Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

29

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

9

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

3

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,059 (7 new since 2/24)

Massachusetts Cases

543,220

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

NEW: Patient Vaccination Updates and the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

We are pleased to share that as of March 2, over 14,855 patients have received their first dose of the vaccine at Boston Medical Center or one of our five public vaccination sites; over 500 have received a second dose. Of the patients we have vaccinated, 32 percent are in the top two deciles of the social vulnerability index (SVI). In addition, 32 percent are Black and 15 percent are Hispanic. These numbers indicate that we are reaching those populations most impacted by COVID-19.

Later this week, BMC will also begin vaccinating patients with our first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved by the Federal Drug Administration under emergency use authorization last week. 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.

Due to BMC’s role in helping vaccinate the public, earlier this week Kate Walsh spoke at Governor Charlie Baker’s press conference at Morning Star Baptist Church, one of the BMC-run community vaccination sites. Bishop John M. Borders III, senior pastor of the church, also spoke, noting that, “What we have found here [at Morning Star] is a wonderful partnership between Boston Medical Center, Mattapan Community Health [Center], and Morning Star Baptist Church.”

REMINDER: Changes to ICU and Ambulatory Visitor Policies Now in Effect

The following changes to our visitor policy are in effect as of March 1. Please help ensure that our patients, their families, and other visitors are aware of the new policies.

Ambulatory

There are no visitors allowed in any Ambulatory clinic with three exceptions. Please note the last exception, which is new.

  • 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 and Dental).

ICU

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.

We continue to restrict visitors in Med/Surg, Emergency Department, Maternity, and Pediatric areas. These policies can be found on the Hub and BMC.org.

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

To help protect both patients and staff from possible COIVD-19 exposure, it is critical that all inpatients wear masks when in close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) with health care workers or when being transported throughout the hospital. 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: Community Vaccine Clinic Staffing Update

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to fill shifts at BMC’s community vaccination sites. We are grateful to have received an overwhelming response from staff and are currently filling our open shifts in the next weeks. The HR Staffing Pool will be reaching out to those who have expressed interest as needed to fill staffing gaps as they arise.

UPDATED: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

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.

Drop-in fit testing will be offered for any staff member who needs fit testing in the Yawkey basement conference room B on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, March 4: 2-5 p.m.
  • Friday, March 5: 6-9 a.m.
  • Monday, March 8: 6-9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 9: 2-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 10: 2-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 11: 6-9 a.m.
  • Friday, March 12: 6-9 a.m.