RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Westminster Canterbury Richmond retirement community in Henrico County confirmed Tuesday that one of its residents was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The resident had recently returned from a trip to Florida and is currently at VCU Medical Center, the retirement community said.
“It’s with a heavy heart I that I stand here today to share with you that the Virginia Department of Health and Westminster Canterbury Richmond have been engaged since last night because it was determined that a resident at VCU Medical center has tested positive for COVID-19,” said John Burns, president and CEO.
Burns said they were working with the VDH to track everyone who came in contact with the resident, and all potentially infected staff were at home in quarantine.
Danny Avula, director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Departments, said they worked throughout the night to try and assess the degree of risk to other residents at the facility.
“We’ve been talking for some time about vulnerable populations and knowing that our elderly residents and residents with underlying issues are the ones who are going to be most at risk and it was just a matter of time until we saw this at one of our retirement homes, long term care facilities,” he said. “In some ways, there’s almost a sigh of relief it’s at this one. As we’ve engaged last night the professionalism, the planning that has been put into place has been unparalleled.”
Westminster Canterbury said at the beginning of March they started a Coronavirus Task Force meant to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and make a plan for other concerns. The task force started tracking the travel plans of residents, staff and their families on March 4 to monitor those traveling to affected areas.
When the first case was confirmed in Richmond on March 11, Westminster Canterbury closed the campus to visitors and began screening everyone who came on the campus with questions and temperature readings.
“Well ahead of any government recommendations,” Burns said.
The community added that when the resident had been diagnosed they took extra steps to prevent further spread, such as requiring all residents to remain in their apartments.
“We will be providing them with meals and whatever else they need throughout the day,” Burns said. “We’re doing our best to keep our residents well informed. We have an in-house television channel, we did a communication with them this morning at 9 a.m. to share basically the same information.”
Westminster Canterbury said that the Virginia Department of Health will be involved throughout the process.
WATCH: Full press conference from outside the Westminster Canterbury Richmond retirement community
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