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Information for our Patients about COVID–19 from Smilow Cancer Hospital

March 12, 2020

Smilow Cancer Hospital is closely monitoring the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is taking extra precautions to protect our patients and their families. Patients with cancer often have a weakened immune system, or are immunosuppressed, and are at an increased risk of infection, the flu, and other viruses.

Immunosuppressed patients include, but are not limited to:

· Patients with blood (hematologic) cancers

· Patients on active treatment

· Patients taking immunosuppressive agents and steroids

· Patients who have had a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant

· Patients who have recently completed treatment

To protect our patients and their families, Smilow Cancer Hospital is:

· Closely screening all patients in clinic for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

· Asking all patients during appointments about recent travel, and travels of their close family.

· Implementing visitor screening and restrictions. Effectively immediately, only one visitor per patient will be allowed. Visitors must be age 18 and over and all visitors will be screened and asked about international and/or recent travel.

· Suspending all work-related international travel for all employees Yale New Haven Health System, which includes Smilow Cancer Hospital and Care Centers, and highly recommending cancelling all non-essential domestic travel.

· Working with our colleagues at Yale New Haven Health to maintain a Call Center for patients and the community to answer questions about COVID-19. Please call (833) ASK-YNHH if you have any questions or concerns.

All patients and their families should:

· Practice good hygiene, with increased hand washing.

· Stay clear of crowded areas and limit exposure to large crowds.

· Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

· Limit non-essential travel.

· Call ahead and notify your healthcare team if you have a scheduled appointment and have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness. You will be given further instructions.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on March 13, 2020