We have a bundle of news to announce as we dive further into the holidays.
We are excited to announce that we have just completed another annual IDPH survey of our community for licensure renewal, and the State surveyor found No Violations!
Our great-quality streak continues as we continue to navigate these hard times. Special Thank You to our Team and all you continue to do our for residents and their families.
Unfortunately, the corona-coaster we have been riding together the last two years has not stopped. As we anticipated, COVID-19 is now knocking on our door. Today we received notice of a few team members that have tested positive outside of work, and as procedure, we are initiating all-resident/ all-team COVID-19 testing this Monday/ Tuesday.
There are no concerns indoors at this time but this reminds us that we need to continue to do what we do best: wear our mask when not eating and drinking, socially distance often, refrain from large gatherings, test often at home, vaccinate or get a 3rd vaccine shot, self-quarantine if you've been out at a large gathering, and minimize risk where you can during these unsure times.
We plan on continuing weekly testing for a while, even if we were to (hopefully) find that there are no new cases.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR VISITATION:
Our Visitation Guidance continues as-is per the current Guidance and does not change going forward unless The Birches finds it necessary to implement other mitigation strategies. If any resident were to test positive, they will isolate per physician recommendations but visitation within the rest of the community will continue (although we will continue to recommend limited visitation):
Visitors are encouraged to routinely test prior to your visit. IDPH recommends 72 hours or less before visiting the community. It is not required.
All visits remain in apartments at this time as it has been.
All visitors MUST sign in, SCREEN at the front desk, and answer NO to all screening questions. This includes drivers taking residents out of the building. No exceptions. Please be kind to our Receptionists who are doing all they can to manage traffic and follow necessary protocols.
Social distancing, regardless of vaccination status, is extremely important during your visit. Due to space limitations, no more than 2 visitors at a time within an apartment. If you are waiting to enter an apartment (because of other visitors there), you cannot wait in the resident common areas. You must wait in your car or outside.
Masks must be worn at all times during your visit.
Ages 5 and older are now able to visit indoors here at The Birches as long as the mask can be worn correctly at all times during the visit.
Ages 12 and older must wear a 3-ply mask as we have been all year
Ages 5-12 are able to wear any snug face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times.
Food and Beverages during visits are not encouraged at this time. Masks must continue to be worn when not eating or drinking. This is essential to reducing any spread.
Visits in our Fireside Visitation Booth is encouraged while we initiate testing after the holiday next week! If interested, please reserve your visitation slot through the Front Desk.
DuPage County is still in HIGH Transmission averaging 8.75% transmission rate for COVID-19 which means we are at the strictest mitigation level at this time same as other communities in our area. This is almost 3% more since two weeks ago.
Here is our current Visitation Fact Sheet to share and forward to your family members especially if they do not routinely visit here throughout the year.
If you are taking your loved one out for the holidays, please let us know in advance by calling our Front Desk. This allows us to gather any medications in advance, and meal plan for our holiday feast here at The Birches on Christmas Day.
If you are taking your loved one out for the holiday for a prolonged period of time, but less than 24 hours, we recommend the resident voluntarily self-quarantine upon return.
If you are taking your loved one out for the holiday, longer than 24 hours, the latest guidelines state that regardless of vaccination status, you must have them tested prior to returning to Birches with a negative test result in hand, and we will retest them again 5-7 days later. This is what we do with new residents as well. No quarantine necessary upon return if you're fully vaccinated however during these unsure times, we recommend the resident voluntarily self-quarantine. Please let Tina know in advance.
- Please implement infection control practices while out of the building. Encourage wearing masks at all times when not eating or drinking to protect your loved one around any gatherings. Encourage guests to check in with themselves, follow our screening tool if you want to use it as an example, and stay home if they cannot confidently answer no to all questions.
NOTE: DuPage County is in HIGH Transmission still and we have been hearing more reports of others testing positive in the neighborhood. Stay safe.
BOOSTERS: If you are interested in the Booster but have not received one yet (residents and team members) please let the front desk know or Tina. We are scheduling Boosters as needed and as often as necessary.
Thank you for your confidence in our community.
We love what we do, and we're privileged to have your support. We hope you have a great healthy holiday. There is always something to be grateful for, and to us, we are grateful for each of you.
Executive Director, 12/27/21