Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

18

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

2

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

27

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

403

Massachusetts Cases

137,565 (as of 10/13)

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

NEW: Staff COVID Testing during 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. Personal travel remains discouraged, particularly to restricted areas, and BMC work travel remains prohibited except in specific circumstances. 

We recognize that there may be travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and in order to ensure we can continue to fully staff hospital clinical operations and safely accommodate employees requiring COVID testing, the Working Well COVID Clinic (WWCC) has made temporary adjustments to their workflow and schedule.

For employees planning to travel to restricted COVID areas (as designated by Massachusetts DPH COVID guidelines) during the Thanksgiving holiday it is important that all employees incorporate the COVID test results turnaround times into their return to work plans and communicate their plans to their supervisors.

Scheduling adjustments in place from 11/27 to 12/5:

  • The Working Well COVID Clinic will expand hours and days of operation in order to accommodate the increased demand.
  • All travel screening tests need to be previously scheduled through the WWCC, there will be no walk-in travel screening testing during these dates.
  • To schedule an appointment click this link https://bostonu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9ZZIAsl4lu4z8hf and follow the instructions. The deadline to submit your request and be prioritized is 10/20.
  • 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 WWCC after receiving the test result.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected], please keep in mind that all appointments will be managed through the link provided above.

UPDATED: COVID-19 Cases Rising – Mask Adherence Critical

Our current forecast shows that we will likely begin surging this month, and the surge will peak in December and January. Though we believe the number of COVID cases will be much lower than our last peak, the hospital will be very busy because we still plan to have the majority of our usual patient demand (including our surgical volume).

With this in mind, it is essential that we remain vigilant with mask usage, eye protection when caring directly for patients, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. 

  • Wearing a surgical mask – not a cloth mask – over your mouth and nose is mandatory for staff at all times on campus, unless you are alone in your office or eating. Cloth masks can be worn outside the hospital.
  • Employees working in group spaces (workrooms) and cubicles should wear a mask at all times and refrain from eating in those spaces. We have additional seating on campus to allow for people to spread out when eating.
  • If you are eating or drinking, and have your mask off, you MUST create a physical distance of a minimum of six feet from anyone you are with.
  • Adhere to PPE guidelines while seeing patients. Eye protection is required when seeing any patient in any setting. Some of the recent clusters at area hospitals appear to be, in part, related to not wearing eye protection when interacting with patients, so please ensure that you are wearing eye protection in all patient care interactions.

REMINDER: Virtual Town Hall Meeting Oct. 15

Join Kate Walsh for a virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, October 15, from 1 - 2 p.m. via Zoom. The meeting will include information about our ongoing COVID-19 efforts to keep ourselves, our families, and our patients safe - among other organizational updates. 

REMINDER: Gerson 2130 Mask Wearers MUST be Re-fit Tested

All employees who use Gerson 2130 masks need to be re-fit tested. Upcoming fit testing sessions are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday October 14: 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Menino 2B
  • Thursday October 15: 2 – 5 p.m., Menino 2B
  • Friday October 16: 6 – 9 a.m., Shapiro 1 conference room
  • Monday October 19: 2 p.m.– 5 p.m, Menino 2A
  • Tuesday October 20: 6 – 9 a.m., Menino 2B
  • Wednesday October 21: 4:30– 7:30 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Thursday October 22: 2 – 5 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Friday October 23: 6 – 9 a.m., Shapiro 1 conference room

NEW: Domestic Travel Screening Now in Epic

To address the continued concern related to domestic travel, we have implemented a domestic travel screening in Epic. Directly following the existing “Travel Screening” (for symptoms, exposure and international travel), you will find a screening for “Domestic Travel.” Please be sure to complete this for all patients at every encounter, as you are doing with the current screening.

Please note that this screening will NOT trigger an alert in Epic like the other screenings do (this is a limitation of Epic currently). However, Massachusetts continues to update the domestic areas of concern regularly. Patients traveling from one of these areas are required to quarantine for 14 days, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of traveling back to MA, or obtain negative testing after returning to MA in order to discontinue quarantine. To determine if a patient has traveled to a domestic area of concern, please consult this website: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order#lower-risk-states.

REMINDER: All Employees Must Receive a Flu Vaccination by 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:

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 required supporting medical or religious documentation to decline vaccination for review and approval by the WWC.

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.

REMINDER: Primary Care Now Open on Crosstown 6

To continue to accommodate our in-person clinic volume in a physically distant way that keeps our patients and staff safe, Primary Care began seeing patients on Crosstown 6 on October 12. Hours of operation are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A blood draw station open to General Internal Medicine patients in Crosstown 6C is also open with the same hours as the clinics.