Westminster Canterbury’s Next Steps-Live Update to Residents-May 21, 2020
Today’s update included Westminster Canterbury’s next steps toward restarting, reengaging and reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic and instruction on the proper way to wear a mask. It featured John Burns, President and CEO; Tina Slate, Clinical Educator; Will Blackwell, Vice President Health Services; Logan Augustine, Chaplain; and Rev. Dr. Art Thomas, Resident.
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: May 21, 2020
As Westminster Canterbury Richmond 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, today we announce our first two 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 community outside our campus.
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 and 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.
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 new 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 under CMS guidance. In our first steps, we are not opening the campus to outside visitors nor allowing residents to leave campus except for few exceptions such as using Westminster Canterbury transportation for medical appointments and drive-through banking and for off-campus employment. Residents are also reminded that visiting with family members along the fence is not permitted. Please continue to connect via phone and video chat.
As of Tuesday, May 26, it is mandatory for everyone on campus to wear a mask when you are around other people. 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 read the “How NOT to Wear a Mask” article from The New York Times included in the memo for detailed instructions.
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.
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 included in the memo. 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 first 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.
On Tuesday, May 26, Westminster Canterbury will open a few spaces and services.
• Main Street Salon and Avalon Salon open with limited availability by appointment only. Call ext. 6281 to make an appointment and learn more about the guidelines.
• McGue-Millhiser Arts Studio and Gordon Woodworking Shop open for limited hours. Sarah Abernathie is reaching out to resident artists and woodworkers to share details. Call ext. 6268 with questions.
• Clinic services resume with additional precautions. All regular providers will be providing services with limited availability by appointment only.
• Packages will be delivered to desks for resident pick-up.
• Residents with employment may return to work with restricted protocol in coordination with Resident Services. Call ext. 6082 if you have questions.
On Monday, June 1, additional spaces and services will open.
• Fitness Center and Aquatic Center available for limited hours by appointment only. Phone lines for appointments will open on Tuesday, May 26.
-Fitness Center – call ext. 6669 for an appointment. Leave a message indicating preferred day, time and equipment. We will return your call.
-Aquatic Center – call ext. 6539 for an appointment. Leave a message indicating preferred day and time. We will return your call.
• Outpatient Rehab resumes on a limited basis.
• Small group activities by Pastoral Care and Recreation resume for groups of six or fewer.
• Regular Pastoral Care visitation resumes in Assisted Living.
• Mobile dog groomers may be permitted on campus in coordination with Resident Services at ext. 6082.
• Marketplace Billiards Room reopens with enhanced cleaning protocols. Courtyard Billiards Room will reopen as soon as needed repairs are completed.
Westminster Canterbury will keep a close eye on data, recommendations from the Governor and progress with these initial steps as we plan for what is next. In the coming days and weeks, we will communicate timing for our next steps, which may include the following:
• Promenade Dining opens on a limited basis by reservation only
• Galleria opens
• Pharmacy opens
• Additional Transportation services
• Safe visitation opportunity for Parsons Health Center residents
• Visitation spaces for Independent Living and Assisted Living residents with outside guests
• Business and Resident Services Offices open
• Housekeeping services resume on a regular schedule
Remember that the following ongoing services continue to be available.
Meal and Grocery Delivery Options – see memo
Grocery Deliveries from Family and Friends
Family members or friends may deliver groceries for residents every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-3 p.m., to the Azalea Parking Lot. It is easiest if the groceries are in brown paper bags. Bags must be labeled with resident names and apartment numbers. Please ask family and friends to avoid packing heavy bags and fragile items like vases. Drivers shuttle the groceries for delivery every fifteen minutes during the delivery window.
Residents may access the Tower Library and DVD collection in the Arts Studio. Please practice social distancing.
Transportation to medical appointments and financial institutions is available by filling out blue Transportation Request forms and returning to the Center or Tower desks. Regular fees apply. Banking must be conducted through the drive-through window. Call ext. 6263.
FaceTime, Skype and Zoom
The Information Technology (IT) department manages FaceTime, Skype and Zoom requests for Independent Living residents who do not have a personal iPad or tablet. If you wish to make a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom appointment with your loved one, please coordinate the date and time with them and then call the Resident Technology Hotline at ext. 4026 to schedule your appointment. Provide at least a 24-hour notice. Scheduled calls should last approximately 15 minutes. Recreation staff are available to coordinate appointments for residents in Assisted Living and Parsons Health Center.