Keeping our Patients, Visitors and Staff Healthy During COVID-19 

The health and safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority, so we are taking a comprehensive approach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We know that only a fraction of the population has been infected and that asymptomatic people can be infected and contagious. Knowing this, and knowing that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, we’ve implemented numerous measures to provide the safest possible environment.

Masking

Masking

Everyone you come across in our environment will be wearing a mask for your safety and their own. We give all patients and visitors a mask to help prevent the spread of infection.

Staff Screening

Staff Screening

Brigham employees who work in facilities where patient care is provided must attest to their wellness each day before arriving to work. Any employee who has symptoms of a possible respiratory illness is not allowed to return to work until they recover.

Patient Screening

Patient Screening

Patients are screened for symptoms of respiratory illness at the time they make an appointment and again prior to their visit. Upon arrival, all patients and visitors undergo a symptoms screening at the entrance. Visitors who have symptoms of illness must postpone their visits. We also rescreen all hospital inpatients every day for symptoms.

In addition to modifying schedules across the hospital to limit the number of people onsite at any given time, here are some other areas we're focusing on to protect our patients, visitors and staff.

Rigorous Cleaning

Rigorous Cleaning

Our specially trained and certified staff thoroughly cleans our facilities around the clock. This involves using methods recommended by the CDC for disinfecting patient care areas and all common areas, including hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, elevators and dining areas. 

Physical Distancing

Physical Distancing

We’re minimizing the number of people onsite by having staff work remotely and staggering appointment times. We’re also limiting visitors to our facilities, except in special cases. Our waiting rooms, dining areas and other common spaces have been modified to allow everyone to keep a safe distance. 

Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene

We expect everyone to wash their hands with soap and water often and provide hand sanitizer for patients, visitors and staff to help prevent spread of infection. If you do not see your care provider practice hand hygiene, we encourage you to ask them to please do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital responding to COVID-19?

There is a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, administrative leaders, researchers and support staff that have been preparing to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 since we first learned of the outbreak in late January. We have taken every precaution to ensure that we can provide all patients, including those with possible COVID-19, with the highest quality care while protecting hospital staff, other patients and visitors. A number of proactive efforts are underway across the hospital, including activities related to:

  • Updating our ED and ambulatory screening protocols to rapidly detect patients with possible COVID-19
  • Updating the screening tools in our electronic health record to flag patients with possible COVID-19
  • Regularly updating providers about the status of the outbreak and our evolving understanding of the biology of this disease
  • Implementing a robust training program on the appropriate use of personal protective equipment
  • Conducting drills on the identification, transport, rooming and safe care of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Planning for the potential influx of a large number of COVID-19 patients

For patients considered at risk for COVID-19, clinicians deploy strict precautions (airborne, contact and eye protection). This includes patients with:

  • Fever or symptoms of lower-respiratory illness (including coughing or trouble breathing)
  • Recent travel from countries where COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported
  • Contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19
What should I do if I am patient or visitor at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital?

If you believe you have been exposed to 2019 Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), contact your health care provider to see if you need to be evaluated.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, BWFH strongly prohibits the following individuals from entering the hospital unless the visit is essential:

  • Individuals who have returned from travel to any of the countries currently identified as having widespread local transmission of COVID-19.
  • Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Individuals with upper respiratory tract symptoms including fever and/or cough or muscle pains or nasal congestion.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in our continued efforts to keep our patients, routine visiting will be suspended until the spread of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community. Exceptions may include:

  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have 2 visitors.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have 1 visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have 1 visitor.
  • Patients who require a home caregiver or aide may have 1 visitor.
  • Patients who are under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, including a parent or guardian.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have 1 visitor.

In all of the above circumstances, visitors must not exhibit any symptoms upon screening and must remain with the patient. Visitors entering the hospital after 8pm must buzz to gain access and then report to the security desk in the Emergency Department lobby to obtain a visitors pass. The security officer will contact the patient’s unit with the visitor’s name and the nurse responsible for the patient will support the need for the visit based on the patient’s medical condition, safety concerns or preference for visitors. Upon clearance, a visitor pass must be provided and worn.

Thank you for doing everything possible to keep our patients and staff safe during this time.

Where can I find community resources and mental health support?
  • To view a listing of Community Resources for Boston-area residents, click here.
  • To find tips for managing stress and caring for yourself and others in three languages, click here.
Where can I ask questions or get more info if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you are an established Partners HealthCare patient with a primary care provider, we recommend you contact your provider’s office by phone or via Partners Patient Gateway if you have symptoms that may indicate exposure to COVID-19 or if you believe you may have been exposed.

If you are an established Partners patient and do not have a primary care provider – or are unable to reach them – there are other resources available to you

  1. Use the Partners HealthCare COVID-19 Screener. This always-on web tool allows Partners patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 – or who are concerned about exposure to COVID-19 – to walk through a few automated online questions. At the end of the brief assessment, patients will be directed to next steps based on their health status.
  2. Call the Partners HealthCare COVID-19 Nurse Line at 617-724-7000. Staffed from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Nurses are available to respond to general or specific questions about COVID-19 for those who have symptoms, believe they may have been exposed, or are looking to learn more. If treatment is needed, they will guide you through next steps. Interpreters can be added to calls for patients who need it.
  3. Launch a video visit with an urgent care provider at Partners HealthCare On Demand (PHOD). Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, PHOD is suggested for those who have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have underlying conditions that may put them at greater risk. A doctor or advanced practitioner will conduct an intake assessment via a secure video visit and recommend next steps. Note: this service is only available to established Partners patients in Massachusetts.
How can I donate supplies to BWFH to assist with COVID-19 preparedness and response?

As we focus on responding to COVID-19 and protecting our patients, staff and community, we are immensely grateful for the outpouring of support we have received.

If you are interested in donating to a fund for to Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, please click here to find more information and fill out a donation form. Please note that we cannot accept donations of food, and are no longer in need of PPE supplies at this time. Thank you for your generosity and solidarity.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses are typically spread from person-to-person when in close contact. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

What are the symptoms of an COVID-19 infection?

For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms or mild cold symptoms to people being severely sick. Most people who become sick from COVID-19 — approximately 80 percent — do not require hospitalization.    

Common symptoms of a COVID-19 infection may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest tightness or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Persons who are elderly, unable to develop a normal immune response or have other comorbidities, such as heart disease or liver disease, are at higher risk of developing severe pneumonia and dying from the disease. Symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The CDC recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough, or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes or nose with unwashed hands
  • Stay home and do not travel when you are sick

BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S FAULKNER HOSPITAL


Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BWFH