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COVID-19 Information for Our Patients


  • Despite the challenges to the entire healthcare community posed by COVID-19, we remain undeterred from our mission to provide expert, compassionate care. If you need to be seen in-person for an appointment at Dana-Farber, we want to see you. Here's a look at what you can expect when you visit our main campus in Boston or one of our satellite locations.


    Find out more about how we're keeping you safe during this challenging time.


  • 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
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Nausea
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Muscle aches
    • 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.

  • Patient Companions at Dana-Farber

    To protect the health and safety of our patients and staff, we have limits on companions accompanying patients at Dana-Farber. We understand the important role companions and loved ones play in each patient’s cancer journey. These limits are critical to our ability to adhere to the physical distancing requirements necessary to keep us all safe.

    Most adult patients are currently not allowed to bring a companion during their visit, with very limited exceptions that start on July 27, 2020:

    • New adult patients are allowed to bring one healthy adult companion to their first appointment only.
    • Adult patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) are allowed to bring one healthy adult companion to any of their appointments. LEP patients still need an interpreter when meeting with their care team.

    Pediatric patients can bring one healthy adult guardian or companion per patient. All adult inpatients are allowed one healthy adult companion. 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.

    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.

    Prior to Your Appointment

    Please do not arrive more than 20 minutes before your first scheduled appointment. This simple step can reduce the number of people in the building, which helps us ensure fewer people in waiting areas and safe physical distancing throughout the facility.

    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.

    Make plans to include a friend or loved one in your appointment. 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.

    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 appointment.

    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 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.).
    Outdoor Activities

    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.

  • Notificación para acompañantes de los pacientes de Dana-Farber

    在Dana-Farber患者的陪伴

    رفاق المرضى في دانا فاربر



  • When you drive a patient to an appointment at Dana-Farber, please enter Dana-Farber’s parking garage on Jimmy Fund Way and go to level P1. You will not be charged any parking fees for dropping off or picking up, and we have staff on level P1 to help patients safely get to their appointments.

    Entering Dana-Farber’s parking garage to drop off and pick up reduces traffic backups on Jimmy Fund Way, improves traffic flow on Brookline Ave., and ensures a safe location where patients can get in and out of vehicles. It typically takes just a few minutes to enter and exit the garage when picking up or dropping off.

    Thank you for your cooperation and help!

  • 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 physical 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.
  • Mask Policy for Patients

    We have implemented a 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 physical 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).

    Find out more about how we're keeping you safe during this challenging time.

  • 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 physical 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 monthly 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.
  • pharmacy staff holding up signs

  • 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

    Because of COVID-19, you and your doctor may want to conduct certain appointments online, by phone, or via videoconference. Some of these virtual visits require you to be enrolled in Patient Gateway. To enroll, visit Patient Gateway and click on "Enroll Now."

    Learn more about virtual visits.

  • 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.

  • Adult Patient and Family COVID-19 Open Forum
    Dana-Farber clinical experts and leaders came together on June 24, 2020, for a virtual forum designed to give adult patients and their loved ones an update on COVID-19 research and news, along with a closer look at what we're doing to ensure a safe environment of care.

  • Pediatric Patient and Family COVID-19 Open Forum
    Clinical experts and leaders from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center hosted a virtual forum on July 7, 2020, to give pediatric patients and family members an update on COVID-19 research and news, along with a closer look at what we're doing to ensure a safe environment of care.

  • 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.

    mammography technician

    Should I Get Screened for Cancer During COVID-19?

    Many people skipped or delayed routine cancer screening tests during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Medical providers say it’s now safe and prudent to schedule your appointments.

    Members of the Dobay family

    Dana-Farber Patient Recovering Well After Cancer and the Coronavirus

    The team at Dana-Farber encourages anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 to report them right away. Even if you have a confirmed case of the coronavirus, there are measures in place to ensure you can receive the care that’s safe for you, your care team, and other patients and staff members.

    Gina Solomon with Dana-Farber nurse Lisa Lundmark, BSN, RN

    Focus Is On Safety and Solidarity for Cancer Patients During COVID-19

    Many Dana-Farber patients and caregivers are adjusting to a mix of in-person and telehealth appointments, largely to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure. For Gina Solomon, a consultant in the financial services industry who is working remotely through treatment, it's a perfect arrangement.

    Rosemary Fischer

    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.

    patient Ethan Hawes

    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.