Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

7

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

3

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

1

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,164 (as of 6/28)

Massachusetts Cases

665,296

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

NEW: COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Required for all BMCHS Employees and LIPs

As announced via an email from Kate Walsh on Tuesday, BMC Health System will be requiring that all employees and LIPs be vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes those working off-site (at-home, out-of-state, and off-campus, including those fully off-site), residents, students, licensed independent practitioners, interns, vendors, volunteers, and any other contracted personnel.

We can see from the data that getting vaccinated is the most important thing each of us can do to protect our patients, members, families, and communities from COVID-19 and the emerging variants. The evidence of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as its safety, is now overwhelming, as more than 325 million vaccine doses have been given in the United States. Based on this evidence, and our obligation as a health care system to safeguard the health of our patients, members, and staff, we will be implementing this new workplace requirement.

This requirement aligns us with other health systems around the country, and we believe it is the best way to keep our patients, members, colleagues, families, and communities safe.

Details of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement can be found on the COVID Vaccine Compliance page on the Hub.

NEW: Masks No Longer Required for Fully Vaccinated Staff in Administrative Areas

Based on guidance by the CDC, as well as high vaccination rates and low risk of breakthrough infections, BMC will no longer be requiring masks for fully vaccinated staff members in administrative and certain non-clinical areas of BMCHS buildings.

Locations where masks are required for all employees, regardless of vaccination status:

  • All areas of Menino, Yawkey, Shapiro, Moakley, and Preston
  • Within 15 feet of building entrances
  • Cafeterias, unless eating with six feet distance from others
  • All stairwells and elevators throughout BMCHS buildings
  • BU/BMC shared spaces
  • All work spaces in clinical settings, including team rooms, charting rooms, and spaces contiguous with clinical spaces

Locations where masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated employees (excluding stairwells and elevators, where masks are still required):

  • Dowling, except clinical floors (i.e. ground floor, 8-9)
  • Crosstown, except clinical floors (i.e. floor 6) 
  • Evans, Robinson, and Collamore buildings
  • Doctor’s Office Building (DOB), except the 7th and 11th floors
  • 670 Albany
  • 801 Albany
  • BCD
  • FGH
  • Schrafft’s and Quincy (including Call Center)
  • 85 East Concord
  • Power Plant
  • Hallways of office spaces (excluding above clinical areas)
  • Outdoor spaces

Anyone can choose to continue wearing a mask, even if fully vaccinated, and masks will continue to be made available to all staff.

All staff and LIPs, regardless of vaccination status, must also continue to follow all PPE guidance for patient care.

NEW: 3M 1804S Mask Users Must be Re-Fit Tested

Anyone who is wearing a 3M 1804S must be re-fit tested for another mask, due to supply issues. Upcoming fit testing sessions will be held in the Yawkey basement conference room B at the following times:

  • Thursday July 15: 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday July 20: 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Friday July 23: 6 – 8 a.m.

A full schedule of fit testing sessions can be found on the COVID-19 clinical resources page.

NEW: Changes to Pre-Procedure Testing Swabs

As of Thursday, July 15, the use of anterior nares (AN) swabs will be accepted for pre-procedure testing of patients who meet the below criteria. Please note that the MA Department of Public Health continues to recommend pre-procedure COVID-19 testing prior to certain procedures (refer to section J in the IPP Policy document), regardless of vaccination status. The updated policy can be found on the Hub.

  • Patients, regardless of vaccination status, will continue to require a COVID-19 test within the 72 hours prior to certain operations or procedures as defined in the IPP pre-procedure testing policy.
    • However, patients who have recovered from COVID within nine months and are asymptomatic with no known exposure do not need to be retested prior to admission/pre-procedure. This change extends the existing policy recommending against retesting within 90 days to nine months.
  • Pre-procedure testing for outpatient surgery:
    • An anterior nares swab may be used for pre-procedure patients who do not have a planned admission if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and have no exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual during the past 14 days.
    • A nasopharyngeal (NP) swab is still preferred for pre-procedure patients with a planned admission. However, an AN swab will be accepted as the admission test if the patient has an unplanned admission post-procedure
  • Pre-procedure testing for inpatients having surgery:
    • If a patient had a prior negative test for admission and remains asymptomatic, inpatient COVID-19 tests will performed using AN swabs. A nasopharyngeal (NP) swab will be accepted.

Epic has been updated to reflect these changes.