Indoor / Outdoor Visits
*Specific Outbreak or "Early Investigation" Related Restrictions may also be in place and would supersede any listed here. Before your visit, please check https://www.thebirchesns.ca/news-and-events for any related updates.
*You may not enter our facility when you are required to self-isolate. If you have been in an outbreak / high risk zone, we ask that you don’t visit the facility for 14 days.
Updated: July, 2022
Currently we are open to visitors in both the indoor and outdoor spaces. We are still limiting the number of visitors per resident to 3 at a time, but no limit on the number per day. This is due to our room sizes, physical layout, and the ability to physically distance.
Visitors are required to wear a well-fitting medical mask in the facility. Visitors and DCG’s may remove their mask only when in a private area (for example: the specific personal area of the visited resident’s room however NO unmasked contact can occur with any of the resident’s roommate or staff). You are welcome to remove your mask while outdoors provided you are physically distanced at least 6 feet from residents, other than your loved one.
To book an indoor space for a special occasion/event…please call (902) 889-3474.
Updated: March 21, 2022
Thank you for your patience as we have worked to figure out what new changes can be implemented at The Birches! Today we are pleased to announce that:
• Residents may now have up to three (3) visitors at a time at The Birches! The visitors do not need to be DCGs or consistent. Proof of vaccination and screening requirements for visitors will remain in place, per government guidance. Visitors must wear a medical mask throughout the visit and maintain 6 foot distance from others while in the building, including residents and staff. Please be flexible and move to an alternate space if it becomes difficult to maintain the 6 foot distance from residents other than your loved one in any space within our building. Please note: visitors are still not permitted to enter the facility if they are required to self-isolate or are symptomatic.
Visitation hours: 7 days a week, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm!
• With the increase in numbers of folks visiting our building, we feel it is important to remind visitors that the 6 foot distance from others must be maintained even if family members and friends are accompanying a resident to a leisure/recreation activity. Staff do their best to accommodate the involvement of loved ones in activities, however if appropriate space is not available this may not always be possible. We welcome you to speak to recreation staff to discuss attending an activity with your loved one.
• We may be able to accommodate larger group visits (3+ people) for special occasions at this time. Government guidelines require this to be pre-booked with facility. Based on our facility’s size, we have limited ability to accommodate these types of visits, so families must contact reception (902-889-3474 ext. 0) well in advance if they wish to have this type of booking.
• During any visitation, we ask families and friends to remember that all staff have a responsibility to ensure rules and restrictions are followed. Please be patient should any staff person recommend changes to your visit to ensure compliance with these rules and restrictions. We are all eager to ensure the ability of our residents to safely engage in more visitation with you!
Updated: Feb. 11, 2022
We are thrilled to share the following news with the friends and families of our residents based on the recent government announcement re: long term care restrictions.
Effective MONDAY, February 14, 2022:
• Residents can have any two visitors at a time; they no longer need to be the same two visitors, and visitors are no longer restricted to Designated Caregivers only. All visitors must continue to follow the infection prevention and control practices communicated and posted, and must be particularly vigilant about wearing their mask and shield at all times, maintaining physical distance, and performing hand hygiene often! Visitors must still be fully vaccinated as per rules posted previously. Please note that children under 12 are not required to be vaccinated to visit, but ARE counted in the 2 person limit and MUST wear a mask throughout the visit.
• Residents who are fully vaccinated, have their booster shot, and are considered "non-susceptible" can leave the facility for a drive in a DCG/visitor’s vehicle, with no stops and no contact with other people. Residents are not able to do so if they are required to isolate or on an outbreak unit. If a visitor is taking a resident for an offsite drive as per this rule:
- Outings must be booked 24 hours in advance
- The support person accompanying the resident must be screened and asymptomatic. The resident should be accompanied by a max of 2 individuals who must be fully vaccinated.
- The outing information must be logged including date and time, individual supporting the resident, and expected return.
- Residents are strongly recommended to wear a mask and maintain physical distance from others (except the person(s) accompanying them). They must not come into contact with those required to self-isolate.
- The support person and resident must review the outing with staff upon return to ensure adherence to Public Health measures.
We hope these are exciting changes for our residents and those who love them!
Updated: Dec. 27, 2021
At this time we have made the difficult decision to close The Birches to general visitors until further notice.
Designated Caregivers are still permitted in the facility, however we ask that they visit one at a time.
If there are folks who have been general visitors up until this point but would like to become Designated Caregivers (DCGs), we will be offering DCG training. If you would like to attend please call 902-889-3474 ext. 4152 and let us know your name, the resident's name, and your phone number.
Note: Please keep in mind that residents can still only have 2 consistent visitors (including DCGs).
We thank you for your patience and understanding as restrictions continue to evolve to help us keep our residents, staff and community safe.
Updated: Dec. 21, 2021
As we are sure you heard along with us today, the province is implementing some new restrictions in light of the current COVID-19 situation in Nova Scotia. At this time, residents are permitted to have ONLY two (2) consistent fully vaccinated visitors. Designated Caregivers are included in the total of two (2).
Here at our facility, we will be assuming those two individuals will be the first and second Designated Caregivers on record for each resident. If this is NOT true for yourself / your loved one, we ask that the resident or their substitute decision maker contact us to let us know the appropriate two persons to be on the consistent visitors list, at 902-889-3474 ext. 0. At this time, no other visitors will be permitted into the facility.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the limitations of our facility to support physical distancing during this busy time, we will be requiring visits by non Designated Caregivers to be pre-booked moving forward. Visitors must call us at 902-889-3474 ext. 0 to book your visit. You must call Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to book.
The number of individuals who can visit in each time frame will be limited, so we will be doing our absolute best to ensure all residents are able to enjoy visits throughout the holiday season, and ask families to keep this in mind as well when deciding how often and how many visits to book.
Update: Dec. 17, 2021
As we are sure you know, COVID-19 numbers are once again rising and the government is introducing new restrictions. At this time we wanted to share a few of these new restrictions as we understand them. We suspect new information will become available to us in coming days, so please keep an eye on our website and on your email for further updates.
Based on government restrictions, at this time:
- Residents are permitted to have two (2) visitors at a time. This limit includes Designated Caregivers. It does not need to be the same two (2) visitors each time.
- It is recommended but not required that visitors be rapid tested within 24 hours of the visit where possible.
- Masking is required during visits, and physical distancing should be maintained wherever possible.
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the complex information and restrictions needed to keep our residents safe.
Update: Dec. 1, 2021
At this time we are happy to let you know that, as per provincial guidance, proof of vaccination is not required for children under 12 to visit the facility, so long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.
Update: Nov. 24, 2021
We are opening visitation to ALL that are fully vaccinated to visit between 10am and 6pm, 7 days per week. No appointments required. A maximum of 2 visits per resident at one time. Masking is still required in all areas of the facility. Both Visitors and DCG will have full access to all common areas of the facility.
Note: Children under 12 may not visit at this time.
While visiting, all will be expected to follow communicated and posted practices, including wearing of masks, participating in screening, practicing respiratory etiquette, maintaining physical distance (especially from those you are not visiting), and performing hand hygiene.
All visitors must remain aware of the possible impacts of COVID-19 in long term care, and the importance of following all safety practices to prevent unknowing transmission of COVID-19 to our vulnerable senior population. Please help keep your loved one safe. If you are unwell, we ask that you stay home.
Visitors have a responsibility to stay informed of current public infection prevention guidelines as published by Public Health, and to ensure they take all precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Visits may be cancelled if our facility experiences an outbreak of illness. Visits must be cancelled if the visitor or resident are exhibiting symptoms of illness; have suspected exposure to COVID-19; or are required to self-isolate.
If you become ill in the two (2) weeks following your visit, you must contact 811 for screening and testing. Should you test positive for COVID-19, you must inform Public Health that you have visited our facility.
Thank you so much for your continued support and commitment to following these new and evolving practices!
We are also happy to continue offering:
• Skype/Facetime/Zoom visits
• Window visits
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The practices and restrictions outlined above are based on our understanding of epidemiology, Public Health guidance, and direction from the Department of Health & Wellness and Chief Medical Officer. They are intended to protect those we serve. Those in long term care are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and we will continue to make decisions based on the difficult balance between risk and quality of life. We thank you for your patience and support.