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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

  • Last updated on April 5, 2020


    Información para pacientes sobre el Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    有关新型冠状病毒的通知


    At Dana-Farber, your health and safety, along with the health and safety of our staff, are our top priorities. Despite the challenges to the entire healthcare community posed by COVID-19, Dana-Farber remains undeterred from our mission to provide expert, compassionate care. We are still caring for current patients, accepting new patients, and providing second opinion consultations, although we cannot currently offer a "next-day appointment" option. Where medically appropriate, we may ask you to conduct your appointment online, by phone, or via videoconference, or to reschedule an existing appointment. If you have questions about your appointment, please contact your care team.

    Thank you for your support during this challenging time, and for entrusting your care to us.

    What You Need to Know Before You Arrive

    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. You will be asked about your recent travel history and whether you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory infection, including:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Muscle aches
    • Nasal congestion/runny nose

    Patients and caregivers with questions or concerns, please contact your care team.

    Our Revised Visitor Policy

    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.

    COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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, we have closed or suspended activities for certain areas and groups, including:

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • Do your part to not spread COVID-19
  • General COVID-19 Information

    Chart of COVID-19 symptoms from the CDC

    What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

    The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that can be easily spread from person to person. Currently, COVID-19 can be difficult to identify because it shares many symptoms with the flu. Here is what you need to know.

    How to Properly Wash Your Hands

    Practicing proper hand hygiene is a simple, yet extremely effective, way of preventing the spread of germs and diseases. By washing your hands properly, and often, you can protect yourself as well as your family and even the community you live in.

  • COVID-19 Information for Cancer Patients

    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.

  • COVID-19 Research at Dana-Farber

    Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD

    Dana-Farber Researchers at Forefront of Development of Antibody Therapy for COVID-19

    As scientists race to develop and test new treatments for COVID-19, Dana-Farber’s Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, and his lab team are bringing one of the world's most formidable resources to the effort: a "library" of 27 billion human antibodies against viruses, bacteria, and other bodily invaders.

  • Tips for Well-Being

    legs of person walking

    Tips for Keeping Your Mind Healthy and Active in the Time of the COVID-19

    The coronavirus pandemic has brought sweeping changes to many of our daily routines and social interactions. It’s important to remember that the emotions you feel during this time are normal, and it’s OK to have them. It can also be valuable to work towards a plan, centered around self-care, that will allow you to address and manage your concerns.

    exercise class

    Tips for Exercising at Home to Cope with Stress

    Regular exercise helps maintain your well-being and can be especially necessary during times of acute stress. Working out — or performing moderate to vigorous physical activity that elevates your heart rate and activates muscles — can have numerous positive effects on your health, both physically and emotionally.

    strawberries

    How to Fully Utilize Your Pantry Supplies

    Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), some grocery stores have been overwhelmed by people looking to stock up on supplies. Individuals are also increasingly encouraged to practice social distancing and self-quarantine. As a result, accessing fresh and healthy ingredients can be more challenging than usual.

  • Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

    We recommend resources and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can find additional information on the U.S. Department of State and the CDC site, including more COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and travel information and safety tips from the CDC.

  • Blood and Platelet Donation in Consideration of COVID-19

    Because our patients depend on lifesaving blood and platelets, we encourage individuals who are healthy and eligible to please to donate at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center or our Mobile Unit. Please contact the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at 617-632-3206 or email us at blooddonor@partners.org.