Live Update to Residents-October 22, 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; Lee Switz, resident; Scott Jonté, Director of Dining; and David Curtis, Chaplain.

The following updates were shared during the briefing.

John Burns

COVID-19 Update

Parsons Health Center Third Floor came out of quarantine today, and family visitation resumed. All resident areas of living are out of quarantine. We shared last week that an employee in our Child Development Center has tested positive for COVID-19. Our Virtual Learning Classrooms and Toddler Room are closed until Tuesday, October 27.

Since March, Westminster Canterbury has had confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a total of 15 residents and 34 employees. All residents have recovered. This week, another of our employees tested negative twice and is able to return to work. So far, 32 of the 34 employees have recovered, and two continue to recover in quarantine.

We continue to test employees weekly in Parsons Health Center. Since June 1, we have tested employees more than 3,000 times. This has been helpful in identifying asymptomatic staff so that they can quarantine.

Visitation Clarification

On October 8, we hoped that if all went well, we might begin General Visitation this week. Once we quarantined Parsons Health Center First and Third Floors, we decided to delay it. While no areas of the campus are currently under quarantine, we will continue to delay General Visitation (allowing visitors beyond those residents consider family). We will continue to monitor and update you if that changes.

Around 100 to 130 visitors come to see residents each day. Thank you for ensuring they follow screening procedures, maintain a social distance of six feet or more throughout their visit and wear their masks at all times. This is how we can keep our community healthy and open. Please make sure visitors sign in when they arrive and as they leave at the nurses station in Parsons Health Center, in each area of Assisted Living or at the Tower or Center Desks.

Cultural Arts Update

Two Richmond Symphony programs will air on TV970 tomorrow.

At 4 p.m. tomorrow, the Symphony will broadcast a live performance from our Sara Belle November Theater. The program will feature a piano quintet. The new musical director Valentina Peleggi will be here to share a few words, all virtually from the Theater on TV970.

At 7:30 p.m. tomorrow on TV970, we will show the recording of the Symphony Masterworks concert that took place last weekend downtown. You may also catch this recording Saturday through Monday at 7:30 p.m. on TV970.

We hope that you will tune in twice tomorrow for two separate Symphony programs on TV970. We are happy we can continue these performing arts partnerships in virtual ways.

Lee Switz – Employee Christmas Fund

Lee Switz spoke on behalf of the Employee Christmas Fund Committee and shared the following remarks.

Bev Beck is leading this year’s campaign. Along with her committee, she has been working tirelessly for many months to make December an especially joyous one for our employees.

Now, for a moment, please reflect with me on this year. It has been like none other.

Just over seven months ago, we were suddenly locked down due to a new, unknown virus. Schools closed on less than a day’s notice. People were asked to work from home if possible. Restaurants and small businesses shut their doors. People were getting sick and dying, leading to fears not only of the disease but of a healthcare system running at dangerously low capacity. The Governor asked us all to stay home if possible. This mysterious disease was ravaging a retirement community that shares part of our name and is less than 10 miles away.

What would happen at Westminster Canterbury Richmond?

What has happened? Our extraordinary staff and their teamwork have kept us safe. Although there have been disruptions and changes, they have been far less for us than for those who support us. Think what it must have been like to be working here during the last seven months.

If you were a parent…

• Schools closed on short notice.

• The childcare centers, including ours, were closed.

• You risked bringing home this scary and mysterious disease to children and older generations recruited to take care of grandchildren so parents could work.

When you came to work, you faced…

• An environment that changed from day to day

• You shared fear the disease would run through this community of senior citizens, and thus expose many of you as essential workers on the front lines.

• Uncertainty about the future

• You were flexible, covering others’ jobs and tasks to provide critical services.

• You may have taken a cut in salary or hours.

• In sum, you faced continuous change, little routine, an uncertain schedule, and fear for your future health and financial stability.

And for those in management, you faced into a new world fraught with unexperienced dangers. Together you have kept us safe.

Think about what it has been like for us living here. Sure, we have had our wings clipped. There are plenty of reasons to feel down, or lonely or scared. Please ponder with me how lucky we are.

Our staff were frequently being reassigned. Few were doing only the job they had been hired to do. New tasks, additional tasks and shifting responsibilities were almost daily occurrences. They cared for us as they worried about their own families, their jobs and themselves. Adjusting to masks was probably the easiest, and we all know what an adjustment that has been.

What we as residents saw were cheerful faces and ready help from all the staff. However stressed, they hid it from us. During this strange and disrupted time, we, as residents, were safe and secure. We received clear daily communications for months and now twice weekly.

Think about what we have been given, naming just a few of the gifts:

• Meals at our doors

• Healthcare easily and always available

• Transportation to appointments

• Mail delivery

• Communications, written and delivered electronically, current and accurate

• Concerts and movies

• Art classes, fitness opportunities, discussion groups, small gatherings of six people or less

• The gardens, the pond, the flower beds, the trees

Please join Don and me in doing all you can this year to make our employee’s Christmas as happy as possible.

Please see your non-tax deductible gift to the Employee Christmas Fund (ECF) as your way of both expressing gratitude and providing the gratuities and gifts, which we do not provide each time, we eat a meal, call Engineering, go to the Clinic or ask for help at the desk. The ECF is our chance to honor our staff. Please be as generous as you can.

Scott Jonté

Thanksgiving in the Promenade

We look forward to hosting Thanksgiving Midday Dinner on Thursday, November 26. Midday Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in The Promenade Dining Room. Carryout and Delivery will also be available. All information for ordering was in The Tales today. The price is $15.00.

The Canterbury Room will be closed this year for Thanksgiving as we make way for a new service, Thanksgiving Family Style. This is a complete Thanksgiving meal for four, with generous portions, fully cooked and delivered to your door the day before Thanksgiving. There are three options to choose from including turkey, ham or roast tenderloin of beef for an additional charge. You may choose from a wide range of sides and desserts. All information including pricing, ordering instructions and cut off dates are listed in The Tales today.

Canterbury Room Carryout

The Canterbury Room Carryout service has transitioned from Styrofoam to recyclable and compostable materials. Anything clear can go to recycling. Anything that is tan or paper, like soup cups, is a compostable material that can go to the trash and will breakdown in a landfill. Dining will move in this direction community wide, but this is a costly transition as Styrofoam cost pennies. In comparison this product is a significant increase over Styrofoam.

Dining Room Social Distancing

As per the governor’s mandates on social distancing and dining, we have ensured there is six feet of separation between tables in the Promenade. However, we do not maintain that between guests at tables. It is anticipated that you have chosen your party and recognize the risk of dining with others. For this reason, we ask everyone to wear a mask unless you are eating, minimize conversations at other tables, wash your hands before coming to the dining room and sanitize them before you enter and as you leave.

David Curtis

Pastoral Care Updates

Tonight is the final opportunity to watch the Service of Dedication for the Spiritual Center on TV970 at 7:30 p.m. We are so grateful to have this new space, and we are grateful for all who contributed, especially our resident clergy and resident musicians who participated.

This week’s preacher for A Sermon for Every Sunday at 4 p.m. on TV970 is Fr. Michael Renninger from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond. Fr. Michael will preach on Matthew 22:34-46.

Our Annual All Saints Day service will broadcast on TV970 on Sunday, November 1, at 4 p.m, and Friday, November 6, at 3 p.m. Although we are not able to gather in person, we will still gather in the comfort of our homes to remember those who have died since November 2019 and to remember their lives.

The David F. Peters Lecture with Heath Hardage Lee will air on Wednesday, November 11, at 4 p.m. Pastoral Care has a few copies of Mrs. Lee’s book, The League of Wives, available to be checked out from the Spiritual Library.

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord.

from this time on and for evermore.

Prayer of Quiet Confidence, p 832, Book of Common Prayer

O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we will be saved, in quietness and confidence will be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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