Dear Residents and Families of Birch Bay Retirement Village,
I hope you all are having a nice week. We currently have no cases of COVID-19 among our staff and
residents. Please know that we have followed and will continue to follow all state and federal guidelines set
forth for resident care, staff safety, and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update regarding the current state of COVID-19 and changes
to Birch Bay practices. In the past two (2) weeks, the positivity rate in Maine has tripled. This increase in
COVID-19 had not bypassed our region. Over the last week there has been a substantial increase in COVID-
19 cases in Hancock County, we expect continued increases as the weather continues to cool and people shift
to indoors. Direct care workers at Birch Bay will now be wearing face shields or goggles in addition to surgical
masks as their standard uniform.
The rise in cases is particularly problematic after many months of precautions leading to fatigued of masking
and social distancing, and complacency and non-compliance with the Governors emergency orders. Now,
more than ever, we must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and shift the trend of
increasing cases. If not altered, we will be facing exponential growth in cases much like other rural settings in
North Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Please, be vigilant in wearing your masks, social distancing, limit
visits/close contacts and frequently washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when unable
to wash your hands with soap and water.
Unfortunately, the approaching Thanksgiving Holiday is not unaffected by COVID-19. Many are wondering
what COVID-19 guidance means to Birch Bay Residents for Thanksgiving. Due to the increasing cases in
Maine, I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE resident travel to visit family homes for Thanksgiving. Guidance from the
State of Maine CDC and DHHS requires any residents who choose to leave campus to visit friends or family to
quarantine for 14 days upon return to Birch Bay. This would require the resident to remain in their apartment
or suite. If the resident is requires supervision to remember to stay in their apartment/suite, we would require
the resident or family to hire private duty home care to act as 24/hr. “sitters” to assure the resident complies
with quarantine and remains in their apartment. If you have any questions or if you are planning an off-site trip,
please contact Michael Smith, Director of Health Services.
Birch Bay continues to allow visits with residents on campus at this time. I want to remind everyone of the
importance of following the visiting guidelines and that failure to comply with the guidelines puts not only your
loved one at risk but also the other Residents, Staff, and their families. I have instructed staff that failure to
comply with masking and social distancing guidelines during visits will result in revocation of visiting privileges
of those who are out of compliance. Please be aware, if you do not follow the guidance, you may not be
granted a scheduled visit in the future.
On behalf of the entire Birch Bay Retirement Village community, I want to thank each of you for your continued
support and understanding as we battle COVID-19 together. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any
questions or concerns you may have. As always, we welcome your suggestions as to where we could improve
the quality of life for residents during this difficult time.
Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN-BC, LRCA, CDP, Executive Director, Birch Bay Retirement Village