Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

34

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

8

BMC Inpatients Under Investigation (pending + negatives treated as positives) 

7

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,044 (16 new since 2/10)

Massachusetts Cases

533,024 

Click to see the most up-to-date city, state, and national numbers: Boston | Massachusetts  | United States

NEW: Massachusetts Eligibility Criteria for Vaccinations Has Been Expanded

Massachusetts has now opened vaccinations to the next group in Phase 2. In addition to anyone previously eligible, as of tomorrow February 18, BMC is now able to offer vaccination appointments to:

  • People over 65 years of age
  • Those who have two or more medical conditions on the state list
  • Residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.

However, due to inclement weather, there are nationwide delays in vaccine shipments. In order to ensure that we can provide vaccinations to patients with scheduled appointments and employee second doses throughout the weekend, we will not be able to accommodate walk-ins, companion vaccinations, or add-ons from now through the weekend at BMC or community vaccination sites.

We will continue to book appointments for later dates. If you know a patient, community member, or family member who is eligible under current criteria, you can direct them to our website to book an appointment at one of our five community vaccination sites located in Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale, Hyde Park, and the South End. Eligible BMC patients can also call 617-638-9500 to schedule an appointment in our Shapiro 5C or 85 E. Concord vaccination clinics.

REMINDER: Compliance with Public Health Guidelines as COVID-19 Variants Increase in MA

Although the number of COVID-19 cases throughout MA and Boston is declining and we are actively vaccinating patients and staff, it is essential that everyone at BMC remain vigilant in following all public health guidelines, even if you have already been vaccinated. This is particularly important as the number of cases with COVID-19 variants continue to rise throughout the state.

To help keep each other, our patients, our families, and our communities safe, please remember:

  • Wearing a surgical mask – not a cloth mask – over your mouth and nose is mandatory for staff at all times on campus, unless you are alone in your office or eating. Cloth masks can be worn outside the hospital.
  • Employees working in group spaces (workrooms) and cubicles should wear a mask at all times and refrain from eating in those spaces. We have additional seating on campus to allow for people to spread out when eating.
  • If you are eating or drinking, and have your mask off, you MUST create a physical distance of a minimum of six feet from anyone you are with.
  • Adhere to PPE guidelines while seeing patients. Eye protection is required when seeing any patient in any setting.

Please continue to model these public health practices outside of BMC as well.

NEW: Changes to 85 E. Concord Entrance

Due to the opening of our public vaccination clinic on the 85 East Concord ground floor, the entrance to 85 E. Concord St. is now limited. Only staff who work in that building, as well as patients who have appointments at the vaccination site, should enter through the main 85 E. Concord St. entrance. To help maintain flow, please do not use the building as a cut-through to the Shapiro building.

NEW: Emergency Department ILI Testing Hut Now Closed

As the community positivity rate and COVID cases decline, we have been continually reviewing our surge operations with clinical leadership. Over the past few weeks, the number of patients tested in the Emergency Department ILI testing hut has dropped to fewer than 10 patients a day. As a result, the ILI testing hut is now closed.  

Staff previously assigned to the ILI hut will be redeployed to their home departments and in our vaccine administration operations. We will continue to monitor volume as we move forward and, if needed, re-open the hut as we did earlier this winter. Thanks to the ILI and ED Teams who worked to keep their waiting areas and patients safe.

UPDATED: COVID Banner Auto-Resolution Updates

For non-admitted patients, the red COVID banner in Epic indicating a confirmed infection status will now auto-resolve 20 days (instead of 30 days) after the last positive result.

As a reminder, patients who have met clinical criteria for clearance are appropriate for a normal in-person ambulatory visit. These patients may still have a red banner in Epic.

UPDATED: Retesting for Removal of Isolation Precautions for Immunocompromised Patients

As of today, February 17, the policy for retesting COVID-positive immunocompromised patients has been updated and we will no longer require retesting for discontinuation of isolation precautions, regardless of immunocompromised status. Symptom-based removal can be used for all patients (after 10 days for most patients, and after 20 days for specific immunocompromising conditions or severe disease). Please review the removal of isolation precautions policy on the Hub for details. Related policies on the Hub have also been updated.

NEW: Medical Assistants to Collect Inpatient COVID-19 Nasopharyngeal Swabs

As of this week, a dedicated medical assistant is now obtaining COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swabs in inpatient med-surg units, maternity, and pediatric areas Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Swabs will be collected as they previously were in the critical care areas, perioperative, Labor and Delivery, and the Emergency Department. Orders placed after 3:45 p.m. or weekends will continue to be collected by the LIP.

If a swab is needed sooner than within two hours, the provider can page beeper #6045.