COVID-19 and Cancer Patients
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new type of virus that can cause mild to severe infections in the lungs. Like other viruses, it can lead to serious infections for people with weakened immune systems. COVID-19 may cause more severe infections than other viruses. We do not have a vaccine to help control its spread, but experts are working to make a vaccine.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus can spread easily, just like the common cold or flu. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes droplets that can get into the eyes, nose, or mouth of people nearby. Droplets also land on surfaces that people touch before touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth.
How can I protect myself?
These are some of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol until you can wash your hands with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without washing your hands first.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often. Regular household wipes and sprays will kill the virus. Be sure to clean places that people touch a lot, such as door handles, phones, keyboards, and light switches.
- Avoid handshakes, hugging, and standing or sitting close to people who are coughing or sneezing.
- Be as healthy as you can. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and manage your stress.
- Wear a mask to the clinic and when you are not at home. If you do not have a medical mask, you may use a bandanna or tightly woven cotton like a t-shirt material, doubled and tied so it stays in place. If using material or homemade masks, please make sure you wash it daily with soap and water.
If you are sick, follow these steps:
- Stay home.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you use a tissue, put it in the garbage right away. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow crease.
- Call before going to your medical appointments. Let them know about recent travel or if you have had contact with a person with COVID-19.
What should I do if I have cancer?
Some people with cancer might have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 or having a serious infection from it. Do your best to follow the steps listed above to protect yourself. Ask your doctor or nurse if they have special recommendations based on your health or type of treatment.
Call your doctor right away if any of these happen to you:
- You have a fever higher than 100.0 degrees F.
- You feel short of breath.
- You develop a cough, runny nose, or congestion.
We are not allowing visitors at this time unless you need assistance from your caregiver. If visitors come with you to the clinic they will be asked to wait in the car.