Memo-COVID-19 Update-September 11, 2020

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


DATE: September 11, 2020

This morning, our Security team led us in commemorating the 19th anniversary of 9/11, paying tribute to the victims and honoring the survivors of that day. As we enter a new season, with children returning to school and the feeling of fall in the air, we share the following updates from Westminster Canterbury Richmond. Thank you for your continued support as we work together to keep our community safe.

The Gables and Monticello

Today Westminster Canterbury learned that a Certified Nursing Assistant who worked in The Gables and Monticello, memory support areas of Assisted Living, tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms. Due to this exposure, residents of The Gables and Monticello are under quarantine in their apartments for 14 days from the date of exposure per guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This quarantine ends on Thursday, September 24. The Gables Salon is closed. Safe, structured visitation from family members of The Gables and Monticello residents is suspended.

Steps to Reopening Parsons Health Center

Mary Morton Parsons Health Center remains closed to visitors. Parsons Health Center residents and staff have been tested on an ongoing basis per the recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last week, we tested 168 employees and 132 residents for COVID-19, and all results were negative. Per new CMS guidance from August 26, testing continues weekly for employees only. Residents are tested as needed, such as if they show signs or symptoms of COVID-19. All results received so far have been negative.

Westminster Canterbury has been working diligently to be prepared to reopen Parsons Health Center as soon as guidance and regulations permit. Thanks to encouraging results of more than 14 days with no cases of COVID-19 in Parsons Health Center, we submitted our application to VDH to begin the multi-phased process of reopening Parsons Health Center. Yesterday we received acknowledgement of our application. Per VDH, the criteria for entering Phase One includes:

• The nursing home is not experiencing staff shortages.

• The nursing home has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and essential cleaning and disinfection supplies.

• The nursing home has adequate access to testing for COVID-19.

This is a long process that depends on continuing to have no cases of COVID-19 in Parsons Health Center. To enter Phase Two of reopening, we must have no new, nursing home onset COVID-19 cases for 14 days. To enter Phase Three of reopening, there must have been no new, nursing home onset COVID-19 cases for 28 days, through Phases One and Two.

Independent and Assisted Living

We continue to work toward safe next steps to reopen other aspects of our community. If residents in Independent and Assisted Living show signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they are tested and self-quarantine until they receive the results. Safe, structured visitation by appointment continues in the Avalon and Pavilion areas of Assisted Living. Residents of Assisted Living should stay within their area of living to limit potential exposures. Visitors from other areas of the community are not permitted in Assisted Living and should use the safe, structured visitation by appointment. Independent Living family may visit in residents’ apartments or homes on a limited basis, Thursday through Sunday. Visitors must arrive between 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond COVID-19 Response Summary

We are committed to continued transparency about our COVID-19 response and cases in our residents and staff. We follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Since March, Westminster Canterbury has had confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a total of 13 residents and 29 employees. All residents have recovered. So far, 27 of the 29 employees have recovered, tested negative twice and returned to work. Two employees are recovering in quarantine.

Since the beginning of March, a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments, including an RN Infection Preventionist, met to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and to plan for other concerns. A Coronavirus Incident Command team meets at least three days a week and additionally as needed to address the latest changes and needs. Active planning for safe activities is ongoing. Every employee is screened with questions about symptoms and exposure and a temperature check upon arrival to campus, prior to reporting to work. When employees are unable to come to work due to experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they seek testing off campus and do not return until they receive two negative results. At any given time, there are a few employees who have shown symptoms and are out awaiting test results.

Keys to Keeping Our Community Healthy

It is critical to remain diligent in staying healthy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Wear a mask correctly. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. Maintain social distancing of six feet or more from others everywhere you go. Stay home if you do not feel well. Thank you for protecting yourselves and those around you!

Ongoing Updates

• The latest news and past updates are always available on our blog at

• Live video updates air on our in-house TV970 station on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. and other times as needed. Recordings are available later on,, or on TV971 daily at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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