Message for our Patients
Dear Winship Patients,
As we monitor the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, your Winship Cancer Institute (Winship) team is steadfastly committed to your safety and well being. We are working with experts throughout Emory to keep you safe. Your Winship team will review all upcoming scheduled patient appointments and may contact you whether we believe it is medically safe for an appointment to be delayed or not.
Although most people who are infected by COVID-19 develop mild illness, certain patients with cancer may be at increased risk for more severe symptoms. Winship is committed to providing safe and necessary cancer care to our patients and will support any of our patients who may develop COVID-19 illness. Extra precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our facilities include increased screening efforts in our outpatient clinics at each entrance, extra cleaning of clinics and common areas, and visiting limitations. Please see the revised visitor restrictions below.
We ask all patients to take steps to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses at all times. We recommend that all cancer patients and family members practice rigorous hand washing, social distancing, and other precautions described in CDC guidelines. We encourage all patients coming to Winship to come wearing a mask; we will provide masks for those who do not have one.
We ask that if you are feeling sick or have a fever or cough, please contact us for guidance before coming for your appointment. We advise all patients, whether under active treatment or not, with symptoms of coronavirus, or flu, to contact their provider. Please call your team at (404) 778-1900 if you develop symptoms and we will direct you regarding next steps. Our clinical teams are ready to answer any questions or address any concerns.
Detailed information on COVID-19 is available at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thank you for entrusting us with your care. If you have any questions, please speak with any member of your care team during your visit.
Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD
Sagar Lonial, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Outpatient Visitor Guidelines
Nothing is more important to the Winship Cancer Institute than the health of you and your family, and we are doing all that we can to ensure patients, their families, and our community remain safe. In light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we have made temporary changes in our visitation policy. We understand that patients, families, and loved ones want to be together during illness, but we must balance that with our responsibility to keep our patients and community members safe.
This is a challenging time for everyone, and we thank you for your understanding and your compliance with these important safety guidelines.
Effective May 11, 2020: Visitors will not be allowed for outpatient appointments at this time, with limited exceptions that will be made by the Winship clinical teams.
Exceptions to the visitor restriction guidelines will be made on a case by case basis and can relate to specific treatments or cycles of therapy which require visitor presence for the wellbeing of the patient.
- Patients will be informed of our visitor guidelines during pre-screening visit phone calls.
- Visitor exceptions will be made by the Winship clinical team.
- Visitors granted exceptions will be screened per the COVID Screening Protocol.
Winship patients requiring a driver will need exceptions in these circumstances:
- Patients undergoing a procedure.
- Patients receiving medication that impacts driving.
Please talk to your Winship clinical team with any concerns you have. Our teams are ready to answer your questions and help in any way they can. Please be assured that we are thinking of your safety, health, and comfort at all times.
Thank you for trusting us with your care.
Update Regarding Clinic Appointments
In line with other National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Winship will modify some of our caregiver schedules, and this may affect your upcoming clinic appointments. These modifications include rotating face-to-face care in two-week increments and using our caregivers' out-of-clinic time to provide care via phone and via telehealth. This model of care is well-suited to Winship since treatment decisions are often made by a team of individual specialists all focusing on your care.
Beginning on Monday, April 6th, many Winship physicians and advanced practice providers will start this bi-weekly rotation, and this rotation will be in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Listed below are points to consider in this transition:
- You may experience a change in your face-to-face care, as you may see a different member of your care team in the clinic setting.
- Virtual care via phone and telehealth will be delivered by your current care team.
- Your current provider will be involved in all treatment decisions and will be consulted on your care in real time.
- Our care teams already work in groups and members of the group are already familiar with your care.
- These teams have considered the effect of COVID-19 related to your cancer care and the latest evidence, and we will explain such issues to you as they may arise.
Emory Updates and Resources on COVID-19
Emory Healthcare and Emory University are providing regular updates and resources on the coronavirus (COVID-19).
CDC Resources on COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has valuable information and resources about COVID-19, such as prevention tips and how it spreads.