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COVID-19 Information for Our Patients

  • pharmacy staff holding up signs

  • To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to proactively ensure that our patients and workforce remain safe and protected. When you arrive, you will be directed to the Yawkey Center lobby for screening, where you will be asked whether you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever or feeling feverish
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat
    • Muscle aches
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose
    • Loss of smell
    • Rash

    If you do have these symptoms and need to be seen for your appointment, we will help you take steps to ensure that we can see you in a way that is safe not just for you, but for other patients and our staff members. Please note that all patients are screened only in the Yawkey building, even if your scheduled appointment is in the Dana building. Pre-screenings over the phone will not take the place of the in-person screening. If you have questions or concerns about this or you have any symptoms of respiratory infection, please call your care team before you come to Dana-Farber.

  • In our ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff, no visitors will be able to accompany adult patients at Dana-Farber for the duration of this crisis.

    We understand that this may be a difficult adjustment for our patients and their loved ones, and we don’t take this step lightly. However, it is a critically important measure to protect our patients and staff.

    This change means:

    • No visitors are allowed to accompany adult patients, with very limited exceptions for patients with significant physical or cognitive disabilities.
    • Pediatric patients should be accompanied by only one adult parent or guardian.
    • All people entering Dana-Farber will be screened for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, sore throat, body aches, or rash. Any pre-approved visitor with obvious signs of illness will be asked to kindly leave.
    • If you have symptoms of a cold or flu (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, rash, body aches, chills, or sore throat), please call your Dana-Farber doctor’s office before you come in.
    • If you are in treatment, we want you to keep your scheduled appointment if you can safely do so. We have no plans to postpone appointments for patients who are actively being treated for cancer or related conditions.
    • We know that loved ones are a vital part of the healing process. When possible, we encourage you to use your smartphone or other mobile device to stay in touch with your friends and loved ones during your visit.

    New Waiting Area for Family and Friends

    In light of our current no-visitor policy for adult patients, we now offer a free 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 one of two nearby cellphone lots, where he or she can wait or park.
    • Both waiting lots have 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 appointment with the care team and/or provider, if they can. This can be a good way to participate in the visit, take notes for the patient, and ask questions.

    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 Fenway area.

    Nearby Takeout Food Options
    • At 360 Longwood Ave., B.Good is open and available for takeout.
    • Nearby grocery/takeout options include Target (1341 Boylston St.) and Star Market (1358 Boylston St.).
    • Takeout options in the Fenway area include: Sweetgreen (132 Brookline Ave.), Chipotle (148 Brookline Ave.), and Yard House (126 Brookline Ave.).
    Outdoor Activities

    If the weather is favorable, 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 practice social distancing when out in public and stay at least 6 feet away from others.

  • Having cancer may increase your risk for many illnesses because cancer treatment can weaken your immune system. Please be sure that you and your loved ones take steps to prevent infection:

    • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue and clean your hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
    • Maintain social distance. This means you should avoid contact with other people and keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
    • Do not shake hands with others.
    • Avoid direct contact with people who are sick.
  • New Mask Policy for Patients

    Effective April 5, we have implemented a new mask policy for all patients in both our adult and pediatric clinics. When patients arrive for screening each day, they will be provided with a face mask (if they do not have their own), which they will wear throughout their time in any of Dana-Farber's buildings. This new requirement includes any required visitors and will reinforce our current policies and procedures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    We are actively monitoring for COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Some of our many precautions include:

    • Screening patients for possible COVID-19 infection
    • All members of the Dana-Farber workforce arriving for work at the Longwood campus and at our satellite locations are being screened and receive a sticker to wear indicating they’ve been screened. Workforce members will be required to be screened when they arrive each day.
    • All members of your care team at Dana-Farber are required to wear protective face masks while at work to help further protect our patients.
    • All patients are required to wear a face mask throughout their time in any of Dana-Farber's buildings.
    • Reconfiguring Dining Pavilion seating to allow for recommended social distancing.
    • Restricting incoming business or community visitors to our campuses.
    • Cancelling all business travel, domestic and international, for faculty and staff.
    • Observing standards for staff use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • In order to limit the number of people at Dana-Farber, some of our programs and services have been moved online, some have changed, and some are temporarily closed at this time.

    • The Friends' Place health boutique is currently open by appointment only. Please call 617-632-2211 if you need to schedule an appointment for a compression garment, wig fitting, breast prosthesis, bra fitting, or other service.
    • The following locations are closed at this time (but find out about our online programs in the section that follows):
    • Seating in the Lavine Family Dining Pavilion has been reconfigured for social distancing. The salad bar and deli are closed until further notice; most food servings are pre-packaged; and some menu offerings have been reduced to improve service and reduce lines.
    • All Dana-Farber volunteers have been asked to suspend activities and will not be at the Institute until further notice.
    • If you plan to park at Dana-Farber, please note that only self-parking is available at this time – no valet parking. However, parking attendants are helping as needed with wheelchairs and similar assistance.
  • For the safety of our patients and staff, we have canceled all in-person classes, events, and support groups at this time. However, to provide a space for stress relief, connection, and resource information, Dana-Farber is offering select resources, services, and workshops online.

    • The Zakim Center's programs in yoga, mindfulness, and other topics are available online. You can review the Center's Program Calendar to see online class offerings.
    • The Blum Resource Center is offering Spirituality and Cancer, Managing Your Finances, and Help with Insomnia After Treatment workshops and programs online. You can view the April Calendar and the Blum Resource Center webpage for more information.
    • One-to-One is a telephone support program that connects our trained volunteers with patients and caregivers who would like support from a peer. To request a mentor, patients and caregivers can fill out a referral form.
    • Dana-Farber's Young Adult Program (YAP) invites young adult patients (age 18-39) treated in adult oncology to download the "iaya" smartphone app. YAP will also be hosting an online support group and Twitter chats. For more information about online programming and to obtain an access code for the app, please email yap@dfci.harvard.edu or call 617-632-6819.
  • Additional Information for Pediatric Patients and Families

    Read answers to the questions that families of pediatric patients ask about coronavirus — exposure, symptoms, risk to child patients, protecting your child and family, and more.

    Coronavirus: Preguntas frecuentes de pacientes y familias

    冠状病毒︰患者和家人的常见疑问

    فریوس كورو نا: أس ئلة م تكررة من المرضى و الأسرة

  • Please Enroll in Patient Gateway

    During this crisis, you and your doctor may want to conduct certain appointments online, by phone, or via videoconference. Some of these telehealth options require you to be enrolled in Partners Patient Gateway. To enroll, visit Partners Patient Gateway and click on "Enroll Now."

    Learn more about Telehealth at Dana-Farber.

  • Being Prepared in the Time of COVID-19: Three Things You Can Do Now

    Many patients and survivors worry that they may be at higher risk due to a weakened immune system, or wonder what might happen if they need to be hospitalized. Our experts developed this list of things patients can do now to help them think about what matters most to them if they were to get very sick.

  • Self-Care for Patients and Caregivers

    Both patients and their caregivers need to practice self-care for emotional and physical well-being in this challenging time. Read helpful information on coping day-to-day with COVID-19 uncertainty.

  • Online Programs for Patients During Infusion

    The Zakim Center offers online programs that patients can browse while receiving infusions. Programs include meditation with live music, mindfulness meditation, nutrition chats, and more.

  • hand sanitizer - 2

    COVID-19 FAQ for Cancer Patients

    As with many public health issues, the coronavirus outbreak may pose special risks for some cancer patients. We spoke with Sarah Hammond, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Craig Bunnell, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at Dana-Farber, about some of the specific challenges cancer patients may face at this time.

    hand sanitizer

    What Does It Mean to Be Immunocompromised?

    Immunocompromised individuals are potentially at a higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We're here to help — here is some general information about what it means to be immunocompromised, and how you can protect yourself.

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    Tips for Getting Through Isolation From a Cancer Survivor

    When Rosemary Fischer gets calls from friends and family complaining about staying home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she always has a good-natured response. Read how this cancer survivor copes and thrives despite being immunocompromised and isolated at home.

    fresh produce on grocery store shelves

    Grocery Shopping During COVID-19: Tips for Staying Safe

    Grocery shopping during COVID-19 can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to make the process as safe as possible. Dana-Farber nutritionist Stephanie Meyers, MS, RDN, provides nutritional advice for those in every phase of cancer treatment and recovery during COVID-19.

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    I Got Through a Stem Cell Transplant. We Can Get Through COVID-19, Too.

    Going through the COVID-19 pandemic and going through a stem cell transplant can seem eerily similar. Former Dana-Farber patient Ethan Hawes, who was treated for multiple myeloma, shares his advice.

    Patient Ben Lepper with Lara Wahlster, MD, PhD, in the Jimmy Fund Clinic

    Cancer Won't Stop Me, And Neither Will COVID-19

    Ben Lepper, who is being treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Jimmy Fund Clinic for T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), is careful about staying safe during the pandemic, but he won't let COVID-19 keep him from feeling optimistic about his future.