Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

25

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

5

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

3

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,064 (4 new since 3/3)

Massachusetts Cases

562,394

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

NEW: CDC Guidance for Vaccinated Individuals Currently Applies to Non-Health Care Settings Only

As you may have seen, the Centers for Disease Control recently provided interim guidance for fully vaccinated persons on small gatherings and post-exposure quarantine. This is a welcome announcement as more individuals in our state and country receive vaccines and look to reconnect with loved ones. 

It is important to note that this guidance applies only to non-health care settings at this time. Our workplace policies regarding masking, physical distancing, and management of employee exposures remain in place and are not being changed at this time.

As further scientific evidence grows and guidance from our public health institutions is updated, we will continue to review our policies and procedures.

NEW: BMC is Now in a Phase A

Based on the volume of COVID positive patients at BMC and the flattening positivity rate in our community and across the state, BMC’s COVID response has been downgraded from a Phase B to a Phase A.

However, we know that COVID is still prevalent throughout Boston and Massachusetts, and all staff must continue to use proper PPE and practice hand hygiene, and maintain proper physical distancing.

NEW: Changes to Employee Vaccination Clinic Hours

To date, 7,310 BMC employees and LIPs have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 5,848 of those have received a second dose. We will continue to ensure access for employees who decide to get vaccinated. Because so many of our employees have already been vaccinated, and to assist with our patient vaccination efforts, we will be making changes to hours for the employee vaccination clinic.

Beginning Monday, March 15, the hours for employee vaccination will be:

  • Monday through Thursday, 8-10 a.m.
  • Friday, 3-5 p.m.

We will continue to evaluate the demand for appointments and make adjustments to the employee vaccination clinic hours if needed.

UPDATED: Changes to Inpatient and Ambulatory Visitor Policy Beginning March 11

The following changes to our visitor policy are in effect as of March 11. Please help ensure that our patients, their families, and other visitors are aware of the new policies.

ICU and Med/Surg

As of March 11, COVID negative patients in the intensive care and med/surg 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.

Ambulatory

As communicated last week, there are no visitors allowed in any Ambulatory clinic with three exceptions:

  • An adult (parent, grandparent, or guardian) accompanying a child who has an appointment.
  • A caregiver accompanying a patient who is disabled, elderly, or otherwise needs a caregiver.
  • A minor accompanying a patient who has an appointment, if childcare is unavailable (exceptions Radiology, Infusion Center, and Dental).

The visitor policies for Emergency Department, Maternity, and Pediatric patients remain the same. These policies can be found on the Hub and BMC.org, and will be updated on March 11.

NEW: Marking One Year of COVID-19 in MA

Today, March 10 marks one year since Governor Baker first declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts due to the spread of COVID-19. Last week, Kate Walsh marked this year anniversary with an all staff email. You can read her words of appreciation for BMC’s hard work here.

UPDATED: BMC Supply of Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

BMC is now using the Johnson & Johnson for patient vaccinations in 85 E. Concord and, when we have enough supply, will expand use of this vaccine to other BMC vaccination clinics, including for employee vaccinations. More information will be coming on when these changes will take place. Supplies will continue to vary, which means we cannot guarantee any particular vaccine or allow anyone to choose which vaccine they will get.

We now have three highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines available, which will expand supply and make vaccination available to more people. More information on what makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a great option, and guidance on how to talk about it with patients and your personal network can be found in this HealthCity article from Cassandra M. Pierre, MD, MPH, hospital epidemiologist. Information about the new vaccine has also been added to the frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines on BMC.org

NEW: Upcoming Changes to Fit Testing Hours

After March 26, fit testing hours will be reduced, and sessions will no longer be held five days a week. The most up-to-date fit testing schedule can always be found on the Hub and BMC.org.

As a reminder, all staff currently wearing a 3M 1860 Regular, Gerson 2130, or SAS N95 must be fit tested to a new mask as soon as possible.

UPDATED: Nancy Gaden, CNO, Video Explaining How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works Now Translated into Multiple Languages

As a member of the healthcare community, you are likely getting questions from your family and friends about the COVID-19 vaccines. In this video, Nancy Gaden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, SVP and Chief Nursing Officer, provides an overview and non-technical explanation of how mRNA vaccines works. The video is now available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Cape Verdean at www.bmc.org/covid-19-vaccine-talking-about-vaccine.

Please share these videos and the other information about the vaccines with your family, friends, and communities. We can all play an important role of being ambassadors for the vaccine.