Cancer Patients: How We Are Preparing for Coronavirus
Last Updated 4/3/2020
The novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) is an international pandemic that has significantly impacted every aspect of our daily lives and is straining our health care system. It is especially disruptive for cancer patients and survivors who require ongoing medical care, including scans, labs or follow-up visits. UCSF is working hard to make sure we continue providing you and your family with the best care possible, whether related to your cancer or new COVID-19 illness.
Working collaboratively with our cancer care providers and our infectious disease experts, we have implemented new processes that allow us to care for all patients during this challenging time, including patients who develop COVID-19, while prioritizing treatment for those with the most immediate needs.
Please know that these policies and procedures were created with the input of everyone involved in your care. The UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to prioritize the care and management of our cancer patients and survivors. Please don't hesitate to contact us through MyChart or by phone with any questions regarding your care and changes in treatment schedules related to COVID-19.
These procedures include the following:
- Converting in-person appointments to telehealth video visits where appropriate.
- Phone screening for respiratory symptoms prior to any in-person visit. Patients with symptoms are contacted by the practice for further evaluation and management.
- Lobby screening prior to entry to any UCSF building for all staff, providers and patients. Any person presenting with respiratory symptoms will be evaluated at a respiratory clinic, and subsequent care will be coordinated with the appropriate primary physician.
- Frequent cleaning of all clinical areas, including lobby furniture, elevators, counters and all equipment.
- Strictly limiting the number of visitors, while continuing to facilitate their involvement through phone calls, FaceTime and video visits (Zoom).
- Decreasing the volume of routine testing, including labs and radiology, to free up staff and resources for critically ill respiratory patients.
- Modifying treatment protocols of many patients to limit their visits to UCSF and the number of immunosuppressive treatments.
- Delaying numerous surgeries to ensure that beds, resources and post-op care are available for patients most in need.
Please call (415) 514-7328 for any questions you may have specifically about COVID-19 or if you are having any symptoms you believe are due to COVID-19, including:
- New or worsening cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Unexplained muscle aches
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Nasal congestion (different from pre-existing allergies)
Information About Ongoing Clinical Trials
For our patients enrolled in clinical trials, access to investigational therapies will continue without change, although the same precautionary procedures outlined above will also take place. Because we know that access to clinical trials may be important to the health and well-being of some cancer patients, many of our clinical trials continue to accept new patients.
More COVID-19 information for patients with cancer
Visitor Restrictions at UCSF Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
UCSF’s visitor policy has temporarily changed due to coronavirus concerns. Find out who shouldn’t visit our facilities, and what policies to be aware of when you do visit.
FAQ: Coronavirus and Patients with Cancer
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.