Live Update to Residents – October 13, 2020

Live updates to residents on our in-house TV970 keep us informed and connected on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. Today’s update featured John Burns, President and CEO; Debra Jacobsen, Administrator Residential Living; and David Curtis, Chaplain.

The following updates were shared during the briefing.

John Burns

COVID-19 Update

On Friday, October 9, Westminster Canterbury Richmond learned that a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) on Mary Morton Parsons Health Center Third Floor tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was asymptomatic and was tested as part of our routine weekly testing. Currently, we have three employees who continue to recover in quarantine.

Due to the recent exposure, residents of Parsons Health Center Third Floor were tested for COVID-19 and are under quarantine until Thursday, October 22. As a reminder, the Parsons Health Center First Floor has been under quarantine due to a previous exposure. Unfortunately, this means that visitation is closed on Parsons Health Center First and Third Floors during the quarantine. Assuming all goes well, quarantine for the Parsons Health Center First Floor will end on Thursday, October 15.

Residents who are in quarantine in Parsons Health Center First and Third Floors are doing well. This week we are testing those residents and all Parsons Health Center employees. We are waiting for some results, but so far, everything has come back negative.

Effect of COVID-19 on Westminster Canterbury

As a leadership team, we have been focused on managing and balancing competing forces. These competing forces include: (1) keeping this community of residents and staff safe and well; (2) continuing to sell contracts and move new residents into our community; and (3) managing a business that is under stress due to the impact of the virus.

The pandemic has put a great deal of strain and stress on our workforce. Unfortunately, we have had some wonderful staff leave us for a variety of reasons. The majority have left due to issues related to COVID-19, such as: underlying health conditions, fear of getting sick, the need to care for or protect a family member, challenges related to virtual school for children or moving back home because Virginia Commonwealth University has closed. A few have left for other opportunities and a few have been terminated for not complying with our rules. We are actively recruiting to fill vacant positions in Housekeeping, Dining, Engineering and Nursing. We are making good progress in getting new staff on board and trained.

In addition to the strain and stress on our workforce, the pandemic has put pressure on our budget. Responding to the requirements of keeping this community safe and staff testing comes at a significant financial cost to the organization.

Yesterday, I shared with our Residents’ Association leadership that recently we implemented some limited staff reductions in non-resident care positions due to budget constraints related managing our COVID-19 expenses. We do not anticipate needing to make any further reductions. Unfortunately, we must modify some of our

schedules and programs to accommodate the impact of these reductions. I appreciate your patience and understanding while we work through these changes.

Debra Jacobsen

Overnight Visitation Guidelines

Beginning yesterday, overnight visitors are permitted in Independent Living residences. A maximum of two overnight visitors per resident or resident couple is allowed at a time. The process for overnight visitation is different from the daily visitation occurring between 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. This new process applies to all overnight visitation moving forward.

Any overnight visitation must be prearranged through Resident Services by calling (804) 264-6082. Prior to the overnight visitor arriving on campus, he/she must provide a negative COVID-19 test result from testing that occurred within three days of the visit. We shared the complete written guidelines for overnight visitation with residents on Friday. You may also find them on our blog at


Residents residing in Henrico County at Westminster Canterbury may vote from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. in Cochrane Commons on Tuesday, November 3. For your safety and in order to keep each area of living from overlapping, we have developed a voting schedule, as follows:

  • All Independent Living residents should plan to vote between 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • All Assisted Living and Parsons Health Care residents should plan to vote between 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. You will be asked to enter through the set of doors nearest the Center Lobby and exit through the doors closest to the Foundation Hall after you cast your vote. If you applied for an absentee ballot, we strongly encourage you to return it via mail or place it in the drop box that will be onsite on the day of the election. Residents living in the City of Richmond will vote at their assigned precinct. For any further details, please refer to the memo from the Resident Services office that was placed in your internal boxes yesterday. David Curtis Pastoral Care Updates Rev. Dr. Rebecca Weaver will preach for the Thursday worship at 10:30 a.m. on TV970. A Service of Dedication for the Spiritual Center will be shown on Sunday, October 18, at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. on TV970. Bulletins for the service will be available in the Tower and Center lobbies by Wednesday afternoon. If you would like one placed in your box, please call David at extension 5179 or Vanessa Perry at extension 1502. The 2020 David F. Peters Lecture with author, Heath Hardage Lee, will air on November 11 at 4 p.m. on TV970. Pastoral Care has a few copies of Mrs. Lee’s book, The League of Wives, in the Spiritual Library. We encourage you to check one out and, after reading it, submit any questions to Pastoral Care that you would like Mrs. Lee to address following her lecture. Questions should be submitted to Vanessa Perry no later than October 21. 21st Chapter of the Book of Revelation

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them; they will be God’s peoples, and God himself will be with them; God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for

the first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Reflection
I am not overly fond of the Book of Revelation, but I find such hope in this passage. First, we are told that God will dwell, or tabernacle, with God’s people. God is present now, but God will be present in a new and different way when God dwells with God’s people. Secondly, God promises that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. I have always read this as God will comfort us and heal us. That is, until I was offered a new and better insight. Instead of God simply wiping away our tears, a dear friend told me that she hears in this a promise that God will remove all things that cause us to cry. God will remove death and hurt. God will remove our egos and our bitterness. God will remove injustice and hatred. God will remove hunger and poverty. God will remove those things that cause us and others to
weep. Lastly, we have a promise that God will renew us. God says, “I am making all things news.” God does not say, “I’m making all new things.” In those words I hear God affirming the goodness of God’s creation. And that includes you, and that includes me. And for that, we say, “Thanks be to God!” Prayer Gracious and loving God: renew us and make us new. Remove those things that hinder us from being more loving and more accepting of others. Remove those things that cause us to weep and give us grace to live into these divided and tumultuous days. Let us see you in all we meet, and may we strive to love them completely as you love us. Amen.

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