Dear Residents and Families of Birch Bay Retirement Village,
It has been a couple of months since my last update. I hope you are all having a nice summer. We currently have no cases of COVID-19 among our staff and residents.
Over the last month, our vaccinated residents and their families have enjoyed the relaxing of restrictions. If you follow us on Facebook or visit us, you will see our residents enjoying all that our beautiful island and Acadia has to offer.
However, unfortunately, we are now seeing growing cases of COVID-19 daily across the country and now in Hancock County. Today’s positivity rate among COVID tests in this county has grown to 3.5%. We are unsure of when the positivity and case rate in Hancock County could affect Birch Bay later this fall. At this time, no changes will be made to our visitation policies. We will do what we can to balance the safety of our residents with their quality of life.
We would like to remind our residents and families to continue to mask in public areas inside the Birch Bay Inn. Outside of the Inn, the CDC has recommended indoor masking in public spaces (stores, schools, restaurants, and more) for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Please do your part and remain vigilant. We ask you to continue to encourage your friends and neighbors to wear masks and be mindful of any COVID symptoms even if you are vaccinated.
This month, Governor Janet Mills also mandated vaccination of all health care workers. This helps us further protect all seniors living in care communities. We realize this may bring concern to some of our residents and their families. We want to assure you that Birch Bay Village has been committed to vaccination since last winter. The mandate is of no concern here in regard to the staffing challenges that other health care providers may face. The staff acceptance rate of vacations was substantially higher at Birch Bay than in other communities.
This week, President Biden announced plans to release Covid-19 boosters of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Booster shots would be available to anyone beginning 8-months after their second dose of vaccine. There will be more information in the coming weeks following authorization by the FDA and I will keep you informed of when boosters may be made available to Residents of Birch Bay.
In other news, on July 26th, we welcomed our new Director of Health and Resident Services, Julie Ireland. Julie is a very capable and enthusiastic leader, and we are pleased to have her join our team. We were, of course, saddened to see Mike Smith leave us August 13th but wish him and his family well on their new adventures traveling the U. S.
As always, I ask that you encourage your friends and family who are eligible for vaccination to be vaccinated. All the available vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious illness or death. Vaccination continues to be our best option in ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN-BC, LRCA, CDP, Executive Director, Birch Bay Retirement Village