Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

19

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

7

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,430 (as of 11/22)

Massachusetts Cases

836,378 (as of 11/22)

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

NEW: Rise in COVID-19 Cases Across Massachusetts

There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases across Boston and Massachusetts over the last several weeks:

  • The average daily new positive cases has been at 35/day in the past week, compared to 18 two weeks ago.
  • The positivity rate is now at 6.7 percent, compared to 3.9 percent two weeks ago.
  • In November there has been an increase in the 0-19 age bracket for positive tests

As case and positivity rates increase, it is critical that we all remain vigilant and follow all public health guidelines and hospital regulations to protect ourselves, our patients, and each other. This includes:

  • Wearing appropriate PPE in all patient encounters.
  • Masking indoors.
  • Encouraging vaccination for patients and your personal networks.
  • Not coming to work if you are not feeling well.
  • Getting your COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
  • Getting tested for COVID-19 if you travel, have an exposure, or just for peace of mind.
  • Completing your daily symptom screener every day you work on campus.

REMINDER: COVID-19 Employee Testing Available with Expanded Holiday Hours

One of the best ways we can continue to help keep our patients, communities, and each other safe is by getting tested for COVID-19.

Expanded hours are in effect for pre-and-post-holiday testing. Appointments are still required for all testing. The expanded hours for November are:

  • November 24: 5 a.m. to noon
  • November 27 and 28: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • November 29 and 30: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More information on scheduling testing can be found on the Hub

NEW: Changes to Inpatient Surgery and Procedure Schedule

In order to better accommodate increased inpatient volume through the winter, BMC will be rescheduling certain elective surgeries, effective November 29. Teams across the hospital are reviewing upcoming elective inpatient procedures to determine which can be safely rescheduled, and have begun contacting patients.

Critical operations and procedures, including for trauma and emergencies, will not be canceled or delayed. In addition, all procedures that could lead to substantial worsening of disease if deferred will continue. Only surgery with overnight stays will be impacted – day surgery and Ambulatory visits will continue as normal.

REMINDER: Masks Required for All Employees, LIPs, and Patients in All Areas of BMCHS

All employees and LIPS must wear masks in all campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. This includes all administrative and non-clinical areas across the BMC Health System. Please note:

  • Surgical masks are available for patients and staff at building entrances.
  • In-person meetings are permitted, but all attendees must maintain a distance of at least three feet and be masked throughout the meeting, even in larger conference rooms.
  • Staff must maintain a physical distance of at least six feet while eating, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks are not required in outdoor spaces on the BMC campus.

In addition, to help protect both patients and staff from possible COIVD-19 exposure, all inpatients must wear masks when in close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) with health care workers or when being transported throughout the hospital. Please note that patients with acute respiratory concerns may be exempt from this requirement; it is recommended that the clinical teams approve this exemption.

REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Available for All Employees and LIPs

As health care workers, all clinical and non-clinical BMCHS employees and LIPs are eligible to receive booster doses. This is not a workplace requirement at this time.

Booster shots for eligible individuals are available at all BMC vaccination clinics, including the Employee Vaccination Clinic. Appointments for BMC and BUMG employees can be scheduled through this link, which can also be found on the Hub.

REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5-11 Years Old Now Available at BMC

COVID-19 vaccines are available for children 5-11 years old at all BMC vaccination sites. Vaccines are available by walk in at any location during their business hours or by appointment. Appointments can be scheduled on BMC.org by clicking on “schedule first dose.” Parent or guardian consent is required for all individuals under the age of 18.

If you are seeing a pediatric patient who would like to get vaccinated during their visit, please page CVAX (#2829) to have a member of the roving nurse team come to provide the vaccination.

There will also be nurses in the Yawkey 6 Pediatric entryway administering pediatric vaccines from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through the end of the year. All employees are welcome to bring their children to be vaccinated.