Dear Residents & Families of the Birch Bay Retirement Village community,
As the public health emergency comes to an end, Birch Bay Retirement Village is happy to be able to begin transitioning into our “new normal”, post-pandemic. This means a change in our COVID-19 and respiratory illness related policies and procedures, outlined below. The following changes will be effective Monday, May 15, 2023, for residents, staff and visitors:
- Masking will now be optional for all residents, staff and visitors at Birch Bay Retirement Village except those experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms or those diagnosed with or recently exposed to COVID-19. Appropriate PPE precautions will continue to be required when caring for a suspected or known COVID-19 positive resident or other illness requiring such precautions.
- Masking is still required for all staff providing face-to-face resident care.
- Joy Hatfield, RN, Director of Health & Residents Services will be meeting with residents to determine if they still wish to have a staff members mask when entering their apartment for care or services. If they do wish to have staff mask, then we will place a small sticker on their door indicating their preference. We would respectfully ask that “mirroring” take place inside each residence that has requested staff mask.
- We will resume our pre-pandemic practice of re-opening the Main Entrance at Birch Bay Retirement Village. This entrance will be opened daily from 6am-9pm. Visitors will still be asked to screen-in at the kiosk which will now be located in the Main Lobby. The kiosk will still serve as a visitor and vendor covid screening tool as well as a visitor log.
- We recognize members of our staff and community may choose to continue to mask in various areas throughout the Birch Bay community. Masks will therefore continue to be provided at entrance points at Birch Bay Retirement Village.
The current decision to no longer require universal masking is based on CDC recommendations as well as local and state data that supports our ability to safely unmask in most circumstances. The MDI Hospital Infection Prevention team is monitoring emerging data and will make recommendations accordingly using a system notification and moving us from “green to red.” Should risk of transmissible respiratory illness increase, we are prepared to return to universal masking.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or Joy Hatfield. Thank you for your continued support during changes to policies and procedures in the past three years.
Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN, GERO-BC, CDP, LRCA
Executive Director, Birch Bay Retirement Village