End of Life Visitation Update for BMC

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced it has revised its visitation guidance for families of patients with COVID-19 who are nearing end of life.
 
In order to help families and loved ones to be present when end of life is approaching, the following visitation guideline is now in effect:
 
COVID-19 positive patients nearing the end of life can have one loved one visit for a half hour. The visit should be arranged with patient's clinical provider and the BMC Patient Experience Department. The identified visitor will be informed of the risks of visitation and the need to quarantine afterward. They will be screened for symptoms of COVID upon entering the hospital.
 
A loved one with COVID symptoms cannot visit, but a virtual visit can still be arranged by the hospital. If the loved one is at high-risk for COVID complications due to age or health issues, a virtual visit can also be arranged.
 
If desired, the identified visitor can substitute a COVID-19 lower risk loved one to perform the visit for someone who may be at higher risk or has COVID symptoms. 
 
The identified visitor for these patients will be contacted by the BMC Patient Experience Department to set up a visit time. They will be met at the front door of the hospital and accompanied to the unit.
 
Hospital staff will assist them with putting on and taking off the personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by the hospital. They must wear the PPE and remain in the patient room during the whole visit. They will be escorted out and provided information on quarantining, symptom monitoring and testing.
 
End of life visitation for non-COVID patients has not been changed and will continue under existing guidance.
 
For any questions, please call the BMC Patient Experience Department at 413-447-2466.

Tags: BHS,   BMC,   COVID-19,   


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Dalton COVID Numbers Droppings, Schools Reopened

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

DALTON, Mass. — Over the past two weeks, the town of Dalton has only seen five new cases of COVID-19 and the Board of Health on Monday said case counts are going in a positive direction.

"I think because we are organized with the three large scale vaccination sites for the county, and the public health infrastructure and the health care community collaborated on it, we have been able to get a leg up on other parts of the commonwealth," Berkshire Health Systems Dr. Daniel Doyle reported.

Twenty percent of Berkshire County's population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination as of Thursday and around 8 percent have received the second dose. There were more than 3,000 Berkshire County residents vaccinated on Saturday.

The board estimated that the majority of residents over 75 years of age who wish to be vaccinated have been. On Jan. 27, the Dalton Council on Aging began assisting elders without computer or internet access and Director Kelly Pizzi said about 300 people per business day had been helped to secure an appointment. 

Dalton currently utilizes the central Berkshire vaccination site at Berkshire Community College because it would reportedly not be efficient to hold smaller-scale vaccination clinics given the extremely cold storage temperature requirements of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  

The Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at minus-70 degrees Celsius and the Moderna can be kept slightly warmer.

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