March 17, 2020
At OHC, the health of our patients is always our priority. Whether you’re a patient, a caregiver, or are close to someone with cancer, you may have questions about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
Patients with compromised immune systems, including many cancer patients, are more susceptible to viruses, including the coronavirus. Some cancer therapies, such as targeted drugs, steroids, as well as some cancer types, like blood cancers, can result in a weakened immune system.
Your Treatment at OHC
Very Important: If you have flu-like symptoms, you should call OHC before visiting our offices for scheduled appointments at 1-888-649-4800. This could include:
- Shortness of breath
OHC is closely monitoring the coronavirus, including the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC-recommended protocols for healthcare providers regarding the coronavirus are aligned with OHC’s existing protocols for flu season. During flu season, we emphasize an array of preventative measures that protect our patients and staff from exposure to illness. OHC has added additional preventative measures during this time. These include:
- OHC is calling patients the day before their appointments to screen for symptoms.
- OHC is screening all patients and their designated caregiver at the front desk.
- Isolating patients who come into our locations exhibiting respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
- No caregiver will be permitted in our treatment suites. Special situations will be considered.
- Caregiver may accompany patients into the exam rooms. A caregiver who is not present in the exam room will be asked to wait outside our office (ex: in their car).
- If a caregiver screens positive for flu-like symptoms, they will be asked to leave our OHC office immediately.
- Non-essential visitors (ex: vendors) are prohibited from our office at this time.
- Additional cleaning per CDC guidelines has been implemented at all of our offices.
The CDC does not recommend that the general public wear facemasks. Facemasks are recommended for patients who have flu or other infectious illnesses, including coronavirus.
Protect Yourself and Others
You, your caregivers and close contacts can take proactive measures to protect yourselves and those around you from the coronavirus and the flu, including these common-sense prevention steps:
- You should avoid contact with anyone, including a caregiver, who has traveled within or outside of the U.S. for at least 14 days upon their return. If you or anyone you have already been in contact with has traveled, please contact OHC at 1-888-649-4800 before visiting our offices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates travel advisories and information related to travel and the coronavirus. If your caregiver or any close contacts are sick, encourage them to seek medical attention, and avoid contact with them until they are well (ex: free from fever for at least 24 to 48 hours without medication).
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and frequently. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are not well.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Disinfect surfaces frequently with household cleaning spray or wipe.
For more information on the coronavirus, OHC recommends the following resources:
- Questions and Answers for Cancer Patients
- Coronavirus Fact Sheet
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Ohio Department of Health https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
- Your County’s Health Department