Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

70

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

14

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

20

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

666 (58 new since 12/9)

Massachusetts Cases

292,316

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

NEW: COVID-19 Vaccinations to BMC Staff Have Begun

Today, BMC began vaccinating staff against COVID-19. This first wave includes our colleagues who are providing direct care to COVID patients and/or most likely to encounter COVID-19 as part of their job, including physicians, nurses, Environmental Services, and other support staff. Employees and providers will receive an email when they are able to book a vaccine appointment.

We will have enough supply for all employees and providers to be vaccinated in the coming months. Please be patient as we continue to roll out vaccinations in a thoughtful and deliberate process.

It’s important to continue to follow public health guidelines, even if you have received the vaccine. This includes:

  • Wearing a surgical mask over your nose and mouth while on BMC’s campus. A cloth mask is acceptable outside hospital buildings.
  • Staying home from work if you don’t feel well.
  • Maintaining at least six feet of distance from your coworkers, especially while eating.
  • Limiting travel. Personal travel of any type is discouraged.

UPDATED: Join BMC Leaders at All Staff COVID-19 Update and Vaccine Information Session and Q&A

In order to provide timely information and ask questions about our ongoing response to COVID-19 and the vaccine, BMC will be holding regular COVID-19 updates where you can hear from hospital leaders. These sessions will be held on Zoom and are open to everyone. The next meetings will be:

  • All staff COVID-19 update: Friday, December 18, from 9:30-10 a.m.
  • COVID-19 vaccine information session and Q&A: Monday, December 21, from 9:30-10 a.m.

Zoom information for both will be available on the Hub in the calendar section.

NEW: Limited Capacity for Testing for Asymptomatic Employees

We have had very positive feedback to asymptomatic employee testing, and are pleased to be able to offer this service to staff and providers. However, we continue to have limited testing capacity due to a lack of testing kits throughout the country. By the end of this week, we expect to be able to open additional testing appointments for staff. Please continue to look in MyChart for appointments.

Staff members who have COVID-19 symptoms, a known COVID-19 exposure, or who need a post-travel test should continue to email [email protected] to schedule COVID-19 tests.

NEW: City of Boston Returns to Phase Two, Step Two of Reopening Plan

Effective today, the City of Boston has returned to a modified Phase Two, Step Two of the reopening plan, in an effort to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 and its impact on Boston’s health care system and essential services.

Indoor fitness centers and athletic facilities (excluding collegiate and professional sports), movie theaters, museums, indoor event spaces, and other industries are required to close for at least three weeks. In addition, restrictions on capacity in office spaces, restaurants, and outdoor event spaces have been put in place for at least three weeks.

A full list of restrictions can be found on the City of Boston website.

NEW: Moakley B Med Surg Reactivated as Inpatient Unit

Effective Tuesday, December 15, Moakley B Med Surg has been reactivated as an inpatient medical surgical unit. The beds (12 in total) are available as needed. They are located in Moakley Endoscopy, 2nd floor, bays 19, 21-31. Please note that Endoscopy is still seeing patients but at reduced capacity. 

NEW: Refresh Stations Pop-Ups Week of Dec. 21

The refresh station, sponsored by the HR department, will be back next week to thank all of our teams and staff for their hard work during these challenging times. All staff are welcome to come through the station on the balcony of the Menino lobby (which will be set up with appropriate social distancing) for a quick break and to grab a treat. 

  • Tuesday, December 22, 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, December 23, 9:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.

NEW: COVID-19 Related Epic Updates

As COVID-19 cases increase in Massachusetts and at BMC, we continue to adapt Epic to meet our evolving clinical and workflow needs. There will be additional updates as we develop new workflows and tools, and they will be available on the eMerge site on the Hub.

If you have any technical problems or suggestions, please enter a ticket with the IT Service Desk. Although you can call 617-414-4500, you may find it faster to enter the ticket directly online: COVID-19 Request or Incident.

Recent updates include:

  • Domestic travel screening: The travel screening question now asks about both domestic and international travel. Note that the domestic travel doesn’t trigger the infection prevention alert. However, the Massachusetts travel restriction now includes all states except Hawaii.
  • COVID banner update: Two clinical rules regarding the COVID-19 Rule Out and yellow banner have been updated.
  • Inpatient resident access to updating the probability: Inpatient residents now have access to updating the COVID probability from the COVID banner. This should be done in consultation with the attending of record.
  • Patient information with COVID orders (coming soon):  Every COVID order will have additional questions within the order – all answers will be defaulted based on existing information in the chart; no intervention is required by the ordering provider.

NEW: BMC Weather Emergency in Effect Beginning at Midnight

A BMC weather emergency will be in effect beginning tonight, Wednesday December 16 at midnight. BMC, including Ambulatory clinics, will remain open and operational throughout the storm. In the city of Boston, a snow emergency will go into effect at 6 p.m. tonight until approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday.

The Department of Emergency Management will continue to provide updates as needed throughout the storm. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to ensuring BMC keeps patients, families, and staff safe and comfortable during the storm.