Patient Companions at Dana-Farber
To protect the health and safety of our patients and staff, we still have limits on companions accompanying patients at Dana-Farber. Most adult patients are currently not allowed to bring a companion during their visit, with limited exceptions to help reduce the number of people on-site:
- New adult patients may bring one healthy adult companion to their first in-person visit with their Dana-Farber doctor.
- Adult patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) may bring one healthy adult companion to any appointment.
- Pediatric patients can have one healthy adult companion.
- Adult inpatients in the inpatient hospital can have one healthy adult visitor.
- Other very limited exceptions may also be allowed for patients with significant physical or cognitive disabilities.
If there is not enough space for needed physical distancing in a patient care area, the patient companion may be asked to wait in a designated area until the patient's appointment is complete.
We encourage adult patients who can't bring a companion to use a smartphone or other mobile device to video call a friend or loved one when meeting with their care team. This can be a good way for a companion to participate in the visit by asking questions,
taking notes, and providing support. Wireless internet access is available in all patient care areas.
We know that these steps may be difficult for our patients and their loved ones, and we don't take them lightly. These limits are critical to the physical distancing requirements needed to keep us all safe.
State Travel Order Rules for Patient Companions
All Dana-Farber patient companions will be screened for compliance with the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order, in addition to being screened
for exposure to COVID-19.
- Patient companions with an active COVID-19 infection or any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection are not allowed to accompany a patient to Dana-Farber.
- If a patient companion has traveled in the past 14 days to any state subject to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order, they must confirm that they have complied with the state's travel order,
which typically means they will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result that was administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.
There are some exceptions to the Massachusetts Travel Order rule:
- Parents of patients under age 18, attorneys of patients, and companions for patients with significant physical or cognitive disabilities are considered essential and exempted from the Travel Order.
- People traveling from lower-risk states (as defined by Massachusetts) are not required to follow the Travel Order.
If you have questions about any of these rules, please talk with your care team.
If You Have Received a COVID-19 Vaccine
Persons who have received a COVID-19 vaccine must still follow our patient companion limits and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order. As we learn more about how the vaccines protect us under real-life conditions, it is still important for everyone to follow best practices for preventing spread of the virus. This includes wearing a facemask, washing hands often, physical distancing, and following the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order, including its testing and quarantine requirements.
Prior to Your Appointment
All people entering Dana-Farber will be screened for symptoms of coronavirus, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, nausea, nasal congestion, sore throat, body aches, or rash.
If you have symptoms of a cold or flu (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, rash, body aches, chills, nausea, or sore throat), please call your Dana-Farber doctor’s office before you come in.
Please Be Aware of Your Arrival Time
Please do not arrive more than 20 minutes before your first scheduled appointment when you need to visit Dana-Farber in person. This helps reduce the number of people in the building and ensures safe physical distancing throughout the facility. If you
arrive too early, we may need to direct you to a waiting area after you complete the screening process.
Waiting Area for Companions
For companions not accompanying you to your appointment, we offer a cellphone waiting lot where the person who drives you to your appointment can park or wait.
When you drive to Dana-Farber for an appointment, enter the Yawkey Center parking garage and go to level P1.
- On level P1, a member of our parking staff will make sure you have everything you need to safely get to your appointment, whether that means help getting to your check-in desk or an assistive device, such as a wheelchair.
- The person who drives you to your appointment will get printed directions to a nearby cellphone lot, where he or she can wait or park.
- The cellphone lot has robust cell service, and we encourage you to keep in touch by phone or a video-calling app. We know that loved ones are a vital part of the healing process, and we encourage them to electronically join the patient's
Restrooms are located on level P1 of the parking garage and you can return at any time to use them after dropping off a patient. There are also restroom facilities at Target (1341 Boylston St.) and Star Market (1358 Boylston St.) in the
Nearby Food Options
- Many restaurants are open for takeout at the intersection of Longwood and Brookline Avenues, a short walk away from Dana-Farber and the cellphone waiting lot. Some locations offer distanced seating options, including restaurants in the Longwood Galleria
Food Court (350 Longwood Ave.).
- Nearby grocery options include Target (1341 Boylston St.) and Star Market (1358 Boylston St.).
In good weather, you may want to consider taking a walk along the nearby Riverway Park. Similarly, a limited number of outdoor benches are at
Joslin Park, located on Brookline Avenue across the street
from Dana-Farber's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. There are also several suggested walking tours in the Longwood Medical Area that you may find interesting. As always, be sure to
maintain physical distancing when out in public and stay at least 6 feet away from others.