful that we can do our part by providing services that we can do safely, like meal delivery to resident apartments, appointments in the Fitness and Aquatics Center, limited Salon Services, livestreamed performances from our theater and more.

Thank you for your sacrifices now that help us weather this crisis. We are grateful for each and every person who is part of this Westminster Canterbury family!

COVID-19 Updates

As was predicted with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, we continue to see a rise in cases of COVID-19 in our region and at Westminster Canterbury. Positivity rates for Virginia and our region are peaking at the highest levels yet during the pandemic.

Since the beginning, Westminster Canterbury has followed the latest guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in our response to the pandemic. While there are some policies and protocols where we can make the decisions ourselves, many guidelines we must follow come from these external agencies. These are the protocols that have helped us to weather the pandemic so far. Our leadership team stays connected with fellow leaders in long-term care. Through serving on the Governor’s Long Term Care Task Force and the LeadingAge Virginia Board, John Burns hears from those leading these processes and is able to advocate for Westminster Canterbury and our sector.

Resident cases have remained stable since last week. Five residents are being cared for in our COVID-19 positive unit. Three are from Mary Morton Parsons Health Center, one is from The Gables and one is from Independent Living. All are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms.

A number of Independent Living residents are in quarantine after exposure to family members, friends or personal independent contractors who tested positive for COVID-19. Please remember that there are risks involved when you invite outside contractors and personal employees into your apartment or if you attend in-person gatherings. If you are exposed, you must follow guidelines from VDH, which may include a 14-day quarantine. Following quarantine protocols is important in helping to prevent further spread of the virus.

A total of 15 employees have currently tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering or are asymptomatic. Since our last Live Update, there are eight new cases. These employees work in Dining, Westminster Canterbury Richmond at Home, Genesis Rehab, Resource Development, Assisted Living and three from Parsons Health Center First Floor. Several others are in quarantine due to experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 or after being exposed to someone who has tested positive.

Due to the new employee cases, Parsons Health Center First Floor is in isolation. Non-essential employees and residents should not use the Parsons Health Center elevators to access the Marketplace or Clinic areas.

Child Development Center

Two children who attend our Child Development Center tested positive for COVID-19. These are community children, not children of an employee. Per the guidance from VDH, two classrooms – the Young Preschool and Pre-K Classrooms – will be closed and in quarantine.


Sloan Verlander, who has been leading our vaccination process along with Will Blackwell, will provide an update. As a reminder, Westminster Canterbury is not in charge of how the vaccination process will work for our residents. We were required to choose a partner pharmacy, CVS or Walgreens. We chose CVS Health because of our long relationship with our onsite CVS pharmacy and Omnicare, CVS’s inpatient pharmacy that serves Parsons Health Center.

The plan was for both pharmacies to deploy the vaccine in the same manner based on guidance from the CDC and VDH. CVS and Walgreens have taken different approaches to vaccine distribution. Some communities are moving faster than Westminster Canterbury. The communities receiving a faster rollout chose Walgreens, and their Independent Living residents may receive vaccinations before Westminster Canterbury. Our partner, CVS Health, is following the guidelines from VDH in administering the vaccination clinics. Changes to vaccination distribution have been announced to improve upon the initial distribution processes. We are committed to getting Westminster Canterbury residents vaccinated as soon as possible.

Some residents have reported that they have access to receiving the vaccine sooner through their relationship with other organizations. Please feel free to take advantage of this opportunity even though the vaccine will eventually be available to all residents.

Sloan Verlander


Westminster Canterbury Richmond has been engaged in vaccination planning with CVS Health since early December. Westminster Canterbury is not authorized to control or administer the vaccine. CVS is maintaining the vaccine for us and provides everything we need for the vaccination clinics.

It has been a slow process of getting information on next steps. Westminster Canterbury is the 12th largest single-site continuing care retirement community in the United States, which makes us more complicated than other small communities when it comes to planning the logistics of vaccination and managing the number of available vaccines. We are ready to proceed as soon as CVS Health confirms our next steps.

All areas of living are prioritized to receive the vaccine in the first Phase 1a of distribution. This phase includes all residents and staff in long term care facilities, hospital staff and first responders in Virginia.

Our first vaccination clinic for Parsons Health Center residents and employees took place on January 4 and 5. Over the two days, vaccines were given to 344 employees and contractors and 117 Parsons Health Center residents, a total of 461 vaccinations. The date for the second dose is January 25-26. Those who are eligible for the first vaccination clinic wave are receiving detailed instructions.

Vaccination for the whole campus will come in multiple waves. There will be a separate set of vaccination clinics for Assisted and Independent Living. We are following up regularly and pushing for those dates to be scheduled as soon as possible.

Please remember that both doses of the vaccine 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%.

Assisted Living Update

The Gables and Monticello are in quarantine until Saturday, January 23. When areas come out of quarantine, it means residents may come out of their apartment, walk the halls close to their area of residency and go outside. This does not mean that visitation is resuming. Visitation continues to be suspended in all areas of living. We are available to help schedule virtual visits with your loved ones.

Glendon Kemp

SARA/Healthsense Changeover Update

Westminster Canterbury Information Technology staff and contractors are making progress in replacing the Healthsense devices with SARA equipment in the Tower. We discovered a glitch in a few of the door equipment installations. The issue has been resolved. We will likely finish the Tower Sixth Floor today, begin work on the Tower Fifth Floor tomorrow, and possibly begin the Tower Fourth Floor at the end of the week. Tower, Glebe, and Garden residents may receive automated voicemail message updates from Glendon Kemp.

Holiday Lights

In accordance with the Governor’s announcement, Westminster Canterbury Richmond plans to leave some outdoor holiday lights on display through January 31 to show our support for all that our healthcare heroes are doing to help end this pandemic.

Salon Services

Salon Services plans to reopen the Avalon Salon on Monday, January 18. Residents will be getting a call to confirm appointments toward the end of the week. We are scheduled to open The Gables Salon starting the week of January 25. These openings are subject to change. The Main Salon is the primary point of contact for all salon service requests. Please call ext. 6281 when requesting an appointment.


The Fitness and Aquatic Centers reopened by appointment only on Monday. Please remember you must call to make your appointment. We are now accepting calls for next week’s appointments. Small group classes have not resumed. We continue to offer Zoom exercise classes Monday and Wednesday mornings. Contact a member of the Fitness Team if you would like to join.

Studio Arts Programs

Beginning Monday, January 18, the McGue-Millhiser Arts Studio, McCord Pottery Room and Gordon Woodworking Shop will reopen. The Arts Studio and Pottery Room will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A maximum of four people in the Arts Studio and two in the Pottery Room will be allowed to maintain safe social distance. The Woodworking Shop will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be a limit of two people at a time to allow for appropriate social distancing. Schedule studio time with Sarah Abernathie in the Arts Studio or by calling ext. 6268.


There are a number of planned protests around the country. After the events of January 6, Westminster Canterbury Management and Security staff are on heightened alert for any protests near campus. As we shared just before Election Day, Westminster Canterbury is not a political target, but that does not mean that we are not affected by the area and community around us. We have a very strong relationship with Henrico County Police, and if we need them, please be assured we can expect a quick response. If you have any concerns about this, or any other security matter as we work to keep our community safe, please feel free to contact Glendon Kemp or Rob Robinson.

Gayle Haglund

Saturday Night Movie

Some residents reported difficulty hearing the Saturday Night Movie. The Sting, with Robert Redford and Paul Newman, will air again on Wednesday, January 13, at 7 p.m., on TV971.

Foundation Update

Westminster Canterbury Foundation is very close to finalizing our reporting for 2020 giving. Normally, when a year is filled with turmoil and uncertainty, giving declines. And 2020 certainly had plenty of turmoil and uncertainty. Instead of stifling giving, 2020 seemed to have a galvanizing effect on your generosity. You knew times were challenging, and so you stepped up. The Annual Fellowship Fund, which truly represents neighbors helping neighbors, had a goal of $1.65 million. Usually, we could count on at least $150,000 of this coming from the resident-run Shops on Main. But of course, that was impossible since COVID-19 began. Nonetheless, thanks to you, the full goal is nearly met as we close the books this week!

In fact, total giving for 2020 is approximately $4.3 million, which is a terrific result for any year – but especially the one we just lived through. I want to thank each and every one of you! Your gifts support Fellowship, Employee support through W·E·A·V·E, Performing Arts, Healthcare Excellence, Memory Support, Pastoral Care, Fellowship Outreach and more. And you helped build a new Spiritual Center! Thank you so much for making such a difference!

Story of Generosity

Late in 2020, a very generous family decided to make a very generous gift to Westminster Canterbury Foundation. For now, this gift is anonymous. The son of one of our dear residents encouraged his parent to consider creating a legacy gift. He knew his parent loved this place and might want to do something special. The resident, her son and I had many conversations, exploring the options. It was decided that a gift to name the Spiritual Center’s memorial garden was the most desired possibility.

The gift is very large – $500,000! The donor decided to sign a pledge for half the amount and began paying that off, in earnest, immediately. The other half is set up as a future gift from the donor’s will. What a beautiful idea!

Our donor kept pondering the idea of finding a name for the garden, knowing the memorial garden will be important to many people and families over generations. Surely, our donor thought, scripture would inspire contemplation and joy. There is a story in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24, in which two followers of Jesus walk the road to the village Emmaus. Along the way, they discuss the troublesome recent events in Jerusalem where Jesus had been crucified. They are joined along the way by a man they don’t recognize, but who is able to explain these events through the lens of scripture. The two ask this man to join them for dinner once they reach their destination. Their new friend blesses their food and suddenly they recognize him as the risen Lord.

The garden will be named the Emmaus Garden. It is our donor’s and our hope that the new memorial and contemplative garden be a place that celebrates each of our journeys to discover the Divine, the Holy One. Thank you so much to this thoughtful, wonderful donor –and to her son!

Vanessa Perry

Pastoral Care Announcement

Please join our Worship Service this Thursday, January 14, starting 10:30 a.m. via TV970. Leigh Anne Ring, Pastoral Care intern, will be preaching. Sally Maynard will be the musician.

Psalm 3:4-6

I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.


The following prayer is read aloud each day at Mount Vernon’s public wreath laying ceremony. It is adapted from George Washington’s “Circular Letter to the States,” directed to the governors and states of the new nation:

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have the United States in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Devine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation. Amen

Prayer adapted from Washington’s Circular Letter to the States, which he wrote on June 8, 1783, as the commander in chief, at his headquarters in Newburgh, New York. This circular was directed to the governors and states of the new nation. His reference to them has been replaced by the words “the United States.” Otherwise, the words and the spellings are those of General George Washington of the Continental Army.

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