Operations and Clinical Updates - January 5, 2022
BMC Total Inpatients
BMC Inpatients Requiring ICU Care
Cumulative Staff Who Have Tested Positive (as of March 2021)
|2,266 (as of 1/5)|
NEW: BMC is Now in a Phase C
Due to our current high volume and lack of capacity in our Emergency Department and inpatient floors, ongoing staffing challenges due to Omicron, and the rapidly increasing positivity rate in our community, BMC has escalated to a Phase C in our COVID-19 response.
We are operating our Command Center virtually, with a team monitoring the situation closely and working to address operational challenges, including bed capacity and the need for additional surge spaces.
Thank you to everyone for your ongoing patience and collaboration at this very busy time as we work to care for our patients and community.
All current projections suggest this surge will last approximately six weeks or less, so hang in there!
REMINDER: Everyone Must Follow PPE Guidelines for Patient Care
All employees and LIPs must follow BMC’s PPE guidelines for patient care. These guidelines adhere to current CDC recommendations and best practices, and are aligned with other hospitals’ guidelines.
- Surgical mask and eye protection must be worn with all non-COVID patient contact.
- Please wear an N95, eye protection, gloves and a gown while caring for all COVID+ patients and those who are considered a PUI (patient under investigation).
NEW: Expanding Our Testing Capabilities for Patients
Thank you to all the teams who have worked to help stand up our Emergency Department and pediatric testing huts, as well as to our Laboratory team for reducing our testing turnaround times.
Testing outside the Emergency Department is being used to divert patients who arrive at the ED for testing only. Please do not send patients who only need testing to the ED or ED hut.
The pediatric testing hut (red structure located near the ambulance bay) is available for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic pediatric patients.
REMINDER: Do Not Use the Emergency Department for COVID-19 Testing
In recent weeks, there has been a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital and in the ED, and we expect this trend to continue for the next few weeks.
Our Emergency Department is extremely busy at this time, and we need everyone to support the ED staff and other teams dealing with this surge. If you have a patient who needs a COVID-19 test for any reason, but especially for travel or if the patient is asymptomatic, please do not send them to the ED or to Fast Track. A limited number of tests are available for patients at the ILI Clinic (801 Mass Ave., Crosstown building) Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., on a first come, first served basis, or you can encourage patients to make an appointment or walk in at a state or local testing site.
Additionally, please do NOT go to the Emergency Department (or Fast Track, which is part of the ED and not stand-alone urgent care) for COVID-19 testing for yourself. More information about employee testing is below.
UPDATED: COVID-19 Employee Testing Process
Please ensure that you have a BMC medical record number (MRN) 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 MRN.
All employee testing is by appointment only:
- Symptomatic testing for employees with symptoms or exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 is available seven days a week. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to work. Email COVID19WWC@bmc.org to schedule a testing appointment.
- Asymptomatic testing for indirect exposures and post-travel is available seven days a week. Employees can self-schedule an appointment through MyChart. Testing appointments are available on a first come, first served basis.
- 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.
Employee testing is now be available on Saturdays and Sundays through January from 7:30 a.m. to noon. More information on scheduling testing can be found on the Hub.
To receive your test results as soon as possible, please enroll in MyChart. You may self-clear to work with a negative result. Please note that to manage the large volume of positive results, you may receive an email or text message from the COVID Working Well Clinic. If so, please respond to the questions to facilitate the return to work process.
Please note that starting Monday, January 10, the testing location for employees will be moved to 750 Albany St. in the Power Plant parking lot.
REMINDER: Guidance for Employees on Interpreting At-Home Antigen Tests
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can now use an at-home antigen test to confirm if you are positive for COVID-19, rather than coming to the ILI Clinic for testing. Testing at the ILI Clinic is still available to all employees. Positive at-home antigen tests are highly reliable, as false positives are rare. However, if you have symptoms or a significant exposure and test negative, a follow-up PCR test may be merited.
Employees will need to provide documentation of a positive antigen test by sending a photo of the positive test to COVID19WWC@bmc.org. You must include your full name, date of birth, a copy or photo of the test, test date, and phone number in your email. Your test will be documented in your medical record.
NEW: Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Now Available for Patients
Providers can now refer patients for ambulatory management of COVID-19 with monoclonal antibody treatment, using the prioritization criteria outline here.
Sotrovimab is the only monoclonal antibody with activity against the omicron COVID-19 variant and is currently being used at BMC for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 disease. Tiers 1 and 2 will be prioritized over Tier 3 because of the current limitation of 4 patients per day for infusions.
Oral anti-COVID anti-viral agents are expected to be available after the week of January 10, and a communication update will be sent once providers are able to prescribe this treatment.
REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses Recommended for Everyone
Recent studies suggest that COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are crucial in protecting people against the Omicron variant. The sections of Infection Prevention and Infectious Disease strongly recommend that all employees and LIPs get boosted to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
People who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are encouraged to get a booster shot as soon as possible, while those who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get their booster six months after the second dose. Appointments for BMC and BUMG employees can be scheduled through this link, which can also be found on the Hub.
NEW: Updates to Cancer Center Visitor Policy Effective Today, January 5
Effective today, January 5, no visitors will be allowed on the Moakley 3rd floor hematology/oncology clinic and infusion center. In certain cases, when a visitor is vital to the care of the patient, the care team may grant an exemption, which will be communicated to Guest Services.
REMINDER: Masks are Required in All BMCHS Buildings
As a reminder, all employees and LIPs must wear masks in all campus buildings. This includes all administrative and non-clinical areas across the BMC Health System. Surgical masks are available for patients and staff at building entrances.
Visit the Hub for a list of BMC-approved ways to ensure your mask fits properly. In addition, “ear savers,” which can be used to help improve mask fit, will soon be available to staff in patient care areas.