Westminster Canterbury Richmond Video Update to Residents-April 6, 2020-3 p.m.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is keeping our residents up-to-date on the latest news related to our COVID-19 response. Hear from our 3 p.m. live update to residents from John Burns, President and CEO; Russell Gardner, Vice President and CFO; Debra Jacobsen, Administrator Resident Services; Taryn Young, Fitness Specialist; and Lynn McClintock, Director Pastoral Care.

The following updates were shared during the live briefing on TV970.

John Burns

According to the Virginia Department of Health, in Virginia there are 2,878 total cases of COVID-19, 497 total hospitalizations and 54 deaths. According to Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, there are eight senior living communities in the area that have active cases.

A member of Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s evening Housekeeping staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has been in quarantine for nearly two weeks due to her husband’s illness, which is thought to be the result of a church retreat. Our employee has no symptoms. We are actively tracing to see who may have been exposed to this employee. There is no exposure between the employee and our second confirmed case of COVID-19. We continue to try to determine the source of that resident’s illness.

Employee Support

Thank you to residents for your notes, calls and encouragement. There are many ways for you to support our employees during this time. Some of you are making gifts to the Employee Christmas Fund or to Westminster Canterbury Foundation and including notes like these:

• “In honor of the ENTIRE WC Richmond Team – top to bottom. You are THE BEST. We are so blessed. Thank you for going beyond.”

• “In honor of our superb (emphasis on superb!) staff”

In addition to the Employee Christmas Fund, you can support employees with your gifts to the Foundation – the W·E·A·V·E program stands for Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement. When employees face financial emergencies, they can ask for assistance through this program, and your tax-deductible gifts help make that possible.


Employees are wearing masks around campus to protect you from us. Currently, we do not have enough fabric masks for all staff. More masks are being donated. This helps protect our supply of clinical supplies – surgical and N95 masks – in case we need them. Many residents have asked whether we will supply masks to residents. At this time, we do not have enough to make these available to you. They are not a substitute for social distancing.

We are taking donations of cloth masks that are made per the CDC’s guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html). If your family members or friends want to donate these homemade masks, they can drop them off at the Gatehouse. We disinfect the masks before they are distributed to staff. Contact Sarah Abernathie at ext. 6268 if you are interested in helping make masks.

Other Updates

Management is working to protect Westminster Canterbury in case the COVID-19 pandemic conditions persist. In the short term, the pandemic has had a significant impact on costs and revenues, forcing us to make hard but prudent business decisions. Residents and staff are being asked to make sacrifices. An update on these decisions was shared with the Corporate and Foundation Boards on Friday. We intended to share it at Friday’s briefing, but the news of the second confirmed resident COVID-19 case took precedence on Friday.

Russell Gardner

Our management team has been very responsive to disruptions with services and supply chains.

To mitigate financial impact and hopefully avoid more severe changes in the future if the COVID-19 situation were to persist or worsen, Westminster Canterbury’s management team must take immediate action to reduce our expenses. Due to self-quarantine and social distancing rules, resident services and programs have been dramatically reduced or suspended, allowing us to reduce our labor requirements.

We updated our Coronavirus Leave Employee Relations Policy and instituted the following beginning Monday, April 6:

• Employees are allowed to take time off without pay for up to four weeks at a time.

• We are adjusting hours for non-essential staff, defined as those not in clinical positions and those not actively involved in COVID-19 related processes, procedures and tasks.

o Full-time employees will work a reduced schedule of 32 hours per week.

o Part-time employees will work a reduced schedule of no more than 20 hours per week.

This has been a very difficult decision, but we feel it is the right one, given all of the changes to our operations. We do not anticipate any major service disconnects related to these changes. This policy will be reviewed on May 1.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our employees over the past few weeks. We ask for residents’ support in complying with guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and Westminster Canterbury’s management and clinical teams.

Debra Jacobsen


Per a resident recommendation, all residents will receive a notice about handwashing that can be placed on your refrigerator as a reminder of when and how to wash your hands. Residents have asked about staff wearing gloves when delivering meals and packages. Because gloves can still transmit infections, it is not recommended that we start this practice. Everyone should wash their hands frequently.

Grocery shopping

Our staff continue to shop daily and deliver to your door. The morning shopping works better as stores are less crowded. Consider using Dining’s new Pantry ordering and delivery system to get your staples.

Mail Delivery

Mail delivery from the United States Postal Service has ceased again. Staff volunteers have retrieved our mail from the post office and are sorting for delivery later today. Courtyard residents’ mail will be in your boxes. All other Independent Living residents’ mail will be delivered to your door.


If you need hair products, you may call the Main Street Salon at ext. 6281 to purchase shampoo, conditioner and other supplies.


Doors to the Ellipse are now unlocked.


Renovations have resumed in Courtyard Apt. 4137. Contractors have been briefed on infection control precautions.


Housekeeping services will resume this week. Please be patient as we work through scheduling challenges. If you have any questions, please call Sherry Grady at ext. 5110.

Taryn Young

Stress Relief/Self-Care Tip of the Week

Thank you for participating in the Yoga and Cardio/Stretch/Strengthen videos available on TV970 and Touchtown Community Apps. This week’s self-care tip is to get up and move every hour throughout your day. This is important for overall mental and physical well-being and helps with immunity, stress relief, mobility and balance.

All residents received the Cardiovascular CV-19 Wellness Challenge calendar. Please join us in doing those activities daily. The activities don’t have to be done in a way that involves heavy lifting or breakneck speed. Reach in all directions, with your whole body. Call the Wellness team if you have any questions.

Lynn McClintock


• Everything is not locked down

• Sunrise is not locked down

• Love is not locked down

• Family time is not locked down

• Kindness is not locked down

• Creativity is not locked down

• Learning is not locked down

• Conversation is not locked down

• Imagination is not locked down

• Reading is not locked down

• Relationship is not locked down

• Praying is not locked down

• Meditation is not locked down

• Sleeping is not locked down

• Work from home is not locked down

• Hope is not locked down

Isaiah 35: 1-2 (King James Version)

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”


Gracious and Life-giving God:

This year, more than perhaps ever before, we can relate to the Israelites’ walking through the wilderness, and Christ’s journey of suffering. As we walk this journey, remind us that we are not alone. Grant us the peace of knowing that we truly do have fellow travelers on this road with us. Reassure us that not only do we walk with others even when we can’t see them—that you walk with us—even when it feels sometimes like we can’t find you. Help us to trust that when we are searching for you, that you have already found us. That you are here. That you love us and will uphold us. Instill deep within us, loving God, the trust that this path we are on is leading us toward the light. Thankful for your mercies, and trusting in your promise that you are God-with-us, we make this prayer. Amen.

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