Dear Residents and Families of Birch Bay Retirement Village,

We currently have no cases of COVID-19 among our staff and residents. We continue to follow all state and federal guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide information and an update regarding the current state of our COVID-19 vaccination plan. New cases of COVID-19 continue to be at a high transmission rate in Hancock County. The State of Maine, CDC and DHHS has directed facilities like Birch Bay to be a focus of early vaccination efforts. I, along with other members of the Mount Desert Island Hospital leadership team and physicians, have been closely following the data surrounding the prospective vaccines to be considered for emergency approval by the FDA. An interdisciplinary team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, geriatric care and infection specialists have been scrutinizing the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and we highly recommend vaccination for all staff and residents of Birch Bay Retirement Village.

Vaccination is the first step to our return to “normalcy” and sets the foundation for re-opening our community fully. The study data from Pfizer and BioNTech observed efficacy of over 94% in adults over the age of 65. This is great news but even with 100% compliance with vaccination 6% of older adults would still be at risk. I am sure you have heard discussions of heard immunity in the news. This is not a new concept in healthcare and is something I grapple annually during Influenza (Flu) season. It is of paramount importance everyone who can be vaccinated be vaccinated. Vaccination not only protects the individual vaccinated but also friends and neighbors at Birch Bay who may be in the 6% not immune.

In order to provide protection from illness for all residents, staff, and our families it is vital that everyone participate in the vaccination plan. In the coming days/weeks you will be contacted by a member of Birch Bay staff to discuss participation in Covid-19 vaccination. Once we receive the date a vaccine will be available for Birch Bay Retirement Village residents and staff we will again contact you with this information as well as fact sheets regarding the particular vaccine provided by the CDC. Again, I strongly encourage participation in the vaccination program.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we adjust our policies and practices to best protect our residents and staff. It is more important now than ever before that our entire community continue to be vigilant in following all guidelines recommended by the State of Maine and the CDC. Please social distance, wear a mask, limit your non-essential trips, and practice good handwashing. Thank you for helping us protect the health and well-being of all.

Thank you,
Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN-BC, CDP, LRCA, Executive Director, Birch Bay Retirement Village