Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases

% of BMC Census

BMC Total Inpatients:

 5

 1.4%

BMC Inpatients Requiring Intensive Care:

 1

 2.1%
BMC Inpatients Under Investigation (pending + negatives treated as positives)   32  
Cumulative COVID+ Patient Discharges:

 1,335

 
Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive  315 (2 new since 7/6)  

Massachusetts

104,961  

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

UPDATED: BMC Health System Travel Policy

To help minimize the transmission of COVID-19, please note the updated personal travel restrictions, which have been updated for BMC Health System (BMCHS) staff and students managed by BMC staff.

International
  • Currently, according to the CDC, no countries are considered lower than Level 3, meaning widespread COVID-19 transmission is occurring within their borders: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
  • If you decide to travel in any capacity, to or through (even if you do not get off the aircraft) a Level 3 restricted country, you must notify your manager, and the Working Well Clinic COVID-19 team of your specific travel plans, and you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return.
  • You must be cleared by the Working Well Clinic, COVID-19 Team ([email protected]) before returning to work after the quarantine period.
  • The 14-day quarantine period will go unpaid, although ET can be used if available.
  • Your time off must be pre-approved by your manager for the entire time, including the 14 day quarantine period. 
Domestic
  • Please remain cognizant of all state requirements that are applicable to Massachusetts, your final destination, and states you must travel through during your trip.
  • We expect each individual to understand and adhere appropriately to the guidelines, and follow all safety precautions if traveling.
  • Please be sure to check regulations frequently as they continue to evolve: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html

BMCHS strongly recommends that you avoid unnecessary travel. Should you decide to travel in any capacity, it is important to be vigilant in assessing yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and to follow social safety guidelines such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Please click here to view the full policy, which is located on the Hub.

REMINDER: Daily COVID-19 Symptom Screening Tool for All Employees Now in Use

All employees and licensed independent practitioners scheduled for shifts on BMC’s main campus are now required to use the COVID-19 symptom screening tool in Enterprise Health as part of the daily screening process prior to coming to work each shift. Click here for a tip sheet for completing the symptom screening tool.

Each employee will receive a daily reminder via email and SMS text message. These reminders will be sent seven days a week, at 6 a.m. If your next scheduled shift is 24 hours or more in the future, you can simply ignore and delete the daily reminders.

To use the screening tool, please log in to Enterprise Health, the employee health portal, by entering your BMC e-mail and network password. After logging in, you will see a list of seven symptoms. You will need to indicate whether or not you’re experiencing any of these symptoms by clicking “Yes” or “No.”

  • If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions, you will receive a text and email indicating that further assessment is required. You will need to: 1. Contact your manager and 2. Email [email protected] for a provider assessment. 
  • If you answered “No” to all questions, you will receive a clearance confirmation via text and email to proceed to your shift.

More information about this process is available on the Hub homepage. If you have any questions or feedback, please email [email protected].

UPDATED: COVID-19 Employee Exposure Response – Version 6 Now Available

The guidelines for response to a potential employee COVID-19 case have been updated as of July 8. These guidelines are available on the COVID-19 page on Hub under the Working Well Clinic. Previous versions of this document should be discarded. 

NEW: Research Study: COVID-19 Antibody Testing in Healthcare Workers
Two studies – (PI: Yachana Kataria - H-40503) and (PI: Karen Jacobson - H-40223) – at BMC are seeking to learn more about COVID-19 infection among those in the healthcare worker population who worked on campus during the surge using survey data, measurement of COVID IgG (antibodies/serology), and DNA.

They will be recruiting from July 13 through July 26 (6 a.m.-6 p.m. at Shapiro 5C). The results of the SARS-CoV-2 IgG (serology test) will be available to study subjects upon completion of consent, a survey and blood draw. Click here to learn more on the Hub. 

REMINDER: New Visitor Policy in Place

As of June 30, we have updated our visitor policy to allow one identified visitor for adult inpatients during the hours of 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The identified person will be the only visitor allowed for the duration of the adult inpatient’s hospital stay.

We will continue to only allow visitors over the age of 18. All visitors will be screened for symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection and required to wear a mask at all times during their visit. Visitor restrictions continue in the following areas:

  • Emergency Department
  • Surgical Services
  • Ambulatory Clinics

The full policy can be found on bmc.org or on the Hub and is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese.

NEW: Study on How COVID-19 Has Affected Employees on the Front Lines

Employees and licensed independent practitioners are invited to take part in an anonymous research study conducted by the Otolaryngology and Psychiatry departments to understand how COVID-19 has affected Boston Medical Center providers on the front lines. This study includes all employees who have worked at BMC during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you decide to participate, you will be asked to take a short survey online about your perspective on COVID-19. The survey should take no longer than 7-10 minutes. We believe that this study will help us in gaining information to protect and promote the well-being of our providers.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please click here.

REMINDER: N95 Distribution through Scrub Machines and Re-Fit Testing

BMC has a new process of distributing N95 masks from scrub machines in the Menino lobby, next to the N95 distribution table. Staff will be able to scan their BMC ID badge at the scrub machine to get their mask. Please only take an N95 mask if you are caring for COVID+, PUI or TB patients in the inpatient setting.

If you currently wear a Gerson 2130 mask or Precept Small mask, please get re-fit tested as soon as possible, as supplies of this mask are running low.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

UPDATED: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

Drop-in fit testing will be offered for any staff member who needs fit testing in the Menino 2B conference room on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, July 9: 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 15: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 17: 6 – 9 a.m.
  • Monday, July 20: 6 – 9 a.m. (Menino 2 Conference Room A)
  • Thursday, July 23: 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 29: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 31: 6 – 9 a.m.

REMINDER: Hotel Program End-Date for Staff Members

The hotel program will officially end July 31. No new bookings will be accepted after July 17 and extensions to any current reservations will require manager approval. Going forward, all new bookings will be made at the Hampton Inn at Crosstown. We appreciate everyone working together to preserve rooms for people who need them most. 

Special accommodations are still available for all COVID positive or suspected staff that want to be isolated.

To request accommodations, send an email to [email protected] and copy your manager, with the following: your name, what unit you work in, a brief description of your need, and desired dates/anticipated duration for your stay. Kelly will support your accommodation process from start to finish, and may follow up with your manager, if necessary.

REMINDER: Shower Station Available for Employees

A shower station for employees is open in the Dowling 6 men and women’s showers. The showers are open 7 a.m. to midnight daily, but badge access is required to get to Dowling 6. Towels are available on the blue linen cart in the hallway. Please see this document, located on the Emergency Management COVID-19 page on the Hub, for more details, including how to obtain badge access to Dowling 6.