Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

57

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

12

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

9

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

555 (44 new since 11/23)

Massachusetts Cases

225,787

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

NEW: COVID-19 Vaccines

As you may have seen in the news, the FDA will be meeting on December 10 to discuss approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, Moderna has applied for emergency approval of their COVID-19 vaccine. Based on clinical trial data, both are likely to be approved, and there is strong indication that there are additional vaccines that will be approved in the coming months. All of this is great news as we continue to battle this pandemic.

BMC expects to receive the Pfizer vaccine in mid-December, though it is still not certain how much we will receive. A number of workgroups have been formed and are planning logistics around vaccine storage and distribution planning. Based on Centers for Disease Control and guidance from the State of Massachusetts, it looks like certain health care workers, patients and health care workers at long-term care facilities, and high-risk patients will be prioritized for the first round of vaccination. More information on the rollout process will be coming soon.

REMINDER: Restricted Visitor Policy Now in Effect

In order to help keep our staff, patients, and visitors safe, as of November 30, BMC has restricted visitors to inpatient areas. There are no visitors permitted on the inpatient units. The only inpatient exceptions are Maternal Child Health and for compassionate end-of-life situations. 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.

As a reminder, currently there are no ED or outpatient clinic visitors permitted except one guardian or a caregiver for patients requiring assistance.

Visitors who under 18 years of age, or who have any COVID symptoms will not be allowed to visit under any circumstances. All visitors will be provided a surgical mask upon arrival and are required to wear that mask continually until they leave the building.

The full policy is available on the Hub in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese.

REMINDER: Hotel Accommodations Available for Staff and Providers

BMC has secured funding to support a number of overnight stays at hotels in close proximity to BMC at no cost to the employee/provider.

At this time, we are prioritizing the use of these rooms for providers and staff who may be facing one of the following cohabitation-related circumstances:

  • Providers and staff who cohabitate with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and remains symptomatic/quarantined
  • Providers and staff who cohabitate with someone who is immunocompromised (e.g., on immuno-suppressants, active hematologic malignancy)

To request an accommodation, send an email to [email protected] with a copy to your manager stating the following: your name, a brief description of your need, and desired dates/anticipated duration for your stay. Kevin will support your accommodation process from start to finish, and may follow up with your manager, if necessary. Learn more about hotel accommodations and discounts here.

NEW: Updated Probability Assessment and Isolation Precaution Removal Guidelines

BMC is using updated guidelines to assess the probability of COVID infection and when to remove isolation precautions. The pre-test probability of COVID-19 will determine which unit/team the patient may be assigned to upon admission, as well as when to remove isolation precautions.

The changes include:

  • Removal of the “moderate” probability
  • Addition of a “quarantine” probability given an increase in community spread
  • Updated guidelines for removal of isolation precautions

The COVID-19 probability assessment, isolation removal guidelines, and COVID-19 banner have been updated in Epic to reflect these changes, and the new guidelines are available on the Hub COVID-19 Clinical Resources page.

UPDATED: Eye Protection Options for Staff

In addition to our available eye protection options, staff are welcome to bring in personal eye protection if they prefer. Please note that simple prescription eyewear is not sufficient. Any eye protection used must have side shielding in place. Eyewear that is tight-fitting to the face provides a higher level of protection, and an anti-fog coating is preferred.

When caring for known COVID positive patients or PUIs, a full face-shield should be used. Options for protective eyewear can be found on the Hub COVID-19 Clinical Resources page.