Westminster Canterbury Richmond resident in his 80s has COVID-19

The patient is a man in his 80s
Posted at 11:33 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 18:08:54-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Westminster Canterbury Richmond, a retirement community, has confirmed a resident was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The patient is a man in his 80s who had recently returned from extended travel in Florida.

He is in stable condition at VCU Medical Center, but not in need of care in the ICU, according to Dr. Danny Avula, public health director for Richmond and Henrico.

Dr. Avula said they were notified Monday night of the positive case in Henrico County.

"Westminster Canterbury is working closely with public health officials, who are on campus partnering with Westminster Canterbury healthcare staff," Westminster Canterbury Vice President Resource Development Gayle Hunter Haglund said. "Virginia Department of Health officials are now determining who may have come into contact with the resident and a number of healthcare staff are at home in self-quarantine."

Haglund said as soon as COVID-19 case diagnosed, Westminster Canterbury residents were required to remain in their apartments.

Nearly 900 people live in apartments and homes inside the 50-acre community, according to facility CEO and President John Burns.

Burns said the patient had flown to Florida from Richmond International Airport.

Approximately 25 staff members at Westminster Canterbury who may have come in contact with the infected patient are self-quarantined at their homes.

“We initiated aggressive and proactive efforts in tracking the travel of our residents and employees as well as implemented proactive screening procedures which we believe helped us manage this case as effectively as possible,” Burns said.

Dr. Avula said the Westminster Canterbury facility was among the first in the area to implement stringent screening of staff and residents.

Employees’ temperatures were being monitored as early as last Wednesday and the facility closed their nursing home and assisted living areas to all non-clinical personnel on Thursday.

“I expect that we will see cases popping up in facilities across the region,” Avula explained. “We’ve already firmly established there is already community spread in the region.”

Officials said the patient's wife is in good health and is under self-quarantine at her apartment.

Melissa Andrews, president of LeadingAge Virginia, said they are working with local facilities and state agencies to combat the coronavirus.

“LeadingAge Virginia is an association of not-for-profit aging services organizations serving residents and clients through life plan/continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day centers and home and community based services,” according to their website.

“We all have a responsibility to stay home if we can,” Andrews stated. “That spread is not from 65 year old to 65 year old. It’s the rest of us that’s capable of community spread.”