Daily COVID-19 Update: March 13, 2020
Please read below for today’s updates.
REMINDER: Caring for Patients with Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19
Based on the CDC, this is the plan to care for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID 19 cases.
Patients with viral illness consistent with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases:
- In clinics, emergency room, and acute care evaluations: Use personal protective equipment for enhanced Droplet precautions (face mask) + Contact (yellow gowns and 2 pairs of gloves) + eye protection (face shield or goggles).
Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are having frequent aerosol generating procedures (intubation, suctioning):
- Negative pressure airborne isolation room (if available)
- Personal Protective Equipment: Airborne (N95 or equivalent) + Contact (yellow gowns and gloves) + eye protection (face shield or goggles).
NEW: Command Center Operations
- The Command Center is now open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day to streamline and centralize activities related to COVID-19 throughout BMC.
- You can reach the Command Center at 617-414-6860.
Reminder of Tools and Tip Sheets for Working Remotely
ITS has put together two documents to assist employees in working remotely from their personal or BMC-issued computer.
- Click below or bmc.org to view the documents (available on external site for off-campus access).
UPDATED: COVID-19 Lab Testing Process for the Emergency Department
Please note the following criteria and process for testing for COVID-19, which is also available online .
The patient must present with at least one the following symptoms
- Cough OR Shortness of breath
- And one of the following exposures/risk factors
- Contact with confirmed COVID case within 14 days of symptom onset
- Travel to an affected geographic area within 14 days of symptom onset
- Healthcare worker with suspected exposure
- Clinical discretion in a patient with signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 as outlined by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html
Process for Testing
- Use the Order Panel for COVID19.
- Two nasal pharyngeal swabs
- One oropharyngeal swab
- Put swabs in UTM (Universal Transport Media) vials as follows:
- Put 1 nasopharyngeal and 1 oropharyngeal swab in one vial for COVID testing
- Put 1 nasopharyngeal swab in a separate vial for comprehensive respiratory panel PCR
- Label samples – use one large label and a small footer label per vial
- Bag samples - one specimen per bag
- Send samples to the lab via P-Tube – be sure vials are capped tightly
- Lab accessions, packages, and ships sample to the Commercial Lab
- Results will be available in Epic
- Lab will page the ordering provider with the result
- Command Center receive reports on testing and results daily
- Expected turn around at least 24 to 48 hours after receipt by the lab
NEW: Research Activities Involving In-Person Interactions with Human Subjects Suspended
- The Institutional Officials at Boston University Medical Campus and Boston Medical Center determined that most research activities involving in-person interactions with subjects MUST STOP until further notice. This is to protect research subjects and researchers.
- The only exceptions are if canceling or postponing the activities would either (A) increase the risk to the subject’s safety or wellbeing or (B) deprive the subject of a potential direct benefit.
- Please see the BUMC and BMC Institutional Review Board site for more information.
Social Distancing Guidelines from the CDC
The CDC and other health care organizations have recommended that people practice “social distancing” to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Their recommendations include:
- Stay home and avoid contact with others.
- Avoid taking public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
- Keep your distance from others (about six feet).
- Consider taking the stairs between floors to avoid crowding elevators.
- Consider vending machines for light snacks to avoid crowding cafeteria lines.
- Direct patients on where to sit in clinic waiting areas to allow for adequate space between individuals.