Dear Colleagues,

Today the City of Boston declared a public health emergency and urged everyone to practice “social solidarity” and evidence-based social distancing in order help minimize the number of people exposed to COVID-19. Please read below for today’s updates as well as some reminders and links to frequently accessed information.

NEW: Child Care

We know that school closings are presenting challenges, and we recognize that this is an unprecedented situation that may impact your family. 

  • If you need assistance with care for children, adults, or elders, BMC employees have access to [email protected].  Employees may use up to 10 backup care days/year. The cost is $6/hour for in-home care or $10/day/child for in-center care. For services, call 855.781.1303, visit, or download the “[email protected]” app.
    • In response to CDC guidance, has added an additional level of screening criteria to the Backup Care request process. This screening is applied to both the families requesting care as well as the providers.

NEW: Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Clinic

As a first step in larger plan to support and manage the resources in our ED for the acutely ill, on Monday morning, March, 16, we will open an Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Clinic in the Shapiro Lobby. The ILI clinic will not be advertised and is ONLY for our BMC patients needing non-emergency care, by referral from the ED and clinics. Hours will be limited as we begin operations, and we will scale up as part of our surge plan moving forward. Please note, because of the ILI clinic, Shapiro Café access will be available only via 2nd floor.

NEW: Campus Changes: What will be different on Monday

As part of our ongoing efforts to protect our staff, patients, and visitors we are implementing the following changes:

  • We will begin screening visitors in the Menino lobby on Monday for upper respiratory symptoms, including fever, sore throat, or cough. Any visitor with obvious signs of illness will be asked to leave.
  • The Menino Gift shop will be closed.   
  • No more outside catering or food orders are permitted. Please contact Food & Nutrition for your regular, internal catering needs. 
  • Yawkey Cafeteria and Shapiro Café are open – but access to Shapiro Café is only through 2nd floor.

NEW: Parking Update

As of Monday, March 16, BMC employees who are not currently part of the parking program are temporarily able to park in 710 or DOB Garages at a rate of $8/day, which is the approximate daily cost of our parking program rates. Employees who are currently part of the parking program, should continue to use their assigned garages.

ITS Update

As expected, the ITS Service Desk is experiencing an extremely high call volume and is working to resolve user issues as quickly as possible. Additional staffing has been brought in given we anticipate increased user needs in the coming days. Please refer the ITS Tools and Tip Sheets for Working Remotely:

REMINDER: Criteria for testing for COVID-19

A communication sent earlier today outlined how testing is now working under the expanded guidelines issued by MA DPH and who should be tested. Testing for patients with fever and/or respiratory illness no longer requires prior approval by MA DPH. MA DPH guidance for testing MUST be followed: A brief summary of new testing criteria guidelines is available on the Emergency Management section of the Hub and posted on our external website for off campus access.


  • Command Center phone number: 617-414-6860 (operating 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily)
  • Current visitor policy (one visitor per patient at a time, no visitors under 18, no PACU visitors)