Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

38

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

12

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

8

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,052 (8 new since 2/17)

Massachusetts Cases

543,696

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

NEW: Quarantine Guidelines in MA Remain the Same for Vaccinated Individuals

The CDC has recently changed quarantine recommendations for people who were exposed to COVID and have received a vaccination within the previous three months. However, Massachusetts has not changed its quarantining recommendations and there are no expected changes to post-exposure testing.

In addition, BMC has not changed our expectations for post-exposure testing and/or quarantining. For more information, see the employee exposure algorithm on the Hub.

NEW: Updates to the IPP Pre-Procedure Testing Protocols

As of February 23, the Integrated Procedural Platform (IPP) testing protocols have been updated to reflect that patients who are in the process of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 should not be scheduled for an elective or semi-elective procedure on the day of vaccination or 1-3 days after vaccination. Information regarding testing clinic hours and the COVID-19 STAT order (Section B.1.b.) has also been updated. The updated protocol can be found on the COVID-19 page on the Hub.

NEW: Changes to ICU Visitor Policy Beginning March 1

As of March 1, COVID negative patients in the intensive care units will be allowed to have one visitor per day, between 2 and 7 p.m. Each patient may have more than one visitor over the course of their stay, but not more than one visitor per day. Visitors will still be allowed for COVID positive patients in end-of-life situations only.

  • The visitor policies for Med/Surg, Ambulatory, Emergency Department, Maternity, and Pediatric patients remain the same. These policies can be found on the Hub and BMC.org.

NEW: Outpatient/Clinic COVID-19 Pager Hours Have Been Extended

The outpatient/clinic COVID-19 pager is now staffed by the Ambulatory float pool medical assistant (MA) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pager should be used when a patient in a clinic has COVID-19 symptoms or is being admitted to inpatient care:

  • Page the Ambulatory float pool medical assistant at COVID, Testing MA (COVD 2683).
  • The provider in the clinic must submit the COVID testing order.
  • The MA will complete the COVID swab in the clinic and submit to the lab drop-off. If the order is STAT (i.e. direct admit), the MA will bring the specimen directly to the 670 Albany lab.

Please note that this pager is separate from the Ambulatory float pool pager #6045. This pager is now being used for inpatient coverage. All clinics should use pager COVD 2683 for testing from the MA.

NEW: All BMC Employees Must Wear and Display their ID Badge on Campus

The Public Safety Department wants to remind all employees of the importance of displaying your BMC identification badge at all times while on campus. Ensuring your ID is visibly displayed will help reduce delays at hospital entry points. This is a priority with increased access restrictions due to COVID-19.

REMINDER: All Inpatients Must Wear Masks When in Close Contact with Health Care Workers

All inpatients must wear masks when in close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) with health care workers in their rooms or when being transported throughout the hospital. This will help protect both patients and staff from in-hospital COVID-19 exposure. Please note that patients with acute respiratory concerns may be exempt from this requirement.

We need everyone’s help to ensure that this requirement is followed. If necessary, please help our patients to understand that wearing a mask will help protect them. Even though positivity rates are decreasing throughout Boston, we remain concerned about highly transmissible COVID-19 due to the rise of variants.

Masks are available on every inpatient floor.

UPDATED: Hear from Your Colleagues About Why They Chose to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool we have to protect ourselves, our patients, and our communities. We know that some people may still have questions and concerns about the vaccine. Click on the videos below to hear from BMC employees about why they ultimately decided to receive the vaccine:

NEW: Free Transportation to Vaccine Appointments for MassHealth Members

MassHealth is providing free transportation to vaccine appointments to any individual that has any type of MassHealth coverage or the Health Safety Net. This includes people with MassHealth Limited, Children’s Medical Security Program, and MassHealth Family Assistance. In addition, members can request transportation services directly through MassHealth’s Customer Service, rather than needing to request services through a health care provider.

If an individual has MassHealth or the Health Safety Net, they (or a caregiver) can call their health plan or MassHealth directly to schedule free transportation at 800-841-2900 (TTY: 800-497-4648).

MassHealth members who are enrolled in a Senior Care Options or One Care plan or in a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) should continue to contact their health plan or PACE provider to request help with transportation.

NEW: Learn About What NOT to Do in This Contact Plus Precautions Short Video

Wondering exactly what the protocols for hand hygiene are when a patient is on contact plus precautions? Whether you’re just learning the protocols or just need a reminder, check out this entertaining video from our surgical residents.