Visitation Guidelines


The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control released updated guidelines that govern visitation of residents in nursing homes and assisted housing facilities, such as Birch Bay Retirement Village.

These guidelines specify that facilities must allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), except for a few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Visitors should not enter the facility if:

  • Visitor(s) have a positive viral test for COVID-19;
  • Visitor(s) have symptoms of COVID-19; or
  • Visitor(s) currently meet the Maine CDC criteria for quarantine.


While previously acceptable, facilities can no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits. Although there is no limit on the number of visitors that a resident can have at one time, visits should be conducted in a manner that adheres to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and does not increase risk to other residents. Facilities should ensure that physical distancing can still be maintained during peak times of visitation (e.g., lunch time, after business hours, etc.). Also, facilities should avoid large gatherings (e.g., parties, events) where large numbers of visitors are in the same space at the same time and physical distancing cannot be maintained.

During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For examples, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area.


Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

  • Stay home and watch for symptoms for 14 days after you last contact with a person who had COVID-19;
  • Watch for fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19;
  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19;
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.

Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention

  • Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the Maine CDC criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. Facilities should screen all who enter for these visitation exclusions.
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred);
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose) and physical distancing at least six feet between people;
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education of COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits, and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene);
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit;
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care);
  • Resident and staff testing conducted as required.


To protect the health and well-being of your loved ones and our community, the following visitation guidelines will be effective as of November 24, 2021, for anyone visiting residents at Birch Bay Retirement Village:

  1. Since all residents at Birch Bay Retirement Village have a personal apartment, the designated visiting location will always be the resident’s apartment when indoors. Visitors and residents may visit outdoors as desired.
  2. All visitors to Birch Bay Retirement Village must:
    1. Abide by the Core Principles of Screening, Masking, Physical Distancing, and Hand Hygiene while on campus and in transit to/from a resident’s room and/or outside.
      1. Screen in during each visit by utilizing the kiosk in the Assisted Living Atrium;
      2. Wear the badge printed by the kiosk in an easily identifiable location while in the main Inn or on the grounds;
  • Wear a procedure or higher-quality mask (e.g., N95) while inside the main Inn and on the grounds of Birch Bay Retirement Village;
    1. Procedure masks are provided at the kiosk, if needed.
    2. Masks may be removed within the privacy of the resident’s room, but will need to be worn if another resident or staff member is present within the room.
  1. Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet with all persons except the resident receiving the visitor(s).
    1. Visitors and their resident may have close or physical contact, but six feet physical distancing should be maintained between the visitor and all other persons.
  2. Travel directly from the kiosk to the resident’s room without stopping or socializing in the hallways with other residents and/or staff.
  1. Visits should not occur in common areas, and visitors should not attend events, activities, or stop in common areas of the facility.
    1. Visitors may attend dinner in the main dining room, the Bay Vista Room, with their resident. Visitors must make reservations in advance to dine with their resident(s), but will need to be masked (mask may be removed to eat, but should be worn at all other times) and ensure maintenance of six feet physical distancing from all persons during the meal. Proof of vaccination is no longer required.
  2. Visitors may take residents off campus. This includes Apartment, Safe Harbor, and Pleasant Cove residents.
    1. Core principles, such as masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and limiting contact with others are highly encouraged during off-campus visits.
  3. Family pets may accompany visitors, but must remain leashed during the visit unless inside the resident’s apartment with the door closed. Family pets may not visit with other residents and/or staff.
  4. After the visit, visitor(s) should proceed back to the self-service screening kiosk and sign out prior to leaving the premises. The Assisted Living Entrance should be used to enter and exit the facility.
  5. While it is safer for visitors not to enter the facility during an outbreak investigation, any residents who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may still be visited. Should an outbreak investigation occur, visitors will be made aware of the potential risks of visiting during an outbreak investigation and must adhere to the core principles of infection prevention. Additional PPE may be provided with instruction, if necessary.

Please note that these guidelines are subject to change. Please send any questions, comments, concerns, and/or feedback to Director of Programs & Resident Engagement James Hoke to