Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

10

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

2

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

30

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

385

Massachusetts Cases

129,243 (as of 9/29)

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

Reminder: Our Collective Responsibility for Keeping Everyone Safe

In recent weeks we have begun to see more cases of BMC employees with COVID-19, as well as clusters of infections at other healthcare facilities. To help reduce preventable exposures to COVID-19 and to keep yourself, your colleagues, your patients, and your families safe, it is essential that we all remain vigilant with mask usage, eye protection when caring directly for patients, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. We recognize that it may feel like a burden to comply with these activities, but compliance with this is essential for your protection and mandatory. We ask that you remind colleagues of this policy if you see them on campus not complying with these preventive measures.

Wearing a surgical mask – not a cloth mask – is required for staff at all times in all areas on campus, inside or outside, unless you are alone in your office or eating. If you are eating, and have your mask off, you MUST create a physical distance of a minimum of six feet. 

All employees on campus must also follow our BMC PPE/social distancing policy and protocols, which have been created to protect personal health and ensure collective safety. Please:

  • Adhere to PPE guidelines while seeing patients. As a reminder, eye protection is required when seeing any patient in any setting.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance while eating.
  • Serve only individually-wrapped food at any department gatherings.

NEW: COVID-19 Video Updates from Our Leaders

We know there are questions about the possibility of another COVID-19 surge and BMC’s plans to care for an increased number of COVID patients. Please take a few minutes to watch a new video series of Kate Walsh and some of our leaders talking about why we are confident that in the coming months we will be able to safely care for both COVID-19 patients and those patients who rely on us for preventive, surgical, and ambulatory care.  The videos are available on the Hub homepage

REMINDER: All Employees Need to Complete Daily Symptom Screening Before Coming to Work

A core component of keeping all employees safe is symptom screening. It is not safe for our teams, our patients, or our visitors, for employees and providers to come to work if they are experiencing symptoms. 

  • Employees and licensed independent practitioners scheduled for shifts on BMC’s main campus or in Quincy are required to use the COVID-19 symptom screening tool in Enterprise Health as part of the daily screening process prior to coming to work each shift.
  • Completing the symptom screener is easiest when you receive the text message on your phone (rather than email). If you would like to receive the reminder via phone, please ensure that your cell phone number is up-to-date in Workday. This does not require your phone to be set up with BMC Imprivata.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling ill or have been exposed to COVID-19.

NEW: Chairs in Cafeterias Set Up for Social Distancing

We know that cafeterias and other shared spaces, where people are removing their masks, have been locations where COVID has been transmitted among staff. To guard against this, the seating in the cafeterias has been configured for the necessary distance between tables and people. Please do not move the chairs in these spaces.

REMINDER: All Employees Must Receive a Flu Vaccination by Friday, October 30

For the safety and health of our patients and colleagues, BMC requires universal staff influenza vaccination each year as recommended by the CDC and Massachusetts State Department of Public Health. As we continue to be in the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual flu vaccine is particularly important in mitigating the impact of seasonal illness, keeping our teams and patients healthy, and conserving important hospital resources. This year’s influenza vaccination period at BMC runs from Monday, September 28 through 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:

  • Visit the Working Well Employee Health Portal to electronically view and sign the influenza consent form prior to attending an on-campus vaccination event
  • Stop by a scheduled vaccination event for your flu vaccine and your sticker. The vaccination cart will be available on evenings and weekends. The full schedule of vaccination events is available on the Annual Flu Compliance page on the Hub.

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: Upcoming Fit Testing Sessions

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

  • Wednesday, September 30:
    • 4:30-7:30 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Thursday October 1:
    • 2-5 p.m., Menino 2A
  • Friday October 2:
    • 6-9 a.m., FGH 1st  floor conference room
  • Saturday October 3:
    • 5-8:30 p.m., Menino 2B

REMINDER: Follow-up on COVID-19 Mental Health Survey

Researchers from the Otolaryngology and Psychiatry departments are seeking employees to fill out a follow-up survey to assess your mental well-being at this time. Everyone is welcome to participate in this survey, especially those who completed the first survey assessing the mental health effects that the COVID-19 surge had on the BMC employees. This is the final week to complete the follow-up survey.

This is an anonymous research study conducted by the Otolaryngology and Psychiatry departments to understand how COVID-19 has affected Boston Medical Center employees on the front lines. This study includes all employees who have worked at BMC during the COVID crisis.

If you decide to participate, the short online survey about your perspective on COVID-19 should take no longer than 7-10 minutes. If you would like to proceed with the survey, please click here.