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Patients/Visitors: Please complete a brief screening on our prescreen app prior to arrival to expedite entry into our hospital. To learn more about receiving care during COVID-19, click here.

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FAQs About Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Questions about COVID-19

Where can I ask questions or get tested if I think I have/have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you are an established Mass General Brigham patient with a primary care provider, we recommend you contact your provider’s office by phone or via Mass General Brigham 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 Mass General Brigham 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 Mass General Brigham 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 Mass General Brigham COVID-19 Nurse Line at 617-724-7000. Staffed from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays), 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. The nurse hotline is available to anyone that is a Mass General Brigham patient, regardless of immigration status or insurance.
  3. Launch a video visit with an urgent care provider at Mass General Brigham On Demand. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this service 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 Mass General Brigham patients in Massachusetts.
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.

  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • 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
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.
How can I donate 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.

Where can I go for up-to-date information?

The spread of the virus is evolving. Government resources such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the best resources for up-to-date information.

Scheduling an Appointment

Is BWFH 'open’ to see general patients?

Yes, we are open to see all patients for necessary general care in the outpatient and inpatient settings, and our Safe Care Commitment ensures your in-person visit to Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is welcoming and safe.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to physical distance, we are also offering Virtual Visits that are conducted remotely through the use of phones and computers whenever possible. Outpatient visits are available for care that requires a face-to-face visit, physical examination, treatment or procedure. Your care team will help you determine which is best for you.

Should I delay seeking care?

No. In many cases, if you delay your health care, your condition could worsen or you may need more serious treatments or procedures. Please call your doctor’s office. We understand your concerns about seeking care now, and we want to assure you that we are here for you at BWFH with our Safe Care Commitment.

As usual, if you have an emergency, you should come to our Emergency Department.

What is BWFH doing to keep patients, their families and staff safe?

The health and safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority. As we prepare to welcome more patients back to our hospital and outpatient facilities, we are taking a comprehensive approach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, so we’ve implemented a variety of measures to provide the safest possible environment. Learn More.

I am unsure if I should go to my appointment in-person or book a Virtual Visit. How should I decide?

Your health care provider and care team will determine whether a Virtual Visit is appropriate for you or whether you need to schedule an in-person visit.

Virtual visits are one-on-one video or phone appointments with your health care provider. These visits allow you to get medical care and guidance from the comfort of your own home.

Patients may schedule a range of appointments, from follow-up visits to first-time consultations about a procedure or surgery. Specialists available for virtual visits may include doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and others. Learn more.

Arriving at BWFH

What happens when I arrive?

Patients should park in the garage or front open parking lot at the front of the hospital and enter through the main First Floor entrance.

When you enter, you will be greeted by a member of our staff who will provide you with hand sanitizer and a mask and direct you to your appointment location. You may be asked multiple times about any symptoms you may have, so we ask that you please be patient. It is for your safety.

Is Valet open? Are they being screened? Are they wearing PPE?

Yes. Our valet team has implemented the following safety measures:

  • All staff undergo a daily health screening for symptoms and attest to wellness.
  • All staff wear masks and practice proper hand hygiene between each car.
  • Staff use seat and gear covers in cars.
Are patients and visitors screened for symptoms of illness before entry to Brigham Health facilities?

Yes, knowing that COVID-19 is with us for the foreseeable future, all patients and visitors are screened for symptoms of respiratory illness before they can enter our facilities. We ask patients and visitors to use our Mass General Brigham Prescreen app at before their arrival. The app is available in English and Spanish. It walks users through a series of questions to screen for symptoms of illness. Screening questions must be answered on the day of your appointment or visit.

After answering the screening questions, patients and visitors will receive a digital pass on their phone that provides faster entry to our facilities. Patients who may have completed a phone screening prior to their visit still need to answer questions on the prescreen app before entry.

For patients and visitors who need help in other languages, staff are available to assist at our entrances.

Will BWFH provide me with a mask and hand sanitizer upon entry?

Yes. We require all people on campus—employees, patients and visitors—to wear a hospital-issued mask. Everyone is given a mask upon entering BWFH and will be asked to wear it instead of one they may have brought from home.

How are you ensuring patients stay more than six feet away from each other?

In addition to the use of scheduling to prevent too many patients from being in the hospital at once, we have also rearranged spaces to accommodate physical distancing and prevent transmission of infections by removing chairs from waiting rooms, and in some high-use areas, installing plexiglass barriers. We are also limiting visitors coming into our hospital and requiring all employees, patients and visitors to wear a hospital-issued mask.

Where are COVID patients in the hospital?

Hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are cared for on a special unit.

How do I check-in for my appointment?

You will first check in at the main entrance where you will be screened for any symptoms of COVID-19 and given your hospital-issued mask and hand sanitizer. You will then proceed to the location of your appointment and check in again when you arrive.

To make your entry into the hospital more efficient, we ask patients and visitors to use our Mass General Brigham Prescreen app at before their arrival. The app is available in English and Spanish. It walks users through a series of questions to screen for symptoms of illness. Screening questions must be answered on the day of your appointment or visit.

Can a friend or family member accompany me to my appointment?

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we expect our visitation policies to change according to state guidelines. While we understand this is difficult, it is based on public health recommendations. To learn more about our current rules for visitation, click here.

During my Visit

How can I reduce my time in the waiting room? Can I check in for my appointment before I arrive?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to use the contactless, e-check-in function on Patient Gateway to minimize your time in the waiting area.

What is the current visitor policy?

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we expect our visitation policies to change according to state guidelines. While we understand this is difficult, it is based on public health recommendations. To learn more about our current rules for visitation, click here.

I use a wheelchair. If I can’t bring in my significant other, how will I get around the hospital if I need assistance?

Our patient transport staff are here to help you navigate the hospital. We can help you arrange for assistance during your visit.


How many people are allowed in the surgery waiting room?

Our surgical waiting area has been modified to ensure we meet physical distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet of space between patients.

How do you know the virus isn’t in the operating rooms?

Our specially trained and certified staff thoroughly cleans our Operating Room facilities around the clock. This involves using methods recommended by the CDC for disinfection.

After my surgery, how can I leave as soon as possible but also ensure I have a proper recovery?

Your care team will develop your discharge plan based on your health condition following surgery to ensure you have the best possible recovery.

Prescription refills via Patient Gateway

Can I get my prescription refilled without coming in to see my doctor?

Depending on the circumstances, this may be possible. Please submit a request for a prescription refill to your doctor via Patient Gateway. Your doctor will then determine which type of appointment is best—an in-person or a virtual visit.


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.