COVID-19 Update

June 4, 2021

Dear Residents, Families and Friends of Birchwood Cottages,

Upon further review of the most recent guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), visitation at Birchwood Cottages will change.

  • Appointments will no longer be required.
  • In taking a person-centered approach, outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, because outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of spreading the disease. Visits should be held outdoors whenever feasible.
  • Please be mindful that early morning, meal times and late evening are when our team members are fully occupied with providing personal cares and dining support for residents. This makes it difficult to answer the doorbell in a timely manner and there may be a more significant wait until someone can grant entry and complete the screening process. Please plan your visit accordingly.
  • We may be able to accommodate meal requests, larger gatherings outside or reserve indoor spaces for your private use (i.e. salon or front sunrooms). We ask that you make these requests with as much advance notice as possible through our Bookings app:

During indoor visitation:

  • Please limit movement within the facility. Visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, please go directly to resident’s room or designated visitation area.
  • Visits for residents who share a room should not be conducted in the resident’s room, if possible. For situations where there is a roommate and the health status of the resident prevents leaving the room, please contact Birchwood Cottages ahead of time so we can plan accommodations.

We ask your cooperation in continuing to follow basic core principles for preventing COVID-19 infection, including:

  • Screening all who enter the setting for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and deny entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 infection in the past 14 days, regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status.
  • Hand hygiene. An alcohol-based hand rub is best, unless hands are visibly soiled, then soap and water is recommended.
  • Wearing a well-fitting facemask that fully covers the mouth and nose, in accordance with MDH guidance.
    • NOTE: Although masks are no longer required in many public settings, healthcare facilities are held to a different standard. All visitors and staff members must wear a facemask regardless of vaccination status, according to MDH and CDC guidelines.
  • Keeping people 6 feet apart (social distancing) as appropriate in accordance with current MDH guidance.
  • Educating visitors about basic steps to prevent COVID-19 infection and posting signs throughout the building to help them remember.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit.
  • Having staff wear face masks and other needed personal protective equipment.

Please Note: If a new case of facility-onset COVID-19 is identified among residents or staff, a facility should, as a health standard of care, immediately begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitation (except essential caregiver, compassionate care visits and visits required under disability rights laws), until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed.

What a journey it’s been! We’re so happy to continue easing restrictions in as safe and mindful a manner as possible. Thank you for your continued partnership, your patience and positive support.

Elisia Fuller

Campus Administrator

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