Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

24

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

6

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

27

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

439 (as of 11/3) 

Massachusetts Cases

158,937

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

REMINDER: Wellbeing Resources Available

As the emotional impact of the pandemic is combined with stress related to election uncertainty, we want to remind you of the wellbeing resources and support available for all BMC and BUMG employees. A list of these resources can be found on the Hub. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

NEW: BMC Now in a Phase A

Yesterday, BMC’s Command Center announced that we are now in the emergency management designation “Phase A,” in response to the increase in COVID cases in the community and across the state. As we prepare for increased cases here at BMC, it is important to note that we remain confident we will not be seeing the numbers we did in the spring, where we had a peak of ~235 COVID positive patients in April. We are closely monitoring the developing second surge and have escalation plans ready. We have a 12-month supply of needed PPE, are confident in the infection control policies we have in place, and have made great improvements in our testing turnaround time, capacity and citywide coordination since the spring.  We will continue to keep you updated as the situation unfolds.
 

NEW: Paid Administrative Leave Now Available for Staff Awaiting COVID-19 Testing Results

BMC’s COVID-19 symptom screening tool is one of the best ways we can help each other, and our patients, stay healthy. To help ensure our collective health, effective November 1, employees who complete their symptom screening tool, are exhibiting symptoms and/or have a confirmed positive exposure, and a COVID-19 test is ordered by the Working Well COVID team, are able to be compensated with paid administrative leave for one shift while their test results are pending.

Paid administrative leave can only be used in this situation once and is not able to be applied retroactively. It may not be used for pending test results associated with travel.

NEW: Massachusetts Announces New Interventions to Slow Spread of COVID-19

Governor Baker recently announced a series of targeted interventions, to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 "without shutting down the economy or shutting schools." These interventions will go into effect Friday, November 6, and include:

  • A stay-at-home advisory between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with limited exceptions such as commuting to and from work.
  • Indoor recreation, entertainment, restaurant table service and bar service will all be required to close at 9:30 p.m.
  • Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people.
  • Everyone over age five must wear a mask when in public, regardless of distancing.

REMINDER: Elevator Usage and Safety

As the number of COVID cases increases, it is more important than ever that we be vigilant with universal masking and social distancing. As a reminder, please remain six feet apart whenever possible, wear your masks, and limit the number of people in elevators to four.

Patients should be given priority access to elevators. Staff are able to use service elevators, bridges, and stairways to get to their destinations.

REMINDER: Staff COVID Testing Expanded Hours and Thanksgiving Travel

In light of the recent uptick of COVID cases in Massachusetts and the upcoming holiday season, we want to remind all staff and faculty of our travel policies, particularly as they relate to being cleared to return to work. Personal travel remains discouraged, particularly to restricted areas, and BMC work travel remains prohibited except in specific circumstances.
 

In light of the recent uptick of COVID cases in Massachusetts and the upcoming holiday season, we are increasing access to the ILI clinic by adding extended testing center hours and expanding services into the weekend. All testing requires an appointment.

The employee testing center is located in the Crosstown Building at 801 Massachusetts Avenue, with the entrance in the back of the building, near the Crosstown Garage.

Testing for people with symptoms will be available:

  • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
     

 Testing for asymptomatic people will take place:

  • Monday through Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Variable times.

If you are planning to travel to restricted COVID areas (as designated by Massachusetts DPH COVID guidelines) during the Thanksgiving holiday, please schedule a testing appointment in advance. The WWCC will prioritize employees working in the inpatient, ED, and procedural areas, followed by outpatient clinical areas. For traveling plans and return to work date, consider the turnaround time for test results. Staff can only go back to work once they have been cleared by WWC.

All testing requires an appointment. Email [email protected] to request clinician support and make an appointment.

REMINDER: Staff Members Who Use a Gerson 2130 or SAS N95 Mask Must Be Re-Fit Tested

Although the hospital continues to have 12 months of PPE on hand for a future surge, we will continue to conduct fit testing as supply of certain brands becomes scarce, to ensure everyone has appropriate access to our supply. All employees who use Gerson 2130 or SAS masks need to be re-fit tested as soon as possible, as these are not currently available. Drop-in fit testing sessions are scheduled for the following times in Yawkey basement conference room B:

  • Wednesday, November 4: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 5: 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, November 6: 6 – 9 a.m.
  • Monday, November 9: 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 10: 6 – 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, November 11: 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 12: 6 – 9 a.m.
  • Friday, November 13: 6 – 9 a.m.

For full protection, staff should only wear masks that they have been fit tested into. If you receive a mask that you have not fit tested into, please notify Transport so you can get the correct mask. You can also email DG-95MaskRequest with your name, ID number, and the correct mask to fix your information in the Scrubex.

NEW: Cleaning/Disinfection E-Learning Class Now Available

The Ambulatory clinic cleaning and disinfection class, which reviews the “Cleaning of Ambulatory Clinic Exam/Procedure Rooms Between Patients” policy, is now available as a WorkDay e-Learning module. If you encounter any enrollment issues or have questions, please contact Lisa Falanga, Nursing web-based education and e-learning program manager, [email protected].