Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases

% of BMC Census

BMC Total Inpatients:

 10

 3.2%

BMC Inpatients Requiring Intensive Care:

 2

 4.5%
BMC Inpatients Under Investigation (pending + negatives treated as positives)   27  
Cumulative COVID+ Patient Discharges:

 1,405

 
Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive  353 (3 new since 8/31)  

Massachusetts

   

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

REMINDER: Face Masks Required on the BMC Campus

We continue to see preventable employee exposures to COVID-19. In order to help reduce these exposures and keep everyone safe, wearing a surgical mask is required for staff in all areas on campus. Please remind colleagues of this policy if you see them on campus not wearing a mask.

All employees on campus must also follow our BMC PPE/social distancing policy and protocols, which have been created to protect personal health and ensure collective safety. Please:

  • Adhere to PPE guidelines while seeing patients. As a reminder, eye protection is required when seeing any patient in any setting.
  • Wear a mask in common areas and within 6 feet of colleagues.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance while eating.
  • Serve only individually-wrapped food at any department gatherings.

NEW: Anterior Nares Swab Testing for COVID-19 Now Available

Anterior nares swab testing for the diagnosis of COVID-19 is now available for the following specific populations only:

  • Asymptomatic, no exposure patients who are being tested pre-work, pre-school or pre-travel
  • Asymptomatic, no exposure healthcare workers who are being tested pre-work, pre-school, or pre/post-travel. BMC employees should contact the Working Well Clinic at [email protected] to set up testing.
  • Patients with anatomic reasons that preclude nasopharyngeal testing
  • Patients who absolutely refuse nasopharyngeal testing but for whom COVID-19 testing is required

COVID-19 testing via nasopharyngeal swab is still the diagnostic method of choice for all other indications.  

Anterior nares specimens can be collected by physicians, APPs, or nurses. They should be collected using the anterior nares collection kit. This test is not aerosol generating. PPE worn to perform the swab should be consistent with the patient's precaution status. 

REMINDER: Daily Symptom Screener Required for All Employees on BMC’s Main Campus

Employees and licensed independent practitioners scheduled for shifts on BMC’s main campus or in Quincy are 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.

To use the screening tool, you must 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.” 

Once you do that first log in, you will receive an email and/or text each day to complete before you come to work. The daily symptom questionnaire takes about 10 seconds to complete.

If you are currently not receiving daily emails titled Do-not-reply Workingwellclinic or text messages, follow the directions above.  If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

NEW: Additional Seating Areas Added Throughout Campus

New eating and gathering areas with tables and chairs have been set up inside clinical buildings to provide additional space for people to eat outside their work/breakrooms. Please use these when eating during the workday, and use workrooms only for clinical work.

 

Building

 

Floor

Room

Description

Additional Capacity

Date

Moakley

Green

Outside

Outdoor tables

24

Weather-permitting

Yawkey

Basement

Conf. Rms A/B

For staff eating between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

24

Effective immediately

Yawkey

1

Food Court

High top tables

10

Around September 15

Menino

1

Lobby

High top tables

12

Around September 15

Menino

5

Bridge

For eating

12

Around September 21

Menino

4 East

4327

Multi-purpose room to be used 11 a.m. -  2 p.m.

6

TBD

Menino

4 East

4158

Family waiting room

4

Effective immediately

Menino

4 West

4247

Family waiting room

4

Effective immediately

Menino

3 Step Down

3141

Family waiting room

6

Effective immediately

Menino

3 W

3407

Multi-purpose room to be used 11 a.m. -  2 p.m.

6

TBD

Menino

3

3701

SICU waiting room

10

Effective immediately

UPDATED: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

Upcoming fit testing sessions are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, September 9: 2-5 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Thursday, September 17: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2A
  • Tuesday, September 22: 2-5 p.m., Menino 2B
  • Wednesday, September 30: 6-9 a.m., Menino 2A

As a reminder, all staff using a Gerson 2130 N95 mask must get fit tested into another mask, as the Gerson 2130 has been discontinued.

REMINDER: Visitors Still Limited to Protect Patients and Staff

In order to protect the health of our staff, patients and visitors, BMC continues to limit visitors for inpatients, Emergency Department patients, and Ambulatory visits. In addition, people who have traveled from high risk states, as determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will not be allowed to visit. The full visitor policy is available on the Hub and on BMC.org.

Please note the following guidelines and processes for inpatient visitors:

  • Inpatients are able to designate one visitor, who will remain the one allowed visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • In certain extenuating circumstances, the patient may request a one-time visitor change. This change is not an additional visitor – it replaces the original visitor. This change must be approved by the clinical care team.
  • Once the care team approves the visitor change, it will be communicated by the Unit Coordinator to the Admitting Office. Please do not send visitors to the Admitting Office to make any changes.
  • Patients on comfort measures (CMO) may be allowed multiple visitors. In that instance, only one visitor will be allowed at a time, for 15 minutes each.

There are no visitors allowed in any Ambulatory clinic with two exceptions:

  • A parent accompanying a child who has an appointment.
  • A caregiver accompanying a patient who is disabled, elderly, or otherwise needs a caregiver.

We appreciate everyone’s support in adhering to the policy as we work to balance the needs of our patients and ensure the safety of everyone.  

NEW: Follow-up on COVID-19 Mental Health Survey

Several weeks ago, the Otolaryngology and Psychiatry departments sent out a survey assessing the mental health effects that the COVID-19 surge had on the BMC employees. Thank you to those who already filled out the survey.

Researchers are now seeking employees to fill out a follow-up survey to assess your mental well-being at this time. Everyone is welcome to participate in this survey, especially those who completed the first one.

This is an anonymous research study conducted by the Otolaryngology and Psychiatry departments to understand how COVID-19 has affected Boston Medical Center employees on the front lines. This study includes all employees who have worked at BMC during the COVID crisis.

If you decide to participate, the short online survey about your perspective on COVID-19 should take no longer than 7-10 minutes. To fill out the survey, click here.