Birches' Response to COVID-19

Residents and Family Members,

In an effort to be transparent with our residents, team members, and family members, and openly share best practices with our healthcare colleagues, we are posting our announcements below so you can have a portal to keep up to date with us here at The Birches. We will also make every effort to answer questions as they come in as well. In a time where there are more questions than answers, we are doing our best to protect the population we serve.

The Birches’ is proud of the way our team has managed isolation precautions for our residents who show symptoms of fever, don’t feel well, are ordered to be on isolation during antibiotic treatments, etc. in years past, and for knowing the importance of staying home if they aren’t feeling well. Because we take these symptoms seriously among our team members and residents, we feel as prepared as we can be should COVID-19 reach our doors. Our communications and policies have been modified to specifically address COVID-19.

We’ve heard that it isn’t “whether or not” we will experience COVID-19, but “when.” Also, that it may no longer be considered “flu season,” but “flu and COVID-19 season from here.” Please take care of yourself and continue to practice standard hygienic practices wherever you go.

If there are any best practices that any of our residents or family members have experienced elsewhere, please send any comments or suggestions to jsander@birches.net or tina@birches.net as we are always interested in expanding our policies for the health and safety of our members. Take care of yourself, be cautious, and we will get through this together.

Jacqueline Sander
Executive Director


UPDATES:

April 2, 2020 No cases or concerns here at Birches. Read our latest Birches' Update to our residents, team, and family members.

April 1, 2020 Birches' Team Members will start wearing masks, as a positive prevention tactic, in our Memory Care Neighborhood due to Encore being a confined space and lack of social distancing for those with memory loss.

March 31, 2020 No cases or concerns here at Birches. Read our latest Birches' Update to residents, team, and family members.

March 31, 2020 Our residents finished another 13 Fabric Mask Sewing Kits for the local public to pick up and create to help others. To date, they have made enough kits to total 270 masks!

March 30, 2020 Birches' Team Members are delivering all mail to each apartment. USPS no longer delivering within the community.

March 26, 2020 Letter from Jim Curto, our Founder and chief executive, to The Birches' Residents and Family members.

March 19, 2020 No cases or concerns here, but we are tightening up operations due to the growing amount of cases in the neighborhood. Here is the latest announcement to our members. Starting tomorrow, tray deliveries to all resident apartments so we can respect social distancing with our servers. Here is the letter to our residents.

March 18, 2020 Letter from Jim Curto, Founder and chief executive, to our Birches Team and their Families.

March 18, 2020 All deliveries (except medications) and packages to be dropped off in our vestibule. Because droplet spores can stay on cardboard up to 24 hours, all packages will be held in the office before getting delivered to resident apartments.

March 17, 2020 The Birches' sent out more updates for residents and families. We've separated residents to one person per table for all meals in dining for social distancing, added two portable hand-wash sinks (one for front entry and one for our memory care dining room), and limited activity groups to less than 10 people with respectful spacing for social distancing. Click to read our announcement to all members.

March 16, 2020 The Birches' residents volunteered to run their own Rosary Service since outside providers are not coming into the community. Thank you to our Resident Volunteers for showing that all of us can still come together to support one another in this difficult time. Follow our Facebook Page for more positive and creative celebrations over the next few weeks.

March 16, 2020 The Birches' has offered and scheduled flu vaccinations for our members this Friday should they have declined it earlier this season. This vaccination does NOT protect against COVID-19, however, it helps our healthcare system find patients with COVID-19 symptoms faster by reducing the amount of people coming down with influenza in clinics and hospitals during this time of COVID-19 testing shortage.

March 14, 2020 The Birches' created a public website page to communicate Birches' COVID-19 announcements for all of our members. You are now on the site!

March 14, 2020 "No Visitors Allowed" policy begins at 8 a.m, and no residents allowed to leave to protect the health and safety of our population. Click to read our announcement.

March 13, 2020 The Birches' Resident Meeting: Coronavirus and What You Need to Know. Q&A for all members. Review of "No Visitors Policy" that begins tomorrow. Email announcement sent to families. Copy of announcement is here with other updates (if you are a family member or resident and did not receive a copy of this; please email Jackie or Tina)

March 11, 2020 The Birches' All Team Training and review of prevention techniques. Resident prevention training begins: Hand-washing techniques, coughing etiquette, etc.

March 10, 2020 Email announcement to our Members sent. This is our detailed plan of what to expect should any of our residents go on isolation for COVID-19 or related influenza symptoms, or if The Birches has to initiate our Lock-Down policies. This was developed with guidance from the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Human Services’ emergency preparedness department, DuPage County Health Department, and the best practices The Birches’ has implemented when it comes to managing symptoms and isolating residents at The Birches, to reduce our chance of outbreaks, throughout the year. Feel free to share if there is anything useful that you can use.

March 9, 2020 The Birches' started their spring preventative maintenance program early, and is replacing all HVAC filters in resident apartments and common areas.

February 25, 2020 The Birches' leadership team started discussing and updating our influenza plan to address COVID-19.

February 10, 2020 The Birches' stocks up on emergency supplies for day to day operations, emergency operations, resident supplies, etc.

Oct. 23/ Oct. 30, 2019 Get your Flu Shot! Birches' Team Members' vaccinations scheduled.

Sept. 26/ Oct. 1, 2019 Get your Flu Shot! Resident vaccinations scheduled.

September 1, 2019 The Birches Influenza procedures, per department, begin until the end of March 2020.

Helpful Links to Follow, Post, and Share:
2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Summary

What you need to know about 2019 Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet

What to do if you are sick with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Steps to Prevent Illness

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers- CDC


"Stop" Sign for Entrances to Businesses- DuPage Medical Group

Screening tool to post on Entrances to Businesses- IDPH

"Prevention Tips" to Post in Public Bathrooms-DuPage Medical Group