Live Update to Residents-March 16, 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; Kathleen Pender, Horticulturist; and David Curtis, Chaplain. The next Live Update will be Thursday, March 18.

The following updates were shared.

John Burns

COVID-19 Updates

One year ago, on March 16, 2020, Westminster Canterbury learned of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident. On March 17, we held our first Live Update and press conference to share the news. Today marks our 153rd Live Update.

Today we reflect on everything this community has experienced over the past year. We commemorate the many sacrifices our community made in the name of safety and health. We remember those we have lost. We celebrate the hope that vaccination brings us.

Thank you for your support as we have navigated this year. Your notes and comments of appreciation have lifted the Westminster Canterbury Richmond team immeasurably throughout the year.

Restarting Programs and Visitation

Many have welcomed guests since visitation resumed on Friday. Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we had 316 visitors. Many residents enjoyed dining in the Marketplace where 107 meals were served yesterday. 23 residents attended the airing of a Richmond Symphony performance in the Sara Belle November Theater yesterday. Most Group Fitness Classes are fully booked.

We are pleased to be in a position where our community can be more open than it has been over the past year. There are still restrictions and guidelines in place. We encourage you to approach visiting with others and conducting business in the broader community with an abundance of caution. That may mean different things to different people, but it is up to you to determine where you are comfortable and what is most important to you.

CDC Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered new guidance last week that can help you in your decision making.

• Wear well-fitted masks and social distance when in public. Much of our campus is considered public space. At this time, masks continue to be required throughout the campus in public spaces and when you are around other people.

• Wear a mask when visiting with non-vaccinated individuals who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or individuals from multiple households. This likely applies to many family members and friends in the broader community.

• Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.

You have likely heard in the news that the CDC has said that fully vaccinated individuals in a private setting, such as a private home, may:

• Visit with other fully vaccinated individuals indoors in a small group without masking or social distancing.

• Visit with non-vaccinated individuals from a single household indoors without masking or social distancing, provided none of the non-vaccinated individuals or their household members are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

• This is not encouraged in the Westminster Canterbury community, but it is up to you to decide who you are comfortable visiting with outside your household.

• As always, get tested if you show symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Staff-led small group activities have restarted in public spaces this week. Limits on the number of people allowed in public spaces remain in place. Social distancing is required.

For Independent Living residents who would like to host overnight visitors in their apartment, you must prearrange the visit through Resident Services by calling (804) 264-6082. Please call Monday through Friday during business hours to register your overnight visit.

Residents should still avoid the Lower Level. If you need assistance shipping a package, please do not come directly to the Mailroom. Call ext. 6223 and someone will pick it up from you, or you may drop it off at the Tower or Center Desks for pick up.

Offices are not open to walk-ins. If you need to meet with a staff member, please call to make an appointment.

Join us for the Live Update on Thursday, March 18, where information about Vibrancy! will be shared.

Kathleen Pender

Grounds Updates


Mulch prep is underway with BCLS’s edging and detail crew coming through our property over the past few weeks. Today, mulch installation begins in The Glebe, followed by the Garden Apartments and Ellipse. At times, mulch blower trucks will assist in the mulch installation process, specifically around the Child Development Center and Parsons Health Center Entrance, The Gables and Avalon, the North Courtyard Apartments, Westminster Canterbury Way, Westbrook Avenue, the Tower Apartments and Tower Green. When the mulch blower trucks are in operation, there will be some residual dust from these machines and additional noise and slight traffic delays along main roads. Please be mindful of mulch piles in the parking lots and additional crew members onsite, including skid steer equipment moving mulch. The mulch process will take approximately three to four weeks depending on the weather.


Spring startup of the irrigation system is scheduled to begin later this month, weather permitting. As the system is started, irrigation heads pop up and may have a “hissing sound” as they flush out residual air and water from the winterization process. BCLS will program the system for normal operations based on weather conditions.


BCLS is spot mowing areas as needed throughout the property as we leave winter and enter spring. We anticipate full mowing operations will begin the week of March 29.

Cochrane Pond Renovation Project Updates

With recent pleasant weather, BCLS has been busy working at the Cochrane Pond. The paver bench areas are underway, which will provide extra space along the sidewalk for walkers and a safe, level place to rest. Many new trees have been installed at the Cochrane Pond, including Nellie Stevens hollies, Bracken Brown Beauty Magnolias, a Gingko tree and a replacement Redbud tree. The remaining trees are scheduled to be installed next week. The shrubs and perennials selected for the Cochrane Pond will begin to be delivered next week. Installations will follow over the next few weeks. These shrubs and perennials were selected by the Landscape, Garden and Greenhouse Committee and include mostly native plants that promote our pollinators. Portions of the sidewalk may temporarily close at times to allow the workers to transport plant materials to the site. Please do not cross these barriers for the safety of you and the workers. Additional updates will be provided in The Tales, TV970, and Touchtown.

Tower Island Renovation Project

Phase one of this project, including the center island in Lots Four and Five, is complete as of today. This work included installation of brick pavers and trees in the center island and a handicap-accessible ramp and sidewalk entry. The pavement surrounding the island has been made more ADA accessible, including new striping and signage. BCLS is scheduled to begin phase two of this project in Tower Lots Two and Three near the West Tower Entrance on Monday, March 22.

If you have questions on upcoming projects, contact Kathleen Pender at ext. 6045 or

David Curtis

Pastoral Care Updates

Please join us for weekly worship on Thursday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m. on TV970. Rev. Rainey Dankel, a resident and a staff member at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, will preach. Annette Sparks will play the piano. As a reminder, live worship services in the Sanctuary will resume on Thursday, April 8.

Residents are invited to Evening Prayer, Monday-Friday, at 4:45 p.m., in the Sanctuary. Residents lead the service of Evening Prayer which is found in the Book of Common Prayer. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Pastoral Care office will offer services during Holy Week via TV970. Please check the listings in The Tales for more information.

Genesis 1:9-13

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together God called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of his hand. Amen.

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