Memo-COVID-19 Update-December 4, 2020

FROM: John Burns, President and CEO; Will Blackwell, Vice President Health Services; Debra Jacobsen, Administrator Resident Services; and Sloan Verlander, Administrator Assisted Living


DATE: December 4, 2020

These are the latest updates on COVID-19 and its impact on Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s residents and employees. Please take care and stay safe during the holidays!

COVID-19 Cases

Eleven residents are currently infected with COVID-19. We are deeply saddened to report that six of our friends and neighbors have passed away due to COVID-19. Fourteen have recovered. Seven are being cared for in the hospital. One is being cared for in the COVID-19 positive unit. Three are recovering in isolation in Independent Living apartments. Routine testing in Mary Morton Parsons Health Center continues per guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

On Thursday, December 3, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) from Mary Morton Parsons Health Center Third Floor tested positive for COVID-19. Nine employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering at home in quarantine. We are thankful to report that all others who tested positive throughout November have recovered and returned to work.

Visitation, Programs and Services

Westminster Canterbury follows the latest guidance from CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in our response to the pandemic. Visitation and many programs and services are currently suspended. Westminster Canterbury has no immediate plans to resume visitation due to new cases in our community and rising infection rates in the Richmond region. We are prepared to modify and resume programs and services as soon as conditions allow and will share more information in the coming weeks. Throughout the holiday season, the latest advice discourages in-person gatherings with individuals outside your household. We encourage you to stay connected and celebrate by phone or in virtual ways.

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

John Burns serves on the LeadingAge Virginia board and the Governor of Virginia’s Long-Term Care Task Force. This week public health agencies released new details about COVID-19 vaccination.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which serves in an advisory role to the CDC, recommends that all workers in healthcare facilities and all residents of senior care facilities receive top priority for COVID-19 vaccination. This recommendation goes to the CDC director for final approval that will lead to an official recommendation to states on how COVID-19 vaccines should be allocated.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the Vaccine and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee will meet on December 10 to review the Pfizer vaccine efficacy and safety data. This data results from the rigorous process by which the vaccines have been developed. They will meet again on December 17 to review the Moderna vaccine. Those meetings are expected to result in emergency use authorizations for these vaccines. States, including Virginia, have been developing plans for vaccine allocation and distribution.

VDH ensured that all Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities have been opted in for the COVID-19 Vaccine Long-Term Care Facility Pharmacy Program. At Westminster Canterbury, CVS will provide the vaccination. Initial planning will start next week. Westminster Canterbury is developing policies and procedures so we will be ready when the vaccine is available. For more details on the vaccine approval and distribution process, please watch the Live Update from Thursday, December 3, and tune in over the coming weeks.

The vaccine will be given in two parts. While the vaccine provides full protection at about seven days after the administration of the second dose, we will continue with all current COVID-19 infection prevention measures and precautions until further notice. Current COVID-19 testing requirements are likely to continue for the next several months.

The Commonwealth of Virginia does not plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccination. Westminster Canterbury also does not plan to require vaccination but hopes to achieve near 100% compliance. We will share additional education on the vaccine in the coming weeks to encourage all residents and employees to participate.

Follow the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention

Now more than ever, we need your help following these guidelines to keep one another well as we enter what some experts predict will be the worst month of the pandemic.

• Wear a mask at all times when around others. Always carry a mask with you.

• Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.

• Always maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

• Everyone must be screened before entering our community.

• Follow enhanced safety and disinfection recommendations from the CDC, CMS and VDH.

• Stay home if you do not feel well and contact your physician.

Ongoing Updates

• Stay up-to-date with us online. Check the COVID-19 Update page and blog at

• Live Update videos air on our in-house TV970. Recordings are available later on, or on TV971 daily at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Our next Live Update is Tuesday, December 8. at 3 p.m.

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