Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 Cases:

BMC Total Inpatients

57

BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care

11

Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive

1,628 (as of 12/26)

Massachusetts Cases

1,002,266 (as of 12/28)

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

NEW: Update on the COVID-19 Response at BMC

The United States – including Boston – is in the middle of a fourth COVID-19 surge. Please be assured that BMC is working to respond to the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases. While the number of positive cases has exceeded past surges, hospitalizations are lagging. However, over the past few days we have seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 admissions, in addition to the hospital already being very busy.

Recent steps taken in our response to the current COVID-19 surge include:

  • Weekly leadership meetings to review current actions being taken and adjust as necessary to better support our staff and patients.
  • Increasing COVID-19 testing capability and ensuring staff are prioritized for testing.
  • Adding more resources at our entrances to help patient flow and triage patients.
  • Adding staff in the Working Well COVID-19 Clinic to reduce turnaround times for questions, issues, and clearance to return to work.

It is also even more important than ever to take steps to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19, including:

  • Masking indoors. All employees and LIPS must wear masks in all administrative/non-clinical and clinical areas of campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Masking for indoor public places is also required in Boston and many other communities across MA, and is recommended everywhere.
  • Reconsidering any upcoming gatherings, both at BMC and on your personal time.
  • Maintaining physical distance. 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.
  • Getting your COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. Appointments for BMC and BUMG employees can be scheduled through this link, which can also be found on the Hub.

REMINDER: Updated Guidance for Isolation and Quarantine

On Monday afternoon, the CDC updated its guidance regarding isolation and quarantine for individuals who are COVID positive or who have been exposed to COVID. Based on these new CDC guidelines, and in line with our peer hospitals and in consideration of our patient population, BMC has updated our policy related to COVID positive employees.

As of December 28, 2021, the following is our process for employees returning to work after testing positive for COVID:

  • Employees must be fever free for 24 hours and have improving respiratory symptoms.
  • Employees may return to work on day seven after symptom onset, and no testing is required.
  • Employees must be cleared by the Working Well COVID-19 Clinic. After clearance, employees may return to work.

We will continue to follow CDC testing guidelines closely, as these timelines may continue to change and allow for earlier return to work.

Please note that we are currently on version 20 of the “COVID-19 Employee Health Concern Response” document – also called the Employee Exposure Response. All other versions should be discarded.

NEW: Updates to Our Visitor Policy Effective January 3

Effective Monday, January 3, 2022, BMC will be enforcing the following changes to the visitor policy:

  • Adult inpatient units: Med/Surg inpatients who are COVID-negative will be allowed to have one visitor per day between noon and 7 p.m.
  • Labor and Delivery: One support person at a time will be allowed during the patient’s delivery and postpartum stay. Children under 18 years old will not be permitted to visit.
  • Adult Emergency Department: No visitors will be permitted. This will go into effect December 30, 2021.

The most up-to-date visitor policy can be found in multiple languages on the Hub and on BMC.org.

REMINDER: Contacting the COVID Working Well Clinic

As post-holiday cases and exposures increase, our Working Well COVID-19 Clinic (WWCC) is working diligently to keep up with all incoming employee inquiries being sent to COVID19WWC@bmc.org. The current response time is up to 24 hours. Please do not email COVID19WWC@bmc.org requesting an update during that time, as duplicate emails will take team members away from providing support.

Please note some important information below, as well as ways you can help ensure a timely response and process during this very busy time:

  • If you reported symptoms or exposure through the daily symptom screener process, you should not send an email to COVID WWC. The symptom screener generates an email, and any message you send will be a duplicate.
  • If you test positive through BMC ILI, please do not send an email to COVID WWC. We will receive your result and will reach out to you from there.
  • When emailing COVID19WWC@bmc.org to report symptoms or exposure, please provide as much information in your initial email as possible, such as, the reason you are emailing, the best contact number to reach you, and your date of birth.
    • If you tested positive at home or through an outside lab, please send us as much detail as possible, including a photo or scan of the test result.

NEW: Expanded Employee Testing Hours at the Crosstown ILI Clinic

To help accommodate the current testing demand, we are expanding ILI clinic hours (Crosstown ILI Clinic, 801 Mass Ave. ground floor) over the holiday weekend. Appointments are strongly encouraged. Hours for this weekend are:

  • Friday, December 31 form 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 1 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 2 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Symptomatic testing for employees with symptoms or exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 is available seven days a week. Email COVID19WWC@bmc.org to schedule an appointment.

Asymptomatic testing for indirect exposures and post-travel is available seven days a week. Email COVID19WWC@bmc.org to schedule an appointment.

Asymptomatic testing for pre-gathering, pre-travel, and peace of mind: employees can self-schedule an appointment through MyChart. If you are an existing BMC patient and do not have a MyChart account, click here to register.

REMINDER: COVID-19 Employee Testing Process

Getting tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms, are exposed to someone with COVID-19, have traveled recently, or just for peace of mind is one of the best ways we can continue to help keep our patients, communities, and each other safe. More information on scheduling testing can be found on the Hub.

Please ensure that you have a BMC medical record number if you intend to get tested at BMC. If you are not currently a BMC patient, call Patient Registration at 617-414-6060 to register in Epic and sign up for MyChart. Patient Registration is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. A direct conversation is required to register for a BMC medical record number (MRN).