Westminster Canterbury Richmond Video Update to Residents-March 30, 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; Will Blackwell, Vice President Health Services; Debra Jacobsen, Administrator Resident Services; and Lynn McClintock, Director Pastoral Care.

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

John Burns

Our daily updates are available to everyone – all residents in all areas of living, all employees and everyone in the community like our friends and family members – so that everyone can hear the same messages and stay up-to-date.

It was a beautiful weekend around campus with many enjoying the fresh air and taking walks around campus and Cochrane Pond. Please remember to only leave your apartment for brief periods of time. Inside the building, please stay in your area of living except for a few exceptions – to visit the library or Resident Computer Room. If you choose to walk outside, you are free to go anywhere on campus, as long as you enter and exit in your area of living.

Please remember to avoid gathering in groups. Stay six feet apart. We have heard reports of 3-4 people sitting on one bench this weekend. It’s critical for everyone’s health that we maintain social distancing in all circumstances. If you are going to sit outside, please leave space between you and others. If you are walking in the same area as someone else, please be mindful of those using wheelchairs or rollators and consider how to maintain your distance in the easiest and safest ways.

We feel upbeat about how things are going at Westminster Canterbury. Thank you for being so supportive and helpful during this new normal. Other senior living communities are beginning to have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and we ask for your help keeping everyone safe. We have been a leader in our state and among our peer communities since we had the first confirmed case in Virginia and had a chance to figure out new processes before others had to.

Around 48 staff have been under mandatory quarantine due to exposure to our resident with the confirmed COVID-19 case. All of them had a negative test result or did 14 days of mandatory quarantine with no symptoms. We are grateful to them and happy to have them return to work.

Will Blackwell

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Here is an update on Assisted Living and Mary Morton Parsons Health Center. Our teams are working hard to keep everyone happy and healthy while we are under self-quarantine. Everyone is getting the same great care they received before COVID-19 became a part of our daily life.

We are not doing communal dining in Parsons Health Center and Assisted Living for everyone’s safety. Our recreation team organizes activities while maintaining social distancing such as hallway Bingo and sing-alongs and helping residents connect with family and friends via Skype and FaceTime. We encourage friends and family members to send letters or cards to loved ones, as everyone on campus is receiving mail.

No visitors are allowed except in very, very limited circumstances that are arranged on a one-on-one basis. Assisted Living residents are allowed to take walks within the hallways of their areas of living. They may also take short walks outside, but it’s important to enter and exit near your area of living. In Parsons Health Center, one or two residents at a time are sitting out on the porches enjoying the nice weather.

There are serious reasons why we’re following our current precautions, asking everyone to self-quarantine in their apartments and avoid meeting in groups. This is extremely important and will continue for the foreseeable future in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Debra Jacobsen


Deliveries from friends and family members continue on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Azalea Parking Lot from 1-3 p.m. Please remind your family members and friends to maintain social distancing. The driver will be on the bus, and the family member or friend should put the grocery bags on the step of the bus. We are trying to eliminate as much contact as possible.

For grocery shopping by Transportation, call ext. 6262 or email groceryrequest@wcrichmond.org. Please do not stop by the desk with your list. All orders must be placed by phone or email.


Residents love putting puzzles together throughout the campus. The puzzles will continue to be available around campus. If you want to work a puzzle, you may do so one person at a time. Wash your hands afterwards. You may also take a puzzle back to your apartment. Puzzles are located in the Tower Information Center and in the Courtyard. You may take one without checking it out and keep it in your apartment until we share a process for returning them.

Car Batteries

For those concerned about car batteries remaining charged when your vehicles are not being driven, a local mechanic recommends charging them once weekly for 10-15 minutes. You can simply start your car and let it run or drive around within the campus. Please make sure you wash your hands immediately after.

On-Campus Bank

We are still negotiating with them and hope to have more information later this week.

Bank Transportation

Transportation is willing to provide transportation to banks as long as the resident stays in the car to conduct business using the drive-through window. We will not provide transportation that requires the resident to get out and interact with others for now. Please call ext. 6263 to make an appointment. Medical appointments take priority.

Housekeeping services

Housekeeping service in independent living apartments is resuming. If you would prefer not to have your apartment cleaned, you may decline services. Please call ext. 6241 if you have concerns or needs.

Returning from Travel

If residents who chose to stay at a second home off campus for a period of time decide to return to campus, they will be screened and asked to do mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Lynn McClintock

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Gracious God,

In this time of turbulence and unknowing, we admit that that we are disoriented and unsure. Those things that grounded us: our routines, eating the way we used to, socializing the way we used to, exercising the way we used to, taking a drive the way we used to, working the way we used to—have all changed in the blink of an eye. And we are learning the hard way that throwing our whole being into the next unpredictable wave of news—puts us in a reaction mode that will only leave us exhausted and feeling powerless.

Help us, loving Lord, that when the despair rises within us, to not forget that there are birds on our Ellipse right now, there are children playing in neighborhood backyards right now, there are flowers opening to the sun—right now.

When the despair rises within us—keep our minds on the beautiful, natural order that you have created. Remind us to look outside at the sun–and the wind moving through the trees. Keep our hearts resting in your goodness and grace that is more perfect and longer lasting than viruses and earthly chaos—and even beyond our own earthly lives.

And so we rest—in the grace of the world, and the peace of your love—and are free.

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