Live Update to Residents-November 12, 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; Jessica Corbitt, Manager Cultural Arts; Kathleen Pender, Horticulturist; Gayle Hunter Haglund, Vice President Resource Development; and Vanessa Perry, Pastoral Care Administrator. The next Live Update will be Tuesday, November 17.

The following updates were shared.

Jessica Corbitt

We hope you will continue to watch the upcoming performances live from the Sara Belle November Theater on TV970. Today’s Live Update was preceded by a live performance by the Jangling Reinharts.

John Burns

COVID-19 Cases

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse in our nation, region and in our community. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees. We have been very blessed at Westminster Canterbury so far, but the situation is becoming more challenging. We need everyone’s help to stay safe and well. We are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and will have a team here tomorrow to provide additional guidance on next steps to contain this outbreak.

You will receive a memo with additional information tomorrow and as we experience any changes. We plan to do our next briefing on Tuesday, November 17.

Resident Cases

Eight residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Five are being cared for in our COVID-19 positive unit. Three are currently in the hospital. Sadly, the prognosis for one of our residents in the hospital in poor. Please keep these residents and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Employee Cases

Several employees have experienced symptoms and are out awaiting test results. Others have had direct exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining per the recommendation of VDH. Ten employees have currently tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering at home.

Contractor Case

A contractor tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday after exposure to a family member who had previously tested positive. This contractor has not been in the building for at least a week.

Resident Services

Beginning this afternoon, we are pausing some of our Resident Services until we are confident the risks of spread within Independent and Assisted Living are low. These temporary changes are proactive and precautionary.

Based on guidance from VDH, we discourage Independent and Assisted Living visitation for now. We have had situations where residents or visitors have been exposed and become ill. While we are contact tracing our current cases and working to control the spread of infection, we discourage visitation and social gatherings.

Small group, Pastoral Care, Recreation and Wellness activities are suspended. Salon Services in all areas of living, the Arts Studio and Woodworking Shop are closed. The Galleria will close for the rest of this week and may offer delivery service next week as needed. Virtual performances from the Sara Belle November Theater will continue. CVS Pharmacy will be open to one customer at a time. Transportation services will continue.

If we experience more positive cases, we may need to temporarily close common spaces, Promenade in-person dining, visitation and some other services. We hope this will not be the case, but we will monitor our situation and provide updates as needed.

Mary Morton Parsons Health Center

All Parsons Health Center communal dining and recreation is suspended. All floors will remain in quarantine until further notice. Family visitation for all areas of Parsons Health Center is suspended until further notice, except in end-of-life and compassionate care situations. If you would like to schedule a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom with a Parsons Health Center resident, please contact your recreation therapist or social worker.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living visitation and services are continuing as planned for now. We anticipate new guidance from VDH tomorrow may lead to changes in Assisted Living. We will share updates as we have them.

Please keep our community, frontline staff and residents in your prayers.

Kathleen Pender

Cochrane Pond Update

Our Cochrane Pond Rejuvenation Project has begun. About 12 years ago, when Kathleen previously worked at Tru Green Land Care, the Cochrane Pond Project was the first large scale landscape project that she oversaw at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. She met with the group of residents and staff to develop the original concept and goals of the project – to provide natural food sources for the birds and ducks, to incorporate native plant materials with seasonal interest and to install landscape lighting to create a destination for this area.

Now, twelve years later, we are excited to rejuvenate this beautiful space. The rejuvenation project includes the removal of overgrown plantings that BCLS completed last week. Montgomery Irrigation is getting started this week, working as weather permits, with the irrigation and landscape lighting rough in. They will begin installing their irrigation pipes throughout the mulch bed areas. This will be a wonderful improvement to this space. We have never had irrigation for the plantings previously, which directly resulted in some plant loss over the years.

Following Montgomery Irrigation’s rough in installation, BCLS will return to begin the hardscape work, including the installation of two retaining walls. These walls will be located on the left and right sides of the perimeter of the pond sidewalk. These walls will include capturing the drainage from the hillsides and retaining the sloping grade. A small dry stacked field stone retaining wall will be installed in front of the Huxley Greenhouse. Additional hardscape work includes the installation of additional rip rap stone around the perimeter of the water’s edge, installation of the small terra stone with metal edging to border the interior sidewalk perimeter and help with water runoff from the sidewalks. Lastly, a few select areas surrounding the sidewalk at the Pond will be excavated to create a paver bench area, similar to the recent paver bench area installed at the sidewalk near the Avalon entrance. This will provide dedicated seating areas adjacent to the main sidewalk allowing pedestrians to continue their walk without interference of benches.

Following the completion of the Hardscape work, BCLS will begin with the installation of replacement plant materials around the Cochrane Pond. There is a major focus to include native plant materials around this area to attract our pollinators and provide natural food and nectar sources to our wildlife. There is also a major concentration of selecting the right plant for the right place so that we focus on providing seasonal interest and seasonal color without blocking main vistas and views of the Cochrane Pond. Kathleen will be working with the Landscape, Garden and Greenhouse Committee to review these plant selections and locations during this portion of the project. We are focused again selecting native plants that will be host plants to our native honeybees, butterflies, moths, songbirds and our beloved ducks.

In conjunction with the plant installation, Montgomery Irrigation will work in concert with BCLS on the installation of the new Landscape Lighting. In twelve years, landscape lighting technology has come a long way. The lights that will be installed are the same type of landscape lighting that were installed at the Spiritual Center and Tower Green. The Tower Green landscape lighting was installed by Montgomery Irrigation. These lights will be LED and will adequately illuminate the Cochrane Pond within and around the landscape.

The schedule for this project is heavily dependent on weather and may be delayed at times as a result of inclement weather. There will also be seasonal delays as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. As the crews work on specified portions of the project, they will block off portions of the sidewalk to create safety work zone areas. Please do not cross these barricades for your safety and the safety of the crew. Additionally, there may be times when out of an abundance of caution, we will need to close down the sidewalks at the Cochrane Pond as we get into heavier construction of the retaining walls, etc. Please watch for updates in The Tales, TV970 or Touchtown.

Thank you for your understanding as we embark on this exciting journey together. Enjoy watching the transformation and rejuvenation of this endearing destination on our property.

Gayle Haglund

Saturday Night Movie

Thank you to Rebecca Hatch and Eric Price who have found a solution for showing Saturday Night Movies! This Saturday, November 14, the movie Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton, Sam Shepherd and Harold Ramis, will play on TV971 at 7 p.m. That’s channel 971, not 970. These movies are chosen by a resident committee, and we will be working through a long list of their suggested movies on Saturday nights.

Vanessa Perry

Pastoral Care

A Sermon for Every Sunday will air on TV970 this Sunday at 4 p.m. The preacher will be Rev. Phillip Martin from Epiphany Lutheran Church. He will be preaching the Parable of the Tales, taken from Matthew 25:14-30.

Our annual Star-Lighting concert will be shown on TV970 at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. Each year we have a symbolic lighting of the rooftop star as a part of that service. Our tradition is to have a resident volunteer have the distinct honor of being the starlighter. If you would like to be the starlighter this year, please put your name in one of the jars at the desks. Our drawing for the starlighter will be November 19.

The David F. Peters Lecture will air again next Thursday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. on TV970.

Next Thursday, tune in to our weekly chapel service starting 10:30 a.m. The preacher will be Rev. Rainey Dankel and Susie Frazer will be our pianist.

Romans Chapter 8

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


Heavenly Father, we come to you asking for your guidance. We are facing some uncertain times. We are having another shift in Richmond and the surrounding areas and we are unsure about what the upcoming holidays will bring, whether our normal traditions can continue this year. We have lost loved ones and friends, so we are hurting, but somewhere in that hurt and pain we stand in expectation. We know the upcoming Advent season symbolizes hope, expectation, and the waiting for you to come. And so we will wait on your coming and trust in your will for our lives. Lord, it is in you that a sense of calmness and peace can come, if only for a few moments. Let us be grateful for those moments and enter into the rest of the week and weekend with renewed strength and purpose to keep fighting. We pray for the health and safety of all residents, staff, family, and contractors here at Westminster Canterbury. Continue to be with us. For it is in your name that we pray. Amen.

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