Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

88

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

22

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

9

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

920 (61 new since 1/6)

Massachusetts Cases

427,752

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

REMINDER: Keeping Yourself and Your Colleagues, Patients, and Communities Safe

Although our staff infection rate is low – a testament to our PPE and infection control policies – we have seen a rise in staff infections across the hospital. Our review of the cases show that these infections tend to originate in key areas, including in breakrooms, during commutes, and in the community. It remains critical for all of us to follow all public health guidelines, including wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, both inside and outside of BMC. Please remember:

  • Do not come to work if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms of COVID-19. This is a way we can continue to keep each other, and our patients safe. Please continue to fill out your daily symptom screener.
  • Maintain physical distancing in breakrooms or cafeterias, especially when eating. If this is not possible, please find alternative areas to eat or take breaks where it is possible to keep six feet apart from others. Do not remove your masks in workrooms – for any reason, including eating – if your colleagues are within six feet. Please be mindful of all posted capacity limits.
  • Always wear a mask with a good fit or seal. The mask must cover your nose and mouth. Even if you have been vaccinated you still need to wear a mask at work and in public areas and adhere to all other public health guidelines.

REMINDER: Vaccines Available for all Patient-Facing Staff

As of early this week, over 6,000 BMC employees and providers have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Some employees have now also received their second dose. Throughout the United States, 10,278,462 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are available for all patient-facing employees and providers, and are one more way to protect yourself, your colleagues, your family, and community from COVID-19. If you have received an email telling you that you are eligible for a vaccine, there are two ways to receive a vaccination:

  • Schedule an appointment by calling 617-638-9660 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Walk-in to get your vaccine at the Employee Administration Clinic in the Dowling Building ground floor between 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

REMINDER: BMC Travel Policy Still in Effect

Please note that BMC’s travel policy has not changed, even for employees who have been vaccinated. There are no changes to the policy currently planned.

Travel remains discouraged. As COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise across the country and the world:

  • If you decide to travel in any capacity, you must notify your manager of your specific travel plans. If you travel outside of the lower-risk states (this list currently only includes Hawaii), you must be tested in accordance with the BMC COVID-19 Employee Health Concern Response before returning to work. Time away from work will go unpaid, although ET/ESL can be used if available and in line with our time off policy.
  • Domestic and international business travel remains suspended and will not be reimbursed. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by your department VP or chair under special circumstances as deemed essential for travel.

NEW: Town Hall Meeting Thursday, January 14

Please join Kate Walsh for a virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, January 14, at noon via Zoom. Kate will discuss our ongoing COVID-19 efforts, as well as provide an update on our vaccination rollout and other organizational updates. Zoom information can be found on the Hub.

NEW: Drop-In Virtual and On-Campus Vaccine Q&A Sessions Available

If you have any questions or concerns about being vaccinated, please drop in to one of the upcoming drop-in virtual or on-campus Q&A sessions and ask our clinicians directly. Zoom information for each meeting can be found on the Hub.

Virtual sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, January 13, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15, 2 – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, January 18, 2 – 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 9 – 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Clinicians will also be available in the Menino lobby during the following days and times to answer any of your questions and concerns in-person.

  • Friday, January 15, 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 3– 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 3– 5 p.m.

You can also find information about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • On the Hub, which details BMC’s rollout process and contains answer to FAQs.
  • By watching our leaders review the hospital's ongoing COVID-19 efforts here
  • On BMC.org, which includes general information about the vaccine.

NEW: Watch Nancy Gaden, Chief Nursing Officer, Explain How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works

As a member of the healthcare community, you might get questions from your family, friends, and those in your community about the COVID19 vaccines. In this video, Nancy Gaden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, SVP and Chief Nursing Officer, provides an overview and non-technical explanation of how the vaccine works.

UPDATED: COVID-19 Antibody Clinical Trial Has Reopened

Do you live with someone who was recently (within the last two days) diagnosed with COVID-19? If so, you may be able to join a study at BMC of the investigational Regeneron Antibody drug that may help prevent COVID-19. Enrolled participants will receive reimbursement up to $4,875. For more information, please email [email protected] or visit the study page on BMC.org.

UPDATED: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

Drop-in fit testing will be offered for any staff member who needs fit testing in the Yawkey basement conference room B on the following dates and times.

  • Wednesday, January 13: 2-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 14: 2-5 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15: 6-9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, January 19: 2-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20: 6-9 a.m.
  • Thursday, January 21: 2-5 p.m.
  • Friday, January 22: 6-9 a.m.

Please note that all staff currently wearing a Gerson 2130 or SAS N95 MUST be fit tested to a new mask as soon as possible.