Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients


BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care


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


Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

373 (5 new since 9/16)

Massachusetts Cases

125,866 (as of 9/22)

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

NEW: Celebrating Our Colleagues During the 2020 Service Awards Week!

This year’s (mostly) virtual Service Awards celebration honors and celebrates the 836 employees, physicians, and advanced practice professionals who marked 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, or 45 years of service to BMC in 2019.

Throughout this week, everyone is invited to:

  • Enjoy an interactive, online timeline experience that will take you through some of the biggest moments in pop culture from each anniversary year. The videos take about 25 minutes to watch if you watch them all at once, but you can pause and come back to it anytime.
  • Sign virtual yearbooks for your colleagues who are celebrating milestone anniversaries. Each honoree has a special personalized yearbook where you can share words of congratulations, photos, favorite memories, and more. The yearbook will printed and be mailed to the honorees as a special keepsake. Sign the yearbook.

NEW: Employee Flu Vaccination Period Runs Monday, September 28 through Friday, October 30

For the safety and health of our patients and colleagues, BMC requires universal staff influenza vaccination each year as recommended by the CDC and Massachusetts State Department of Public Health. As we continue to be in the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual flu vaccine is particularly important in mitigating the impact of seasonal illness, keeping our teams and patients healthy, and conserving important hospital resources. This year’s influenza vaccination period at BMC will run from Monday, September 28 through Friday, October 30.

All staff members, including those working off-site (at-home, out-of-state, and off-campus), are required to receive their annual flu vaccine to maintain work eligibility.

To get your flu shot ON-campus:

  • Visit the Working Well Employee Health Portal to electronically view and sign the influenza consent form prior to attending an on-campus vaccination event
  • Stop by a scheduled vaccination event for your flu vaccine and your sticker. The vaccination cart will be available on evenings and weekends. The full schedule of vaccination events is available on the Annual Flu Compliance page on the Hub.

If you prefer to get your flu shot from an OFF-campus provider, visit the Working Well Employee Health Portal to upload influenza vaccination receipts.  You can also use the portal to upload supporting documentation that may be required.

The Working Well Employee Health Portal also gives you access to real-time health compliance updates and tools. Please email or call the Working Well Clinic at 617-638-8400 with any questions.

NEW: Employee Needs/Support Survey from Human Resources

As we continue to navigate the personal and professional impacts of COVID-19, Human Resources is conducting a survey to learn more about the needs of BMC employees.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. As the pandemic continues, we will reassess employee needs and make updates as necessary.

UPDATED: Additional Seating Areas for Staff Added on Campus

Additional seating has been added to the Yawkey food court area, as well as the Menino lobby and Menino 5 Bridge area. In addition, the tables in the Shapiro overhang are now open to all staff for eating. A full list of additional seating areas can be found on the Hub.

NEW: Influenza Vaccinations for Inpatient Areas Now Available

The 2020 influenza campaign is now underway in the Ambulatory, inpatient, and Moakley Heme Onc clinics. Members of the Pharmacy Department have stocked all the necessary Pyxis dispensing machines to ensure availability for our patients.  

In the ambulatory practices, influenza vaccines are ordered in Epic by a nurse-driven protocol using a SmartSet.

In the inpatient areas, a nurse-driven protocol is triggered at time of admission by a screening assessment that fires a Best Practice Advisory (BPA). Inpatient providers should NOT order influenza vaccine or discontinue the influenza vaccine that has been ordered.

There is no contraindication for receiving the flu vaccine in COVID patients – it is important these patient get vaccine. However, to avoid confusion for patients who are COVID positive, nurses should not give the vaccine until the patient is stable/at the time of discharge.

Please see the eMERGE Hub page for reference documents for both the ambulatory and inpatient areas. If you have questions, call the BMC ITS Service desk at 4-4500.

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 flu campaigns, please contact Lois Howry for ambulatory concerns and Meg Grande for inpatient issues.

NEW: Updated Policies for Clearance from Isolation Precautions

Updated policies for clearance from isolation precautions and clarification of which patients need retesting are now in effect, with Epic changes to support the new policies.

Based on new CDC guidance, testing should not be repeated within 90 days of initial COVID-19 diagnosis for asymptomatic individuals. Therefore, we are now recommending against using test-based clearance to remove patients from isolation precautions, except in exceptional circumstances. Immunocompromised patients will still require test-based clearance.

Providers can indicate on the COVID-19 order panel/set if the decision was made not to retest the patient. You must place this “patient does not require repeat testing” order in order to indicate to others that the patient was clinically assessed and also ensure proper placement and isolation precautions for patients being admitted.

“Patient does NOT require repeat testing” will display on the banner. If the patient is less than 30 days from a positive test, the COVID-19 banner will still be red. The banner can be resolved using the attending attestation, which has been updated to reflect the guidelines for clearance.

NEW: Changes to ED Pod D and ATU/NST Spaces

Pod D in the ED has been reactivated as of September 22. These 12 beds will open so we can begin the turnover of the 8 rooms and 4 NST bays back to the OB/GYN department. The beds will be activated on an as-needed basis only.

On Monday, September 28, the ATU/NST will begin seeing patients back in their home space on Yawkey 5. When this happens, Yawkey 5 Med Surg will be reduced to the 10 beds in Pediatrics. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

UPDATED: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

Upcoming fit testing sessions are scheduled for:

  • Thursday, September 24:
    • 2-5 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Friday, September 25:
    • 6-9 a.m., FGH 1st  floor conference room
  • Saturday, September 26:
    • 6-9:30 a.m. Menino 2B
  • Monday, September 28:
    • 6-9 a.m., Menino 2A
  • Tuesday, September 29:
    • 2-5 p.m., Menino 2B
  • Wednesday, September 30:
    • 4:30-7:30 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Thursday October 1:
    • 2-5 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Friday October 2:
    • 6-9 a.m., FGH 1st  floor conference room
  • Saturday October 3:
    • 5-8:30 p.m., Menino 2B

Please remember that all staff who had been fit tested to the Gerson 2130 must be re-fit tested to a different mask, whether or not they are currently actively wearing N95 masks as part of their daily routine, so we can ensure that we have adequate supply options for N95s for staff moving forward.