Memo-Westminster Canterbury’s Next Steps-June 18, 2020

TO: Westminster Canterbury Richmond Residents, Employees, Family, Trustees and Friends

FROM: John Burns, President and CEO

SUBJECT: Our Next Steps to Restart, Reengage and Reopen

DATE: Updated June 18, 2020

Download a copy of the memo here.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is grateful for your support and understanding as we carefully navigate our next steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This memo has been updated since May 21 and June 4 to remind you of our overall guidelines, the spaces and services made available in Steps One, Two and Three plus more information about Step Four and beyond. Our approach beginning with Step Three shifted from protective, with the goal of keeping the virus out of the resident population, to being responsive to potential new Independent Living resident cases. In Step Four, we begin opening our campus to safe, structured visitation.

As Westminster Canterbury considers our next steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to approach the situation with an abundance of caution. Our top priority is serving all our residents – Independent Living, Assisted Living and Mary Morton Parsons Health Center – to ensure a safe and healthy elderhood. While the pandemic has been a strain on all of us, we remain committed to a plan that will protect everyone while beginning to reintroduce services, spaces and activities that mean so much in our daily lives.

Our next steps will not be easy. We will move forward in small, nuanced steps that give us time to make sure we stay safe. We will follow guidance from the Governor, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Due to the vulnerability of seniors, our plans will lag behind those of Virginia and our local governments. We will keep a close eye on COVID-19 testing data and the positivity rates in our specific region – Henrico and Richmond – to guide us. Our steps will be slow and deliberate – and we will be prepared to reverse course if and when new cases are identified.

With that spirit, we outline our steps toward a long-term plan to carefully RESTART programs and services on our campus, REENGAGE with one another on campus and REOPEN ourselves to the off-campus community.

We are relying on you to be our partners in this critical time! We must hold true to the shared values that have helped us be successful in staying healthy so far. These will be our constant theme as we take next steps:

1. Abundance of Caution

2. Personal Responsibility

3. Safer at Home

4. Wear Masks

5. Social Distancing

6. Infection Prevention  

Abundance of Caution

This has been our motto since we began planning for the coronavirus pandemic in February. We have heard from many residents who appreciate this approach. We are committed to continuing it for the duration of the pandemic. Unfortunately, older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. Because many of those we serve fall into this category, we will maintain our position of an abundance of caution.

Personal Responsibility

People infected with COVID-19 can expose others even if they are not showing symptoms. As we begin to open spaces on our campus, it is critical that each individual stays up-to-date on guidelines and follows them.

Safer at Home

While some spaces on campus will be available on a limited basis, we are safest when we are in our own homes. The Governor’s Forward Virginia Blueprint recommends that everyone, especially vulnerable populations, is safer at home. All residents should stay within their areas of living. Independent Living residents may move within public areas of the campus. Assisted Living residents may move within Assisted Living and are encouraged to go outside for exercise and fresh air. Parsons Health Center remains closed to visitors per CMS regulations. Please continue to connect via phone and video chat.

As Independent Living residents begin to travel off campus for essential business and medical appointments, there is risk of being exposed to COVID-19 off campus. Those who choose to stay on campus will need to protect themselves from employees and residents who travel off campus. If residents leave campus, they should wear a mask, practice social distancing at all times and wash their hands frequently. If you feel unwell, please stay home and self-quarantine until you can be seen by the Clinic or your physician.

Wear Masks

As of Tuesday, May 26, it is mandatory for everyone on campus to wear a mask when around other people. The Commonwealth of Virginia began requiring face coverings in public indoor settings on Friday, May 29. Masks protect both the wearer and everyone else from exposure. They are our best defense against spreading infection. One cloth mask per resident is available from Resident Services by calling ext. 6082. It is important to wear your mask correctly and wash it regularly. Please refer to the “How NOT to Wear a Mask” article from The New York Times for detailed instructions.

Social Distancing

At all times, maintain at least six feet of space between you and others everywhere you go. As small group activities are hosted indoors, group size should be limited to six people given space constraints on campus. For outdoor activities, group size should be limited to ten people or fewer with adequate space in between. If residents test positive for COVID-19, those who have come into contact with them may be quarantined and tested. Employee offices are closed to walk-in visitors for the foreseeable future. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment.

Infection Prevention

Handwashing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting are critical ways we can limit the spread of infection. Please review, know and follow the VDH Prevention Tips found here: Hand sanitizer will be available for use when entering shared spaces. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if you are experiencing them. Our teams will regularly disinfect spaces.

With all these shared values in mind, here are Westminster Canterbury’s steps toward restarting programs and services. Please know that if the circumstances on campus or in the broader community change, there may be changes to these plans. We promise to communicate transparently and often.

Steps One Through Three

Ongoing Activities

  • Main Street, Avalon and The Gables Salons are open by appointment only. Call ext. 6281.
  • McGue-Millhiser Arts Studio and Gordon Woodworking Shop are open for limited hours. Call ext. 6268.
  • Clinic services are available with additional precautions. Call ext. 6231.
  • Packages are delivered to desks for resident pick-up.
  • Fitness Center and Aquatic Center are available for limited hours by appointment only. Fitness Center – call ext. 6669 for an appointment. Aquatic Center – call ext. 6539 for an appointment.
  • Outpatient Rehab is available on a limited basis. Call ext. 5397.
  • Small group activities by Pastoral Care and Recreation are available for groups of six or fewer.
  • Mobile dog groomers are permitted on campus in coordination with Resident Services at ext. 6082.
  • Marketplace Billiards Room is open.
  • A weekly Tunes on Tuesdays series features VCU Jazz performers on the Ellipse and in the Courtyard Garden on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. through June, weather permitting.
  • Dry cleaning services through Puritan Cleaners and Handcraft Cleaners are available.
  • Transportation services are available for a fee for residents with essential personal business and medical appointments off campus. Call ext. 6263.
  • Galleria is open with limited services.
  • Massage services are available in Tower Apt. 116 by appointment only. Call ext. 6794.
  • CVS Pharmacy is open. Only one customer is allowed at a time. Call ext. 6245.
  • BB&T Bank on campus remains closed. Drive-through services are available at the Lakeside branch. Call Peggy at (804) 264-2783 to make an appointment if you need to access your safety deposit box.
  • Memory support therapies in music, art and horticulture are occurring in Monticello and The Gables.
  • The Information Technology (IT) department manages FaceTime, Skype and Zoom requests for Independent Living residents who do not have a personal iPad or tablet. Call ext. 4026 to schedule an appointment. Recreation staff are available to coordinate appointments for residents in Assisted Living and Parsons Health Center.

Guidelines for Independent Living Residents Leaving Campus

Independent Living residents may leave campus for essential personal business and medical appointments. Management will not define what is essential. Rather, residents will determine what is essential for them.

  • Upon returning to campus, residents should enter the Main Entrance in the lane closest to the Gatehouse for temperature screenings. A log of residents returning to campus will be maintained to help with contact tracing if an outbreak occurs. This applies to all residents, including those driving, walking or biking off campus. On reentering campus, if residents have a fever or symptoms, they will be directed to return to their apartment and will be evaluated by the Clinic.
  • If residents travel off campus overnight, for personal or medical reasons, they will go under quarantine and be tested for COVID-19 after five days. Once they receive a negative test result, their quarantine will end. If residents do not want to be tested for COVID-19, they enter 14-day quarantine when returning to campus. Please notify Resident Services at ext. 6082 if you plan to be away overnight.
  • If two residents leave campus together, both should wear masks and will be screened upon return.

Step Four-Monday, June 22

Details of the Following New Programs are Outlined Below

  • Live Updates on TV970 will be reduced to two times per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m.
  • Full Housekeeping services resume on a weekly basis at the normal days and times. Changes to normal service will be communicated by Housekeeping. Questions? Call ext. 6295.
  • Residents may be picked up by family for transportation to off-campus essential business.
  • Deliveries from family and friends move from the Azalea Lot to the campus.
  • Publix grocery deliveries are reduced to three times per week.
  • Promenade Dining opens on a limited basis by reservation only.
  • Independent Living residents may schedule on-campus visits with family by appointment only.

Family Transportation for Residents

Beginning Friday, June 19, Independent Living residents are permitted to have family pick them up for transportation to essential business off campus. No Uber, Lyft or taxi drivers are permitted at this time. Those picking up the residents should follow these guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy. Violations of these guidelines will be handled on an individual basis by Westminster Canterbury Administration and Security.

  • Remain in your car at all times. You are not permitted to visit on campus or enter the building – only pick up and drop off a resident.
  • Meet the resident at the designated pickup entrance closest to their apartment. If you need assistance locating a resident, call the Front Desk at (804) 264-6000.
  • Leave campus promptly. Those doing pickup are not permitted to stay on campus.
  • Upon return, enter the Main Entrance in the lane closest to the Gatehouse for resident temperature and question screenings.
  • Drop the resident off at the designated entrance.
  • Please do not exit your car.
  • Leave campus promptly.

Changes to Deliveries from Family and Friends

Effective Wednesday, June 17, deliveries from family and friends are being made on campus on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-3 p.m. People making the deliveries should not arrive prior to 1 p.m. as they will not be permitted on campus until 1-3 p.m.

Independent Living residents will be able to briefly see their family or friends who are making the delivery. Courtyard and Homes on the Green drop-offs will take place at the Center Entrance. Tower, Garden and Glebe drop-offs will take place at the Tower Entrance. Assisted Living and Parsons Health Center items will be dropped off at the Center Entrance, and staff will deliver the items to the appropriate apartment.

Independent Living residents should coordinate with the person making the delivery to ensure that the resident is available to collect their items at a specific time. Independent Living residents will be responsible for picking up their items and taking them back to their apartment. Residents must wear a mask while in public spaces and ensure that the deliveries are a manageable size. Staff assistance will be available if needed.

Those making the delivery are not permitted to exit their cars and are required to wear a mask. We will not be screening and temperature checking the drivers. To keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly, each transaction should take less than five minutes. Staff volunteers will assist with this new process to ensure that traffic does not bottleneck. If someone delivering is waiting more than five minutes for the resident to arrive, they will be asked to leave their items with a staff volunteer.

Ukrop’s and Libbie Market deliveries will be dropped off at the Center Entrance where residents should arrive to pick up their orders shortly after 1 p.m. Residents are asked not to sit and visit at the Center and Tower Entrances from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help avoid congestion and ensure safety and social distancing. If you have questions, please call Resident Services at ext. 6082.

Changes to Publix Grocery Program

The grocery ordering program is being reduced to three days per week. Grocery delivery days will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Residents may continue to place phone orders by calling ext. 6262 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning at 9 a.m. or email The phone line will close each day once 25 orders are received. Categorize items by Produce, Dairy, Meat, Canned, Frozen, etc. Limit your list to 15 items. Some items or brands are not available. Please indicate whether you will accept substitutions. Publix includes a $5 shopping fee on each receipt for this service. Resident accounts are charged.


The last Pantry delivery service is on June 19. Wine delivery continues by calling ext. 1510 to place an order with deliveries each Friday.

Meal Delivery

Meal delivery will continue by calling ext. 6259 to place orders. Beginning June 22, the price for breakfast will be $6 and lunch will be $7 for both dine-in and room service meals.

Promenade Dining Begins June 22

Reservations are required. The Promenade will be open for breakfast and lunch only. Call ext. 6030 to make a reservation. Parties are limited to two people. Please leave your name, phone number, the name of your dining partner and your requested time. No walk-ins. Reservation Seating Times are:

  • Breakfast, Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m.
  • Lunch, Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday Midday: 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m.

When you arrive, you must be wearing a mask to enter the dining room. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your reservation. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you may have to wait for the next seating if a table is available. This is necessary to keep the numbers small and allow proper social distancing. You may not move tables together. You will scan your badge to charge your meal. No receipt will be issued unless you request it. You will sanitize your hands and be led to your table.

During the meal, Dining staff will take your drink order. You will go to the served buffet where attendants will serve all items. There will be a special plate at your table to put your mask on while dining. You may remove your mask while sitting at the table. You must wear your mask while returning to the buffet and leaving the dining room. Sugar, sweeteners, salt and pepper will be available in single-serve packets by request.


We are preparing a structured, safe visitation program for all areas of campus. This plan and its implementation are contingent upon no new cases of COVID-19 in staff or residents. We anticipate the visitation program will start and stop as we continue to navigate the pandemic.

Independent Living Visitation Begins Tuesday, June 23

Independent Living family may begin visiting campus on Tuesday, June 23. Family visits will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. by appointment only. Residents can register for a time slot by calling ext. 6058 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Visits will be in the Canterbury Room and the Private Dining Room. Three visits will take place at one time with appropriate social distancing between each visitation space. Visits are scheduled every 60 minutes with the visit lasting 30 minutes to allow time for disinfecting and prepping for the next set of visitors.

A maximum of two visitors per resident or resident couple is allowed. Visitors are required to wear a mask and have a temperature and question screening as they enter the campus at the Gatehouse. Visitors will park near the Center Entrance and enter at the Foundation Hall doors, behind the Westbrook Bell. There will be signage to point the way. Visitors who arrive more than 15 minutes early for their scheduled visit should wait in their car. Visitors should arrive at the Foundation Hall doors approximately five minutes prior to their appointment, maintaining social distancing as there may be other visitors arriving at the same time. Two staff volunteers will greet visitors, escort them through campus, and disinfect after each visit.

Assisted Living Visitation Begins Monday, June 29

Assisted Living Visitation will begin by appointment only. Details of the registration process will be shared separately with Assisted Living residents and family members.

Parsons Health Center Visitation

A plan for Parsons Health Center visitation has been created; however, we must wait until we receive guidance from CMS to determine when it may begin. As soon as they allow this type of visitation, we are ready to begin. The Governor’s Task Force has submitted a request to Health and Human Services to assist with creating guidance and process to help facilitate reopening.

Please refer to The Westminster Canterbury Tales, Touchtown Community Apps and TV971 for more details on ongoing programs and services.

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