Live Update to Residents-January 26, 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; Anita Adkins, Development Officer – Strategic Gifts & Special Projects; Kathleen Pender, Horticulturist; Whitney Woodruff, Manager Life Enrichment; and David Curtis, Chaplain. The next Live Update will be Thursday, January 28.
The following updates were shared.
On Friday we learned that a Parsons Health Center Third Floor resident tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently moved to the COVID-19 positive unit. One of the residents being cared for in our COVID-19 positive unit recovered and returned to their apartment. Currently, four residents are being cared for in the COVID-19 positive unit. Third Floor will remain in quarantine until Thursday, February 4.
We are glad to report that The Gables and Monticello quarantine ended on Saturday, January 23.
In good news, our test results that came back over the weekend did not reveal any new cases! Several of our employees who tested positive have recovered and returned to work this week. Only three continue to recover off campus in quarantine.
You are likely aware that there are supply challenges with the vaccine that are affecting communities all around the United States. The demand is skyrocketing as states have now implemented vaccination clinic processes and partnerships, and there simply are not enough doses to ramp up vaccination to the levels we are hoping for on a local level. There have been several starts and stops at the local, statewide and national levels.
Yesterday and today was our second vaccination clinic in partnership with CVS Health. 233 employees and 117 residents received vaccines yesterday. We are very grateful to have our Parsons Health Center and Assisted Living residents vaccinated.
Through this federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program for Long-Term Care Vaccinations, CVS and Walgreens were not authorized to vaccinate residents of Independent Living. This program was limited to skilled nursing facilities and assisted living.
As the program has been implemented, most continuing care retirement communities around Virginia, especially those that are smaller than Westminster Canterbury Richmond, were able to get residents and staff at all levels of care vaccinated through the partnership, despite the fact that Independent Living was not supposed to be included.
Westminster Canterbury Richmond has been transparent about our numbers in the different levels of care and has advocated aggressively for our Independent Living residents to be included in this partnership. CVS confirmed a vaccination clinic for February 15 and 16 that we have been promoting. Assisted Living residents and employees who received their first doses this week will be able to receive second doses on February 15-16.
However, over the weekend and yesterday, with no warning, CVS has cancelled their agreement to vaccinate our Independent Living residents. We are aware of only one other continuing care retirement community in Virginia that is in the same situation. Clinics are also being cancelled for Independent Living facilities in other states.
This news is frustrating and extremely disappointing. We know that you are shocked and disappointed to hear this news. Our team that has been working tirelessly on the vaccination details is certainly feeling the same way, but we are not done working to find a solution for you. Please know that we have been and will continue advocating for you with all our energies.
We have additional calls scheduled today and tomorrow where we hope to learn more about possible other partnerships. At this time, we have no confidence that CVS will fulfill their obligation to us as CVS has not worked with us in good faith.
CVS and Walgreens have been told by the Governor to end this federal program by the end of February, meaning all first doses should be administered by February 1. Because of the time constraint, some first-dose clinics that would happen after that date are being cancelled. The remaining vaccination needs will then transition to the state and local health departments.
Dr. Danny Avula, who has been here to speak with us, has moved to a new role at the state level. Amy Popovich is now in charge of the Henrico/Richmond Health Department vaccination process. The Henrico/Richmond Health Department is receiving approximately 6,500 vaccine doses each week. They will be vaccinating Independent Living communities, including Westminster Canterbury. In Henrico and Richmond, there are 51 independent living communities that will need to be vaccinated.
They have said they plan to start vaccinating in Independent Livings later this week, but we do not know how long it will take for them to get to us yet. They are using resident age and outbreak data to determine where to go first. Our residents and employees have done a great job of proceeding with an abundance of caution, and we have avoided an outbreak in Independent Living. We celebrate this, but it also means that we may not be first to receive vaccination from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
We are not finished fighting to get vaccination as soon as we can. We have some hope in other partnerships.
If you want to advocate on behalf of Westminster Canterbury, you may reach out to our local representatives:
• Senator Jennifer McClellan: https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/memberpage.php?id=S104
• Delegate Lamont Bagby: https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php?id=H0273
We continue to work on ways for our Independent Living residents to receive vaccines sooner.
Resident Services is developing a process to help every Independent Living resident be registered in the appropriate places. We are setting up a separate phone extension that you will be able to call to get assistance, especially if you do not have email or use the internet. We will be tracking who receives the vaccine outside of Westminster Canterbury. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We know there will be questions, and we ask that you give us time to finalize the process. Debra Jacobsen will share information at Thursday’s Live Update, and written details will be in Friday’s update memo.
Residents are encouraged to pursue vaccination offsite if possible. The limited, uncertain vaccine supply affects all the providers in our area, but everyone remains committed to vaccinating as quickly as possible as supplies are available. Please check with your primary care physician. If you are contacted by a reputable outside source like your doctor’s office or hospital, please take advantage of scheduling an appointment with them.
If you need transportation to a vaccine appointment, you may call our transportation department at ext. 6263 to schedule an appointment.
Veterans Health Administration
Veterans who live in Independent Living may qualify to get their COVID-19 vaccination through the Veterans Health Administration (VA). You must be in the Richmond VA Medical Center computer system to be eligible for the vaccine. To check to see if you are eligible, call 804-675-6660. Once you confirm your eligibility, you may call the VA at 804-675-5000 to register for a vaccine appointment. Press 0 to speak to someone without waiting through the prompts.
VCU Health has begun vaccinating existing patients who received care at one of their hospitals or clinics in the past three years and meet the state’s Phase 1b requirements, ages 65 or older. They are starting with their oldest patients first. If you have been a patient at VCU Health within the last three years, you may be contacted directly to make a vaccination appointment, or you may call 804-360-4669.
If you are a current Bon Secours Medical Group patient, call the Bon Secours COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule your appointment or to get additional information about the Bon Secours locations which are offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Call 866-624-0366.
Virginia Department of Health
We also encourage you to sign up through a form on the Henrico County Health Department website. There is a 65+ Interest Form where you can enter your information, and the team at the Henrico County Health Department will call you to schedule an appointment at one of the mass vaccination clinics. We do not know how quickly you will get an appointment, but they are prioritizing by age and beginning with the oldest people who have filled out the form. If you do not use the internet, this is one of the options that Resident Services will be available to help you with soon.
If you are able to fill this out for yourself, visit this website:
Click on the age 65+ Interest Form. Select the option for 65+ years of age, not currently residing in or working in a long term care facility, and fill out the form with your contact information.
If you are an Independent Living resident and you are vaccinated outside of Westminster Canterbury, please notify the Clinic so that your medical record can be updated. The Clinic will need a copy of your vaccine documentation.
Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Please also be aware of potential scams related to COVID-19 Vaccines. Please avoid any options or contacts that may include one of the following.
• You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
• You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
• Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
• Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.
• Protect yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.
Please remember that the Live Updates replay on TV971 and our digital signs daily at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. You can also watch the video or read the summary on our blog or on Touchtown Community Apps.
We will be back in touch this week with additional information and updates as we continue to pursue every potential opportunity on your behalf.
Tower Laundry Rooms
Last week, Tom Henning announced some changes coming to the Tower Laundry Rooms. Tower residents will receive a memo with more information. Tom will share more information at Thursday’s Live Update.
Tower Island Renovation Project
We anticipate beginning the Tower Island Renovation Project the week of February 1, 2021. This project includes the enhancement of the center Tower Island in Parking Lot 4 and 5 and the center Tower Island in Parking Lot 2 and 3, with the small island in Tower Parking Lot 2.
The first phase of the project will begin with the center island in Parking Lot 4/5, nearest the Spiritual Center the week of February 1. The existing large stone in the island will be removed and replaced with brick pavers complimentary to those recently installed at the West Tower Entrance and the Tower Green. This will provide pedestrians in this lot a safe level space to walk to their cars. In the middle of the islands, a series of tree wells will be dug for shade trees to be installed to help provide greenery and shade in the parking lot.
In preparation for the project start, we will need to temporarily stage materials in the parking spaces at the end of the island, closest to Westbrook Avenue. In addition, we will be roping off the first two feet of each parking space in the center of the island to create a safety work zone for the contractors to safely perform their work. Lastly, we will temporarily block at minimum the two spaces on each end of the island closest to the Tower building on the Brown Garden side to allow for a new concrete ramp installation for the entry point of the island. We anticipate this phase of the project to take about two weeks for completion. Additional information and updates will be provided via TV970, The Tales and Touchtown Community Apps. Thank you in advance for your understanding as we work to enhance this area.
If you have questions, contact Kathleen Pender at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 6045.
Butterflies 4 Smiles
Butterflies 4 Smiles is a precious COVID pop-up mission-based group. Local children have been making coffee filter and clothes pin butterflies all summer, fall and winter to be able to share them with the senior community in hopes of bringing smiles to many. They graciously gave us over 1,000 butterflies to share with our residents and the residents of Guardian Place, where we often volunteered prior to the pandemic.
Sarah Abernathie and Rebecca Hatch have done beautiful art installations with the butterflies across campus for everyone to enjoy. Around Valentine’s Day, we invite residents to take one or two off of the walls and home with them. Thank you to Butterflies 4 Smiles for making such a happy impact on our community.
Pastoral Care Announcements
Please join us for worship this Thursday, January 28, at 10:30 a.m. on TV970. Rev. Jenny te Velde will preach, and Suzie Frazer will provide the music.
The February Prayer Booklets will be available by the end of the week. If you received one previously, you will receive another automatically in your box. If you have not received one previously, and would like one, please contact Vanessa Perry at ext. 1502 or David Curtis at ext. 5179. The Prayer Booklets provide a weekly rhythm of prayer and contain the Thursday worship bulletins. The Prayer Booklets are updated monthly.
Tomorrow, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Tomorrow is the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, by the Russian army. Tomorrow is set aside to remember the millions lost to anti-Semitism. We also remember those killed because of their national origin, disabilities, faith traditions, political leanings or sexual orientation.
Poem (by Malka B., a survivor of the Holocaust)
I have lived
in a world gone mad
and I have seen
unleashed beyond reason or
I was with them.
We drank from the same
I hid with them
Feared with them,
Struggled with them
And when the killing was finally done
I had survived
while millions had died.
I do not know why.
I have asked many questions
for which there are no answers
And I have even cursed
thinking I could not
endure the pain.
But a flame
refused to die.
I could not throw away
What had been ripped away
from so many.
In the end
I had to choose life.
I had to struggle to cross
the bridge between
the dead and the living.
I had to rebuild
what had been destroyed.
I had to deny death
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Let us pray:
Loving God, giver of grace and comfort, be with us as we walk these days. Be with us in our joys and in our frustrations, in our hopes and in our disappointments. Be with us as we wait and be with us as we rejoice. Walk with your holy people, as you walked through the cool of the evening in the garden, as you walked through the heat of the desert, and as you walked to the foot of Calvary. Remind us that you are here, that you never leave, that you are from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.